…By Judah Olanisebee for TDPel Media.
Global Workers’ Rights Violated as Cost-of-Living Crisis Intensifies
The Alarming State of Workers’ Rights
The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) issued a warning on Friday, June 30, 2023, stating that workers in nine out of 10 countries had their right to strike violated in the past year.
This comes as workers face one of the worst cost-of-living crises in decades.
The ITUC’s annual Global Rights Index for 2023 revealed a troubling reality, highlighting the dire need for action.
The report revealed that 87% of the 149 countries assessed violated the right to strike between April 2022 and March 2023.
Violations of Collective Bargaining Rights
In addition to the right to strike, the right to collective bargaining was also violated in 79% of countries.
Companies were found to refuse compliance with collective agreements or reject established trade unions.
The ITUC report emphasized that as workers grapple with the severe cost-of-living crisis, governments have cracked down on their ability to collectively negotiate wage increases and take necessary strike action.
The impacts of soaring inflation on working people have largely been disregarded by employers and governments alike.
Highlighted Cases and Rising Repression
The ITUC specifically highlighted Ecuador and Tunisia as countries of concern.
In Ecuador, mass protests for democracy and collective rights were met with brutal repression.
In Tunisia, President Kais Saied’s tightening grip on power has undermined workers’ civil liberties and democratic institutions.
The report also revealed a distressing increase in the number of trade unionists murdered, with 19 cases recorded compared to 17 in the previous period.
Urgent Need for Action
Luc Triangle, the acting general secretary of the ITUC, stressed the urgent need for action by unions in response to the challenges faced by workers.
Rising costs of living following the pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine have exacerbated the situation.
Triangle emphasized that workers demanding fair pay for their labor have faced a steady attack, transcending economic and geographical regions.
Politicians have played a role in suppressing wages, refusing to honor negotiations with unions, restricting strike actions, and attempting to quash protests under the guise of avoiding a wage-price spiral.
Cost-of-Living Crisis and Central Bank Measures
Many countries are grappling with cost-of-living crises as wages fail to keep up with inflation.
This has prompted central banks to raise interest rates in an attempt to mitigate the rise in prices.
The challenges faced by workers demand urgent attention and action to ensure fair treatment, equitable wages, and the protection of workers’ rights.
Conclusion: The ITUC’s Global Rights Index sheds light on the concerning state of workers’ rights around the world.
It is distressing to witness the violations of fundamental labor rights, including the right to strike and the right to collective bargaining.
The cost-of-living crisis has exacerbated the challenges faced by workers, making fair pay and dignified working conditions even more crucial.
Governments, employers, and policymakers must prioritize the well-being and rights of workers to foster a just and equitable society.
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