See also:
» 03.02.2010 - Guinea twists September massacre findings
» 21.12.2009 - Guinean crackdown amounts to crimes against humanity, report
» 17.12.2009 - Media rights group condemns arrest of media players
» 01.12.2009 - Prominent rights activist arrested in Guinea
» 27.11.2009 - Guinea's independent press group threatened by military
» 12.10.2009 - Guineans heed stay-away call
» 01.10.2009 - UN calls for independent probe in Guinea's deaths
» 30.09.2009 - Guinea's leader to be tough against future protests

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Human rights | Labour | Society

Guinea is Africa's worst union oppressor

afrol News, 20 November - Guinea is ranked second worst trade union oppressor in the world under leadership of President Lansana Conte, International Trade Union Confederation Annual Survey has revealed.

President Conte regime is directly linked to the killing of 30 unionists during brutal repression of union-organised public demonstrations against corruption and violations of fundamental rights.

The Survey, which covers worker rights violations in 138 countries, has reveals a number of disturbing violation trends, saying workers have been seriously deprived their rights in 63 countries.

ITUC General Secretary Guy Ryder said repression of legitimate trade union activities, guaranteed under ILO conventions, continued unabated in every continent, stating that murder, violence and torture, harassment, dismissal and imprisonment are forms used to discourage unionists protests.

"Several governments were only too ready to openly or covertly support unscrupulous employers who deny fundamental rights to their employees," said Mr Ryder, emphasising that governments have failed to protect workers' rights.

Report said new legal and administrative measures to restrict union activities were introduced in 15 countries, mostly in Asia, but African states like Chad, Ghana, Madagascar, Mauritius, Tanzania where worker face harsh working conditions, employers are reported to be making maximum profits out of workers vulnerability.

The survey has also recorded killings of trade unionists in Ethiopia, Mozambique and Zimbabwe. "Fourteen unionists were also jailed in Morocco," it said.

"Outright hostility to union organization again featured in Zimbabwe and Swaziland, which also featured on a list of countries where Chinese-owned and funded projects were cited for poor working conditions and exploitation of the workforce," it said.

Annual Survey also documents a number of disturbing trends that became increasingly apparent in 2007 and have continued into the current year.

"Many governments have used sweeping definitions of "essential services" in order to deny organising and collective bargaining rights, in particular to public sector workers," survey said.

Survey said even media has seen increasing oppression, as journalists faced increasing levels of hostility from governments intent on avoiding public scrutiny.

It said government's repressive laws have eliminated permanent and full time job to casual and part-time, reducing their income and removing job security, thus forcing workers to unfair and unjustified treatment.

"Many companies have moved in this direction by replacing regular workers with contract labour, thus avoiding duties and responsibilities which they would otherwise have to meet," it said.

Mr Ryder said as global patterns such as casualisation and contracting-out are emerging, a trend poses a major threat to working men and women right across the globe.

"As the global economic situation worsens, this threat can be expected to spread wider and deeper, and governments need to act responsibly to ensure secure, decent jobs at a time when working people, and the revitalization of the world economy, most need it," he said.

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