Monitoring and interventions

Trade unionists are human rights defenders. They hold powerful forces to account, including governments, employers, transnational capital, and landowners.

In many countries trade unionists live under threat of retaliation, and are at risk of dismissal, harassment, and serious attacks on their personal security, and civil liberties. In some countries they face arrest, threats, kidnapping, violence, and even murder. Their organisations may face interference, heavy fines and criminal and civil punishments.

ICTUR exists to promote, defend, and extend trade union rights, and to investigate, respond to, and raise awareness of violations.

Philippines: November 2018
map image

Nine protesting workers at were killed in a massacre at the Hacienda Nene plantation in the Bacolod / Sagay City area of Negros Occidental. There have also been threats and violence against packing plant workers in sites producing for the Sumifru Philippines Cooperation in Compostela Valley, Mindanao, including the murder, on 31 October, of a union activist. Both cases concern the KMU-affiliated NAMASUFA union.

An overview of trade union rights in the country plus previous ICTUR intervention letters and relevant articles from International Union Rights can be found at our Philippines country profile page.

 

ICTUR letter
 
Link to letter    
Colombia: October 2018
map image

ICTUR is concerned by an alarming escalation of violence against trade unionists, human rights defenders and community leaders in Colombia, including the murders of at least six trade unionists trade unionists, two further attempted murders, and numerous death threats.

An overview of trade union rights in the country plus previous ICTUR intervention letters and relevant articles from International Union Rights can be found at our Colombia country profile page.

ICTUR letter    
Link to letter    
UK: September 2018
map image

On 4 August, a group of twelve masked far-right protestors entered the Bookmarks bookshop in Bloomsbury, London,attempting to intimidate customers and staff, and destroying displays, books and magazines. One wore a mask of US President Donald Trump and video footage shows the group making threatening and Islamophobic comments. Bookmarks is the official bookseller of the TUC. The incident follows an earlier attack on British trade unionists by far right thugs in July.

An overview of trade union rights in the country plus previous ICTUR intervention letters and relevant articles from International Union Rights can be found at our UK country profile page.

ICTUR letter    
Link to letter    
Argentina: September 2018
map image

On 21 August, over 3000 workers of the Astilleros’ Rio Santiago Shipyard held a demonstration to protest the suspension of their collective agreement and the threat of the shipyard's closure. Following alleged incidents of vandalism by a small group, the demonstration was violently and disproportionately repressed by police, who fired tear gas, water cannons and rubber bullets, leading to a number of injuries.

An overview of trade union rights in the country plus previous ICTUR intervention letters and relevant articles from International Union Rights can be found at our Argentina country profile page.

ICTUR letter
Link to letter    
China: September 2018
map image

in July, around thirty workers at the Shenzhen Jasic Technology Corporation were arrested and detained. The workers at the electronics manufacturer have been campaigning to organise a union, initially with the assistance of the local ACFTU trade union.

An overview of trade union rights in the country plus previous ICTUR intervention letters and relevant articles from International Union Rights can be found at our China country profile page.

ICTUR letter    
Link to letter    
Zimbabwe: August 2018
map image

On 1 August, demonstrations were held in Harare to protest the results of the election held on 30 July. Protestors were met with military and security forces, which fired on protestors, killing six of them and leaving dozens injured. During this violence, a slowmoving ZNA truck fired shots at the third floor office of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU), smashing its windows.

An overview of trade union rights in the country plus previous ICTUR intervention letters and relevant articles from International Union Rights can be found at our Zimbabwe country profile page.

ICTUR letter    
Link to letter    
eSwatini: August 2018
map image

In eSwatini (formerly: Swaziland), on 29 June, police attacked a workers' demonstration organised by the Trade Union Congress of Swaziland (TUCOSWA), leaving four TUCOSWA members with serious injuries.

An overview of trade union rights in the country plus previous ICTUR intervention letters and relevant articles from International Union Rights can be found at our eSwatini country profile page.

ICTUR letter    
Link to letter    
Spain: August 2018
map image

Over two days police attacked and seriously injured workers while they participated in a strike at Amazon’s logistics centre in San Fernando de Henares, Madrid. It is reported that over 1200 workers participated in the 3-
day strike over wages and working conditions.

