UN workers’ collective bargaining rights: now you can have a say
I blogged earlier this month about the campaign to get union members working for the United Nations their collective bargaining rights back. Now we’ve received an astonishing letter back from the UN management (an “appalling letter” according to Unite’s Tony Burke) who say that it was the General Assembly (ie all the world’s governments) who decided to take those rights away in favour of a consultative forum. In reality, of course, diplomats in New York just nodded through proposals drafted by the management.
You can take action to protest at this disgraceful decision, and demand that UN staff should have their collective bargaining rights restored, by backing an International Trade Union Confederation e-action.
UN management also claimed in their letter that health and safety was a top priority. But as UN union leader Ian Richards has pointed out, one of the key reasons why the safety of UN staff has declined in recent years is the use of contracting out security operations, and it’s the cost savings that result which are the main reason the UN management want to get rid of collective bargaining. Like managements all over the world, the UN thinks collective bargaining with unions would slow down or even prevent, cost-cutting measures. UN staff aren’t just worried about out-sourcing security. Management are likely to try making more jobs temporary, self-employed or insecure in other ways too (weapons inspectors on zero hours contracts, anyone?)