2009 Survey of Violations of Trade Union Rights - Asia

Earlier this month, the ITUC released its Annual Survey of Violations of Trade Union Rights, in which it denounces hundreds of cases of harassment, arrests, attacks and assassinations targeting trade unionists in 2008. According to the Survey, many governments in the region make themselves a party to the trade union rights violations committed by employers by tolerating a range of practices such as the massive use of temporary contracts, recourse to legal provisions prohibiting ‘the obstruction of business’ as a means of attacking unions, and the use of hired thugs or private security guards to intimidate trade unionists, etc. In several countries the procedures to be followed before strike action can be taken are so laborious that they render it virtually impossible. The Survey reveals that migrant workers are amongst the most frequent victims of fundamental rights violations. In South Korea, two leaders of the Migrant Workers’ Union were arrested and deported in 2008. In Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia and Taiwan, migrants are barred from holding trade union office. In Malaysia, the authorities are aided by a civilian volunteer corps to instil terror in migrant workers. Many of these migrants are domestic workers, who rarely have the chance to organise in order to defend their rights. You can see more here.