Union rights

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Trade union rights - freedom of association and the right to effective collective bargaining - are human rights. Freedom of association ensures that workers can work with each other and with their employers to negotiate work relations. Effective collective bargaining helps ensure that workers and employers negotiate on equal terms, allowing for fair, equitable outcomes.

Trade union rights are violated in many parts of the world. In some cases, workers are denied rights of association; in others, workers' organisations are disrupted and trade unionists are persecuted.

The TUC actively supports trade unionists who face discrimination and danger through the

In an astonishing outburst, the Prime Minister of Swaziland, Africa's last feudal dictatorship, has threatened the General Secretary of Swaziland's trade union movement, Vincent Ncongonwe, currently attending a civil society meeting in Washington DC, with strangulation, in retaliation for the trade union movement's support for the decision of the US...
08 August 2014
The TUC is urging trade unionists to join an Amnesty International urgent action demanding freedom for jailed Iranian trade unionist Reza Shahabi, who started a hunger strike on 1 June. TUC General Secretary Frances O'Grady has written to the Iranian Ambassador in Paris (the nearest Embassy to the UK) demanding...
07 June 2014
The General Secretary has written to the Ambassador of South Korea, condemning the detention of Yoo Ki-soo, General Secretary of the Korean Federation of Trade Unions (KCTU) and demanding his unconditional release.
03 June 2014
The TUC General Secretary has written to William Hague, Foreign Secretary, calling on the UK government to apply pressure on the Bangladesh government to reform its labour law. It is one year since the Rana Plaza factory collapse on 24 April 2013 which killed almost 1200 workers. Freedom of association...
26 April 2014
TUC General Secretary Frances O'Grady has joined trade union leaders from around the world in condemning the arrest in Swaziland of trade union lawyer Thulani Maseko. In her letter to the Swaziland High Commissioner in London, O’Grady argues that the detention of Maseko by armed police officers on 17 March...
23 March 2014
FIFA needs to get tough with the organisers of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, says the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), as it publishes a report today (Sunday) exposing the squalid conditions in which many of the tournament’s construction workers are living.
16 March 2014
The General Secretary has written to the Ambassador of the Democratic Republic of Congo, condemning the arrest of Mr Victor Umba Ilunga, President of the national union delegation and demanding his unconditional release.
12 March 2014
TUC General Secretary Frances O'Grady has written urgently to the Prime Minister of Cambodia urging him to ensure that a peaceful protest planned for Phnom Penh tomorrow (Saturday) is allowed to proceed, allowing Cambodia's textile trade unionists - mostly women - to express their concerns about wage levels on International...
07 March 2014
Ahead of the "People's Strike" called for Tuesday by our sister organisation KCTU in South Korea, the TUC General Secretary has written to the Korean Ambassador to London posing five key questions about his government's failure to respect workers' rights and the fundamental core conventions of the ILO. She specifically...
23 February 2014
Trade unions have been under attack in South Korea since the Park Government was inaugurated on 25 February last year. This report documents some of the attacks on freedom of association and assembly and the right to strike, and lists the 15 Korean trade union leaders in jail or on...
21 February 2014