The UN International Labor Organization decries the lack of basic labor protections - de facto and de jure - around the world: The report (*) centres on freedom of association (**) and the right to collective bargaining, two key fundamental workers’ rights enshrined in ILO Conventions 87 and 98...Guy Ryder, General Secretary of the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU), said, “freedom of association and collective bargaining are not a luxury but fundamental rights and the basis for sustainable and adaptable labour markets”. Despite this, the ILO report notes that in numerical terms, the level of ratification of the two core Conventions covering the right to freedom of association and collective bargaining means that a startling half of the world’s workers remain unprotected by the conventions’ provisions. Alarmingly, large countries as Brazil, China, India, Mexico and the United States have still not ratified fundamental ILO Conventions on freedom of association. The report looks at several areas in which this fundamental right is frequently flouted, including in export processing zones. “Workers attempting to organise are sometimes blacklisted, reprimanded or sacked. The catalogue of abuses in such workplaces is long. One example of this involves a Korean textile worker who was threatened at gunpoint by his employer to make him resign from his trade union”, said Ryder.


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