Intl. Trade Union Confederation releases Global Rights Index ranking countries' protection of workers' rights; Cambodia, Central African Rep., Saudi Arabia, Qatar worst countries for workers

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Article
19 May 2014

New ITUC Global Rights Index - The world’s worst countries for workers

Author: International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC)

A global leaderboard in the race to protect workers’ rights was released...at the ITUC World Congress in Berlin. The ITUC Global Rights Index ranks 139 countries against 97 internationally recognised indicators to assess where workers’ rights are best protected, in law and in practice. “Countries such as Denmark and Uruguay led the way through their strong labour laws, but perhaps surprisingly, the likes of Greece, the United States and Hong Kong, lagged behind,”...Cambodia’s labour law fails to cover many civil servants, there are undue restrictions on the right to elect union representatives, and in 2013 the government responded with lethal force to demonstrators seeking a decent wage and working conditions. This resulted in Cambodia receiving a score of 5 in the Rights Index – the worst possible rating...In the Middle East, Qatar is yet to allow unions at all for its many migrant workers, while in Latin America, Guatemala was one of the worst places to be a worker, with no guarantee of rights....Only Denmark received a perfect score of zero for respecting all 97 indicators of workers’ fundamental rights.

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Article
19 May 2014

[PDF] ITUC Global RIghts Index - The World's Worst Countries for Workers

Author: International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC)

[W]orkers are struggling everywhere for their right to collective representationand decent work deficits exist in varying degrees in most countries. Abuses of rights are getting worse not better and too many countries take no responsibility for protecting workers rights in a national context or through corporate supply chains. Based on reports from affiliates, workers in at least 53 countries have either been dismissed or suspended from their jobs for attempting to negotiate better working conditions. In the vast majority of these cases the national legislation offered either no protection or did not provide dissuasive sanctions in order to hold abusive employers accountable. Indeed, employers and governments are complicit in silencing workers’ voices against exploitation. The increase in precarious employment relationships has further deepened the vulnerability of workers to discrimination at the workplace...In countries such as Qatar or Saudi Arabia, the exclusion of migrant workers from
collective labour rights means that effectively more than 90 per cent of the workforce is unable to have access to their rights leading to forced labour practices in both countries supported by archaic sponsorship laws.

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Author: Confederación Sindical Internacional, CSI

[L]os trabajadores tienen que luchar por su derecho a una representación colectiva, y el trabajo decente escasea…en la mayoría de los países. Los abusos a los derechos están empeorando… y son muchos los países que no asumen ninguna responsabilidad para proteger los derechos de los trabajadores/as...Según…informes de las organizaciones afiliadas, en al menos 53 países se han registrado casos de trabajadores despedidos o suspendidos de sus funciones por intentar negociar unas condiciones laborales mejores. En la gran mayoría de los casos la legislación nacional no ofrece ningún tipo de protección ni prevé tampoco sanciones disuasorias para exigir responsabilidades a los empleadores abusivos…[E]mpleadores y Gobiernos actúan en complicidad para acallar las voces de los trabajadores que protestan contra situaciones de explotación. El aumento de las relaciones laborales precarias ha intensificado…la vulnerabilidad de los trabajadores a la discriminación en el lugar de trabajo.

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