Number of Trade Unionists Killed Increases from Previous Year

June 24, 2009, 11:46 AM EST

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Throughout the world last year more than 76 labour activists were killed because of their ongoing struggle in support of workers rights. Each year the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) puts forth a survey of trade union violations. The survey depicts violations of union rights around the globe, an increase of 25% from the previous year.

Universally trade union rights are recognized as basic human rights at work. Two conventions (87 and 98) by the International Labour Organization (ILO) have guaranteed these rights through ratification by 149 and 159 the ILO states respectively.

Denial and violations of union rights were especially common among the exporting processing zones of countries such as Costa Rica, Guatemala and Pakistan.

Although there has been ratification by governments, violations of these agreements still continue. In countries around the world, people trying to unionize workers are frequently arrested and given prison sentences. Workers protesting are dismissed and/or discriminated against.

Despite the increase in deaths in the some parts of the globe, there is still some positive news where unionizing has become a reality. New legislation and union organization has been implemented in Burkina, Faso, Kenya, and Mozambique.

The ITUC continues to be the international voice for unionists around the world when the countries national system cannot take action for workers rights. They represent 168 million workers in 155 countries and territories and have 311 national affiliates. The CAW is a member organization.


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