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22 Jun 2020

ITUC Global Rights Index reveals workers’ rights violations at seven-year high

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“2020 ITUC Global Rights Index: violations of workers’ rights at seven-year high”, 18 June 2020

This trend, by governments and employers, to restrict the rights of workers through limiting collective bargaining, disrupting the right to strike, and excluding workers from unions, has been made worse by a rise in the number of countries…

A new trend identified in 2020 shows … an attempt to instill fear and put pressure on independent unions and their members.

The General Secretary of the ITUC, Sharan Burrow, said: “These threats to workers, our economies and democracy were endemic in workplaces and countries before the … pandemic ...

“... Under the cover of measures to tackle the coronavirus pandemic, they are advancing their anti-workers’-rights agenda…

“… [A]s we build the new economic … it must be … built on a New Social Contract: a new commitment to workers’ rights … investment in compliance and the rule of law, and … workplace democracy.”

... Key findings include:

  •  85 per cent of countries violated the right to strike.
  •  80 per cent of countries violated the right to collectively bargain.
  •  The number of countries that impeded the registration of unions has increased.
  •  Three new countries entered the list of ten worst countries for workers …
  •  The number of countries that denied or constrained freedom of speech increased from 54 in 2019 to 56 in 2020.
  •  Workers were exposed to violence in 51 countries.
  •  Workers had no or restricted access to justice in 72 per cent of countries.
  •  Workers experienced arbitrary arrests and detention in 61 countries.