22 June, 2020International Trade Union Confederation has released their annual Global Rights Index, listing violations and restrictions of workers’ rights and freedoms in the world. The data is based on the situation in 144 countries. In its recent edition of the Global Rights Index, the ITUC notes the highest number of violations for the last seven years.
Governments and employers have restricted the rights of workers through violations of collective bargaining and the right to strike, excluded workers from unions by impeding the registration of unions in the number of countries.
According to the findings of the Global Rights Index 2020, 85 per cent of countries violated the right to strike, and 80 per cent of countries violated the right to collectively bargain.
While workers were subject to violence in 51 countries and experienced arbitrary arrests and detention in 61 countries, their access to justice was either denied or restricted in 72 per cent of countries.
The report notes an increased number of countries that have denied or constrained the freedom of speech. The report flags another alarming trend of a number of scandals about governments’ surveillance of trade union leaders, attempting to instil fear and put pressure on independent unions and their members.
Valter Sanches, IndustriALL Global Union general secretary, says:
“Even before Covid-19 we witnessed unprecedented attacks against the labour movement and an increasing gap between the poor and the rich across the globe, leading to a new global economic crisis. The ITUC Global Rights Index is the quantitative reflection of this situation. We regularly report on the violations in IndustriALL’s sectors and the situation is no better in textile, steel, auto or mining. But after the Covid-19 outbreak most of our members are facing violations on an even bigger scale. Our only way to fight back is through increased organizing, strengthened unions and higher global solidarity.”
The situation of violations is particularly serious in Bangladesh, Brazil, Colombia, Egypt, Honduras, India, Kazakhstan, The Philippines, Turkey and Zimbabwe, which this year’s report ranks as the most dangerous countries for workers.