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Government pledges to reverse anti-union laws STRONGER

Details: Government pledges to reverse anti-union laws. 31 Jan 2016, By Owen Tudor. No, it’s not April Fool’s Day yet, nor a prediction for a future Britain. It’s the new Canadian Liberal Government of Justin Trudeau, and the new Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and …

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Striking workers in Qatar find labour laws finally working

Details: Striking workers in Qatar find labour laws finally working against them. 28 Nov 2014, By Stephen Russell. If you ever needed proof of Qatar’s one-sided refereeing, this is it. The reason “Play by the Rules” is one of our ‘ Playfair Qatar ’ campaign demands is that Qatar could make life better for its 1.5m migrant workers so easily

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Who’s got the toughest labour laws

Details: An interesting footnote to the global union submission to the autumn meetings of the International Financial Institutions (the IMF and the World Bank) might be of interest to trade unionists constantly being told that they need to give up their hard won employment rights to be competitive in global labour markets. Basically, the IMF can’t make up their mind who’s got the toughest labour

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Workers need legal protection, not voluntary standards

Details: Workers need legal protection, not voluntary standards. 12 May 2017, By Hugh Robertson. An international standard for health and safety may sound like a good idea to a lot of people, but the current proposals for one would be bad news for many workers. The International Standards Organisation (ISO) is developing a standard, called ISO45001, for

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Iraqi government uses Saddam’s laws against electricity

Details: The laws that Saddam Hussein used to repress Iraqi trade unions are still being used today to prevent working people defending and promoting their rights. On 21 July, the new Electricity Minister, Hussain al-Shahristani, ordered his Ministry’s police force to storm union offices, list and seize all their property, and close them down – the…

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Self-employed exemptions – a recipe for confusion

Details: As I reported earlier the Government have announced that all self-employed people will be exempt from health and safety laws unless they are on a list of prescribed occupations. This goes far further than even the original proposal, which in itself was going to be confusing and dangerous. The government have now produced a list, and it is frightening.

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Standardisation: Are our regulations being privatised by

Details: How do you think people would react if the Government passed a law that said that our traffic laws would be decided by motoring organisations like the AA or RAC, or if the European Commission announced that all new regulations on food quality and hygiene would be determined by McDonalds? Well actually something similar is… Read in full

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Qatar: one of the terrible ten worst countries for workers

Details: While laws design to strip workers of rights and keep them in their place are enforced, the impact of those scant protections for workers in Qatar’s legal system is harder to trace. Passport confiscation, excessive working hours, late payment of wages and overcrowded living quarters all contravene local laws, and yet prosecution is almost

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Thailand needs to stop the harassment of workers’ rights

Details: Thailand is obligated to protect against human rights abuses by business enterprises, including cases in which businesses use domestic laws to intimidate human rights advocates and suppress freedom of expression.” It’s time for the Thai Government to step in and end this farrago.

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Korea should honour its commitment to workers’ rights

Details: The TUC has joined an international campaign in defence of trade unions in South Korea. When Korea joined the OECD in 1996 it made a commitment to reform its labour laws and meet international standards on workers’ rights. Fourteen years later, Korean laws still do not comply with international standards on protecting workers’ rights and Korea…

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Preventing workplace deaths – its ‘elf and safety gone mad

Details: The real danger is not killing H&S laws but watering them down, pretending they’re still effective when reduced to a ‘box tick’ exercise. Rory O’Neill Dec 2nd 2009, 2:16 pm. The Tories lie about the costs and lie about the consequences. Most businesses entirely escape prosecution or even scrutiny when the serious injure a worker.

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Unions & brands press Cambodia over union law STRONGER

Details: A global union campaign to ensure fair labour laws in Cambodia has won the support of multinational brands and NGOs. IndustriALL and the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) are supporting Cambodian unions who are seeking urgent changes to the labour law currently being finalised. And the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI), which brings the global unions…

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New Sentencing guidelines welcomed STRONGER UNIONS

Details: This month new guidelines on the sentencing of those who break health and safety laws come into effect.. They represent a huge change in attitude to health and safety offences and have broadly been welcomed by the TUC who have argued that the current penalties for breaking the law do not act as any kind of deterrent.

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Why we care about violations of union rights in other

Details: Strike action also came under attack in other ways. In South Korea, there was a continued use of law suits claiming huge amounts of damages against unions, while in Australia employers and governments successfully invoked laws forcing striking workers back to work.

