IndustriALL takes workers’ and union rights to the International Labour Conference
After two weeks full of intense activity and meetings the International Labour Conference ended in Geneva on 17 June.
IndustriALL Global Union and affiliates actively participated in several side meetings such as the discussion on the new “UN Treaty on transnational corporations” with Prof Olivier de Schutter, former UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food and member of the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. As the UN Human Rights Council has established an intergovernmental working group in order to elaborate international legally binding instruments to regulate the activities of transnational corporations and other business the ITUC called for trade unions to engage in this process in order to ensure corporations abide by their international obligations.
In the Conference Committee on Migration and Labour, discussions were heated, the Employers group tried hard to undermine the existing conventions and push for a weak recommendation. Finally, an important battle was won approving that ILO has to promote the ratification of two conventions (Convention 97 on Migration for employment and Convention 143 on Migrant workers) and the Workers delegation with support from several Governments reached an agreement on a very strong additional recommendation.
IndustriALL and affiliates participated actively in the Committee on Application of Standards, the tripartite ILO body monitoring how ILO standards are being applied by member states. Starting from taking the floor on the General Survey regarding ILO Convention 176 on Safety and health in mines and during the plenaries highlighting serious violations to Freedom of Association for our members. The Workers’ Group strongly protested that the list of 24 cases negotiated with the Employers Group did not include Brazil and Colombia, where violations of ILO Conventions 87 and 98 were widespread and well known.
IndustriALL reported serious cases in seven countries, ranging from recent cases of forced dissolution of unions, arbitrary arrests and criminalisation of protest in Kazakhstan; to violence, repression of workers, denials of union registration in Bangladesh as well as the lack of the legal protection of trade unions and a backlog of reinstatement of independent unionists in Cambodia denounced by IndustriALL assistant general secretary Jenny Holdcroft.
Suzanna Miller speaks on behalf of IndustriALL Global Union at the ILO Committee on Application of Standards about crackdown on trade unions in Kazakhstan
All presentations and Conclusions of the cases discussed in the CAS can be consulted here: