Annual survey of violations of trade union rights released

06.06.2012

Report finds that in 2011, at least 76 workers died directly as a result of their trade union activities - in addition to those killed during the repression of the Arab Spring protests.

GLOBAL: 2011 was a difficult and often dangerous year for workers throughout the world, with those who dared stand up for their trade union rights facing dismissal, arrest, imprisonment and even death.

That in essence is the picture that emerges from the annual survey of trade union rights violations published on June 6 by the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC). This year's survey examines 143 countries.

Colombia is once again the most dangerous country in the world for trade unionists. Of the 76 people murdered for their trade union activities, not counting the workers killed during the Arab Spring, 29 lost their lives in Colombia. And in Guatemala yet again trade unionists paid a heavy price, with 10 assassinations committed with impunity. A further eight trade unionists were murdered in Asia.

The worldwide trends highlighted in the survey include the non respect of labour legislation by governments, the lack of funding for labour inspection and workers' protection, the lack of rights and the abuse faced by migrant workers throughout the world, particularly in the Gulf States, and the exploitation of the largely female workforce in the export processing zones around the globe. Among the most vulnerable are the 100 million domestic workers.

"It's no coincidence the ITUC's Annual Survey is released each year at the ILO's International Labour Conference, it complements the discussion of trade union rights abuses around the world normally held within the Committee on the Application of Standards," said Jyrki Raina, general secretary of the International Metalworkers' Federation.

"Tragically, these critical cases will not be heard this year at the ILO as a result of the Employers' Group's decision to abandon the convention oversight process in the Committee. The impact of this dangerous development will be felt way beyond the confines of the ILO."

Read the whole Survey at: http://survey.ituc-csi.org/