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Facility Time – Here we go again STRONGER UNIONS

Details: The Taxpayers Alliance -the group that is NOT an alliance of ordinary tax payers is once again speaking up for..well themselves really. Taking up the invitation recently extended by the government for suggestions from the public for laws they would like to see repealed, the Taxpayers Alliance has shown that it has its finger on the pulse of the nation and the real concerns of employers …

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Back Amnesty’s campaign for trade union rights in Turkey

Details: Emphasising their long-held belief that trade union rights are human rights, Amnesty International are working with Turkish unions to demand that trade union laws are brought into line with ILO standards. Although the main focus of the action is with the Turkish trade union confederations DISK and KESK – there was a big postcard campaign…

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British University teaching Qatar wrong lesson on workers

Details: British University teaching Qatar wrong lesson on workers’ rights. 21 Aug 2014, By Stephen Russell. A British University operating in Qatar is under fire for ignoring the rights and conditions of workers providing it with essential services. University College London (UCL), angered those campaigning for rights for Qatar’s vast migrant

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Belarus: one of the terrible ten worst countries for

Details: Workers in this Eastern European country face discrimination, forced labour, and repression of protests. The case of hunger-striking workers jailed for protesting their unfair dismissal continues. This follows labour laws introduced by President Lukashenko that prohibits farming and forestry workers from being able to leave their jobs at will that the President himself compares to…

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10 workers’ rights #Brexit would risk STRONGER UNIONS

Details: The EU employment laws cover all British laws but now also include free movement and immigration employment. For every veiled excuse the pro-EU people can conjure up – there is a vast amount of evidence with which to discredit it.. Marvin Mar 2nd 2016, 9:03 pm. Ah! I have just noted that the above report has been written on behalf of the TUC

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World Cup workers still suffering as the clock ticks on

Details: Until the laws have formally been changed and – even more importantly – an enforcement infrastructure put in place, Qatar’s promises mean as much as their current laws banning passport confiscation – a law which (according to the International Labour Organization) so far has brought no prosecutions for those illegally withholding travel

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Take action to support Fiji hotel workers’ union

Details: But Fiji is a military dictatorship, with the sort of industrial relations and union laws you would expect – harshly repressive. Despite the return to work and the ongoing negotiations, the Government pronounced the dispute illegal, and promptly arrested the union’s leadership,

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Amnesty International report finds abuse still rife as

Details: These proposed new laws have been Qatar’s key defence as it faces off against the International Labour Organisation (ILO), which visited the country earlier this year and also found workers stranded in the country, sometimes unpaid for months, as well as more evidence of passport confiscation and terrible living conditions. The ILO has given

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Regulating unions without touching business lobbyists is a

Details: In the run up to the 2010 election, David Cameron made a speech about ‘broken politics’ and referred to lobbying as “the next big scandal waiting to happen”. He talked about “the lunches, the hospitality, the quiet word in your ear, the ex-ministers and ex-advisors for hire, helping big business find the right way to… Read in full

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Turkish workers denied right to strike STRONGER UNIONS

Details: Turkey’s repressive labour laws directly deny trade union rights to public sector workers. Public sector workers have no right to strike or to collectively bargain – they are merely consulted by the employers. To legally join a union a worker has to inform his …

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Using agency workers to break strikes will threaten safety

Details: A majority of European member states have laws or arrangements in place that prohibit or restrict the use of agency workers in establishments where strike action is taking place. Any change will place Britain even more out of line with the rest of Europe and also will put the Government in conflict with many agency providers, including the

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Fijian mill workers reject employer sweeteners STRONGER

Details: This thuggish behaviour, in addition to the previous beatings, arbitrary arrests, surveillance of unionists and the wholesale gutting of the nation’s labour laws, is why workers around the world are calling for the establishment of an ILO Commission of Inquiry this year. This rogue regime must be …

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Why the ILO must continue to police the right to strike

Details: As deepening economic inequality shows that strong trade unions are needed more than ever, employers are engaged in a ruthless assault on one of the most fundamental labour laws of all. But, as the ITUC holds a global day of action today to rally support, the …

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Iraq’s new labour law: positive but ‘clipped’ STRONGER

Details: Iraq’s new labour law: positive but ‘clipped’. Iraq has finally issued a labour law that complies with ILO conventions, up to a point. It is a good day for global justice. The law provides legal protection for organised workers in the private and cooperative sector against unethical practices of local and foreign employers.

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Nudging in the wrong direction: The government’s anti

Details: I am a great believer in legislation. I think that strong regulation, properly enforced, is key to protecting the vulnerable. This government however has a clear anti-regulatory agenda, believing that there is too much and it can be a “burden on business”. That is why they have set up responsibility deals rather that passed laws… Read in full

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Ken Sprague and the cuts STRONGER UNIONS

Details: Ken Sprague’s iconic image of a deadly poison bottle ‘containing’ the anti-trade union laws accompanied by the slogan underneath, ‘not to be taken’ became a regular sight on demonstrations in the sixties against the introduction of the now notorious anti-union laws. Although Ken died in 2004, the Ken Sprague Fund has reworked that icon and… Read in full

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Queen signs up to union rights across the Commonwealth

Details: Today, the Queen will sign the new Charter of the Commonwealth. It doesn’t imply personal endorsement because of her ‘apolitical role’ (ok, so I stretched the headline a bit!) But her signature indicates that all 54 countries of the Commonwealth have endorsed the Charter, developed over more than two years to bring together a range…

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US fast food workers get a legal boost STRONGER UNIONS

Details: A ruling this week in the USA by the US National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has given a boost to unions, and the ‘alt.unions’ who are trying to build union organisation in the US fast food industry. The ruling, in theory, should make it easier for these unions to negotiate on behalf of workers at fast-food chains – providing they can organise workers first.

