ITUC global survey of trade union rights violations
The 2011 ITUC survey of trade union rights violations around the world was launched last week at the ILO annual conference in Geneva, and it details a grim picture of violence, harassment and restrictions on trade union rights in almost every country, developed or developing. Colombia topped the poll of shame yet again as the most dangerous place to be a trade unionist with 49 documented murders last year, but sadly there are many challengers.
For trade unionists, of course, it is important to remember that the reason why our rights are restricted and our fellow trade unionists intimidated, assaulted and arrested is because we are demanding better rights for working people: higher wages, better jobs, safer and healthier working conditions and equality. And that provokes some rich and powerful people to extreme measures.
The survey is divided up by regions and countries. One innovation in this year’s survey is that it opens online with a map of the world, and you can instantly identify the situation in different countries by moving your mouse around the map. The UK gets a mention because of several examples of restrictions on the right to strike, and there’s an interview with Marissa Begonia of Unite, who has for the last two weeks been negotiating an ILO Convention on the rights at work of domestic workers.