Connected Research

Union policy research in the 21st century

In memory of the 76

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This year’s ITUC annual survey on violations of trade union rights has been published today.

The report highlights that 76 people lost their lives in 2008 as a result of their trade union activity, 49 of them in Columbia where the toll was higher by one-quarter than the figure for 2007. A total of 16 Columbian trade union leaders, four of them women, are included in the Columbian total. Governments are often involved and the implications of a global recession are that the situation is not about to become any easier for trade unionists already in such personally dangerous situations: soberingly, the ITUC is already anticipating that the 2010 survey will paint a worsening picture.

Aside of the death toll, the report highlights the ‘widespread and grave’ anti-union practices of many countries across the globe, including the undermining of workers’ rights via poor legislation and weak implementation regimes, as well as interference in trade union activities, bans and restrictions on their establishment. The ITUC comments:

‘Effective implementation of international conventions or even national labour laws and respect for trade union rights continues to fall far short of workers’ rightful expectations. This year again, [we are] reporting assassinations, abductions, arrests and imprisonments, as well as death threats, dismissals, harassments, acts of discrimination and intimidation against trade unionists.’

Nevertheless, the report pays tribute to the fight for solidarity of millions of trade unionists and labour activists around the globe, in spite of the immense personal cost that results from such struggle.

Until such times as no-one faces death, imprisonment, harassment or intimidation as a result of being active in their trade union, or of struggling to get one established, the watchword remains: an injury to one is an injury to all.

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Written by Calvin

10/06/2009 at 4:37 pm

Posted in Trade union issues

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