Canada cited in global union's "Route of Shame 2014"

The Route of Shame takes place during the 103rd International Labour Conference (ILC) in Geneva. A major focus of the annual ILC is to determine whether countries are upholding their obligations to respect the rights of workers and their trade unions under International Labour Organization conventions.

Geneva (28 May 2014) - Led by members of the global union federation Public Services International (PSI), trade union leaders from around the world will join in a Route of Shame bicycle ride June 4 and visit missions and embassies in Geneva, Switzerland, to draw attention to countries that consistently violate workers’ rights. In other cities around the world, PSI affiliates are organizing similar actions.

The Route of Shame takes place during the 103rd International Labour Conference (ILC) in Geneva. A major focus of the annual ILC is to determine whether countries are upholding their obligations to respect the rights of workers and their trade unions under International Labour Organization conventions.

Canada among countries of concern

Countries of specific concern include Algeria, Egypt, Swaziland, Turkey, Greece, Portugal, Spain, Croatia, Georgia, Canada, Guatemala, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Honduras, Columbia, Haiti, South Korea, Bangladesh, Cambodia and Indonesia.

PSI General Secretary Rosa Pavanelli says, “A concerted attack on the public sector is taking place on a global scale, both in emerging economies where PSI affiliates struggle for full recognition of workers’ rights, and in many other countries through austerity and privatisation measures that weaken trade unions and workers’ rights, and the public services people rely on. We demand social justice and the protection of workers’ rights, instead of economic policies that violate human rights.”

Guest speakers along the Route of Shame will include trade union leaders from Algeria, Ecuador, South Korea, and Georgiawhere independent trade unions are suppressed by the governmentand from Guatemalawhere dozens of public service union members have been assassinated in recent years.

Union rights are human rights

A number of other situations will also be highlighted. Gross human rights violations are committed in Turkey where union members, including women and sometimes even their children, are locked up in isolation under false pretexts and denied access to due legal process or medical treatment. In South Korea, democratic unions are denied recognition and workers are pushed into precarious employment.

Pavanelli says, “Too many governments prefer to act in the interest of the few, and that is why inequality is rising at an ever faster pace all over the world. We need investment in decent working and living conditions, supported by quality public services. We claim the right to strike for all workers, in both the public and private sectors. All workers are entitled to social protection and a decent wage and working conditions. Traditional methods of engaging in global policy setting are failing to produce substantive results for human rights. We stand with the millions of workers who struggle for their rights and do not give in. International solidarity makes us stronger.”

More information:

Public Services International
The Route of Shame on Facebook

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The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE

 

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