Wednesday, June 15, 2011

LaborGlobal: Union organizing: 90 murders of union activists in 2010 alone

Business and Human R+ts (June15,2k11)

'Repression of union r+ts 
and economic freedoms
across the globe'

The International Trade Union Confederation's report for the year 2010 has just been released, informing us today of the deaths of 90 activists seeking to establish organizations for workers' representation, also 70 recorded death threats, at least 2500 arrests, and at least 5,000 firings of union agents in retaliation for their union work.

It seems Latin America sees the worst represssion and the most deaths of trade unionists -- the global figure doesn't prepare you for the factoid that more than half the 90 this past year have occurred in one South American country -- Colombia.

Colombia and the Americas maintain the lead in a grim record of murder and repression of workers involved in trade union activities in the latest world Annual Survey of violation of trade union rights released by the ITUC at the 100th ILO Conference

The Annual Survey, conducted across 143 countries, paints a picture of people fighting for greater economic rights and freedom to organise, with many governments and businesses responding with repression, sackings, violence, death threats and murder. Covering the year 2010, the Annual Survey reveals...90 murders of trade union activists (49 in Colombia alone)…75 recorded death threats and at least 2,500 arrests…at least 5,000 sackings of unionists because of union activities.
But the futility of any attempt to scapegoat any one region of the globe as an anomaly, is obvious.  Indeed, for instance, Asia has its own sad story to tell in regard to labor relations:
The 2011 annual survey of violations of trade union rights in the world has shown anti-union repression increases in Asia-Pacific. Thailand was also mentioned in the survey that "Employers display an openly anti-union attitude…"...[and] "the legal framework is not conducive to trade union activities. Union members suffered discrimination..."…More than 1,000 Asian trade unionists were injured and almost as many were arrested…The ITUC Annual Survey also denounced employers and authorities use of thugs to attack trade union leaders or activists. In addition to Bangladesh and China, this was notably the case in India and the Philippines. [refers to Michelin, Tycoons, Hicom Automotive Plastics]
Between the ITUC and the Business and Human R+ts Resource Center, one still hopes for a bettering of the situation for all workers globally.  There's room in the ITUC for Christian labor unions -- like CNV (Netherlands), CLAC (Canada), and CLA-USA.

-- EconoMix

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