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Global unions target Algerian government as ILO mission is cancelled

19 April, 2018Global unions have launched an online campaign against the Algerian government after an International Labour Organization (ILO) mission to the country was cancelled.

The ILO contact mission, which was due to take place at the end of February 2018, was called off after the government failed to confirm that the mission would be able to meet with independent unions in Algeria.

The mission was recommended by the ILO’s Committee on Application of Standards in June 2017, after Algeria came under examination by the committee for breaching ILO Convention 87 on freedom of association.

A change.org petition, started by IndustriALL, Public Services International, the IUF and the International Trade Union Confederation, is calling on the government to stop violating trade union rights in the country.

Democratic unions in Algeria are coming under increasing attack; judicial persecution of trade union leaders, including IndustriALL Global Union affiliate, SNATEGS, is intensifying and workers have been fired or suspended for their trade union activities. Meanwhile the government continues to deny legal status to independent unions.

On 21 February 2018, global unions wrote to the Director General of the ILO, Guy Ryder, urging the participation of independent unions in Algeria in meetings with the direct contact mission. When that couldn’t be guaranteed, the mission was cancelled.

On 16 March, global unions again wrote to Guy Ryder, expressing disappointment and apprehension at the cancellation, adding:

“As a matter of urgency, and taking full account of this regrettable setback, we sincerely hope the International Labour Organization will redouble its efforts to put pressure on the Government of Algeria, thus calling on them to abide strictly by international labour standards, including the right to freedom of association, and, specifically, demanding a time-bound action plan to provide a remedy for the specific violations of labour rights.”

Sign the petition here.