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Unions call on Commonwealth to get tougher on human rights

Details: The Commonwealth’s Foreign Ministers are meeting this weekend in New York (no, the US hasn’t returned to the Empire, it’s common for Commonwealth meetings to happen in the margins of UN events!) A major piece of business will be approving the draft Charter of the Commonwealth, a summary of the values that bind the Commonwealth together.… Read in full

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Global unions demand decent labour law in Iraq STRONGER

Details: IndustriALL, the global union federation for manufacturing, chemical and oil unions, has called on Iraqi lawmakers to complete the task of enacting ILO-compliant labour laws. In the latest step in the campaign that was started with help from the TUC, the global federation has worked with the six main trade union organisations in Iraq to critique the current…

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Workers get to choose at Chattanooga STRONGER UNIONS

Details: A new UAW local (ie branch) has been established just to represent Chattanooga VW members, and if it recruits sufficient members in the plant, VW management have pledged to recognise the union and then set up a Works Council (under the restrictive US labor laws it’s not possible to do it the other way around as we can in the UK and the rest

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The only connection between winter strikes is employers

Details: The new rules will make strike ballots harder and more costly to conduct, especially in services like transport. Trade union campaigning stopped many of the more draconian and damaging parts of their plans, but the UK’s laws on unions (already restrictive by international comparison) are still set to get even stricter.

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TUC joins calls for new elections in Brazil as

Details: The new laws make a mockery of the minimum wage, making it easier to avoid, and by watering down the definition of collective bargaining (the employer can now choose who they view as “the trade union”) makes it possible for employers to completely sidestep basic employment rights by negotiating opt-outs with small groups, including

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What the Party Manifestos say on health and safety

Details: Not that manifestos are necessarily an indication of what will happen in Government of course. In 2000, of the two parties that went on to form the Government, only the Conservatives mentioned health and safety, committing themselves to “amend the health and safety laws that stand in the way of common sense policing”.

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‘UDITA’ film shows need for labour law reform in

Details: You can now watch on the TUC’s website the new documentary UDITA (ARISE) made by Rainbow Collective about the struggles that women trade unionists in the National Garment Workers Federation (NGWF) have faced in Bangladesh over the last five years. The film premiered on the second anniversary of the Rana Plaza collapse on April 24th… Read in full

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Protest now! Iraqi Government attacks teacher trade union

Details: The Government wants to force elections on the union (which has already held two leadership elections since 2003), and has told Jasim and his colleagues that they aren’t allowed to stand. If they refuse to do what the Government has told them, they have been threatened with prison terms of 3-5 years, despite having broken no laws.

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Republicans repeat attack on unions – this time in

Details: If you thought President Obama’s resounding victory in the elections last month would signal the end of Republican attacks on trade unions in the USA, think again. Over the last two years, Republicans in Indiana, Ohio, Wisconsin and elsewhere have tried to roll back workers’ rights to have their wages negotiated collectively. And now they’re…

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So much for the Robens vision of health and safety

Details: Raymond Holroyd Jun 23rd 2013, 12:17 pm. I applied for the role on the Board with all sincerity as an active safety campaigner for offshore safety, last weeks event in Aberdeen was a great opportunity to both commemorate the lost souls from Piper Alpha and also come clean on the culture of conformity that exists on paper is not the same as the reality at the work face. safety Cases are built

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502 Turkish Trade Unionists in court after protest

Details: Overall, more than 150 persons were arrested with 47 of them being kept in prison awaiting trial. In this instance the state has made use of the notorious Turkish Anti-Terrorist laws under which defendants can find themselves serving long sentences without ever being involved in or condoning violence.

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Workers’ rights in crisis in Bangladesh STRONGER UNIONS

Details: By continuously flouting international laws on trade union and worker rights, it is seriously risking its most precious asset – the garment industry.” The TUC, along with the international trade union movement will continue to call for the rights of our trade union colleagues in Bangladesh to be respected and for the endless repression to stop!

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Support Korean striking railway workers facing crackdown

Details: In 1996, the Republic of Korea also made a commitment upon its entry to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) “to reform existing laws on industrial relations in line with internationally accepted standards, including those concerning basic rights such as freedom of association and collective bargaining.”

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Do unions really want job-destroying wage rises in

Details: In the aftermath of the death toll in Bangladesh’s worst ever factory disaster last week, much has been written (including by us!) about what needs to be done to prevent further tragedies. Most attention has focused on what the Bangladesh government and multinational clothing companies should do, with a fair amount of blame being mis-directed (more… Read in full

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New research says EU regulation working. STRONGER UNIONS

Details: The result is the biggest ever research into European health and safety laws. The final report is over 400 pages long with hundreds more pages in appendices. I am sure you would all want to read it. Unfortunately you can’t, because it has not been published, despite having been completed. It may be published next year if the Commission agrees

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China persecutes activists to prevent its own reforms from

Details: Now laws controlling foreign NGOs – another source of support and legal advice for workers – are being introduced, further limiting opportunities for workplace rights to be enforced. Whether the government ever truly intended to empower workers is hard to tell.

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