An overview of trade union rights in the country plus previous ICTUR intervention letters and relevant articles from International Union Rights can be found at our Spain country profile page.

ICTUR letter    
Link to letter    
Philippines: August 2018
map image

A number of grave cases of trade union rights violations have come to ICTUR’s attention, prompting the latest in a series of letters to the authorites expressing concern at a serious escalation in incidents of harassment and violence against trade unionists.

An overview of trade union rights in the country plus previous ICTUR intervention letters and relevant articles from International Union Rights can be found at our Philippines country profile page.

ICTUR letter    
Link to letter    
Iran: August 2018
map image

On 4 August, the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Court sentenced Mohammad Habibi to receive punishment of 74 lashes and ten and a half years in prison. Habibi, a member of the board of directors of the Iranian Teachers'Trade Association of Tehran, was also banned from travel or any social and political activities for a further two years.

An overview of trade union rights in the country plus previous ICTUR intervention letters and relevant articles from International Union Rights can be found at our Iran country profile page.

ICTUR letter    
Link to letter    
Pakistan: August 2018
map image

In July, Pakistan's Chief Justice, Saqib Nisar, declared publicly that, if the Constitution of Pakistan did not permit trade unions, he would have banned them.

An overview of trade union rights in the country plus previous ICTUR intervention letters and relevant articles from International Union Rights can be found at our Pakistan country profile page.

ICTUR letter    
Link to letter    
UK: July 2018
map image

On 15 July trade unionists belonging to the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) were physically set upon by right-wing nationalist thugs.

An overview of trade union rights in the country plus previous ICTUR intervention letters and relevant articles from International Union Rights can be found at our UK country profile page.

ICTUR letter    
Link to letter    
Italy: July 2018
map image

Soumayla Sacko, an active member of the Unione Sindacale di Base (USB) trade union, was shot dead on 2 June 2018 near to San Calogero. A Malian migrant and agricultural worker, Sacko was murdered while collecting discarded materials for use in the construction in the "tendopoli" tent city.

An overview of trade union rights in the country plus previous ICTUR intervention letters and relevant articles from International Union Rights can be found at our Italy country profile page.

ICTUR letter  
Link to letter  
Kenya: March 2018
map image

On 13 December 2017 eleven named trade unionists were ordered to resign from their positions of trade union office due to holding either nominated or elective political positions. This order was nullified by a court decision, but in January 2018 the Teachers Service Commission de-registered teaching union leaders Wilson Sossion and Omboko Milemba as teachers.

An overview of trade union rights in the country plus previous ICTUR intervention letters and relevant articles from International Union Rights can be found at our Kenya country profile page.

ICTUR letter    
Link to letter    
Taiwan: February 2018
map image

Trade unionists have experienced repression during recent protests against labour reforms, including police violence, arrests, and dismissals.

An overview of trade union rights in the country plus previous ICTUR intervention letters and relevant articles from International Union Rights can be found at our Taiwan country profile page.

ICTUR letter    
Link to letter    
Cambodia: February 2018
map image

A number of trade unionists have been called upon to answer legal complaints against them, including criminal actions arising from strikes, a threat to 'disolve' 'inactive' unions, and a case claiming damages against a former trade unionist who is alleged to have called on the EU to stop importing Cambodian textiles to protest against the dissolution of a political party in Cambodia. The latter complex and troubling case was reportedly brought with the backing of a number of trade unions. The man facing charges is also the brother of trade union leader Chea Vichea, who was murdered in 2004.

An overview of trade union rights in the country plus previous ICTUR intervention letters and relevant articles from International Union Rights can be found at our Cambodia country profile page.

ICTUR letter    
Link to letter    
Bangladesh: February 2018
map image

Workers at Ashiana Garment Ind., Dhaka, have faced harassment and arrest following attempts to establish a union at the factory. The workers formed a trade union in May 2017, but the authorities refused its registration and since then the union organisers have faced sustained attacks and dismissals. On 31 January employers failed to attend a meeting to discuss the situation, and workers were violently attacked outside the offices of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association.

An overview of trade union rights in the country plus previous ICTUR intervention letters and relevant articles from International Union Rights can be found at our Bangladesh country profile page.

ICTUR letter    
Link to letter    
USA: February 2018
map image

The US travel authorities have reportedly denied an application for travel authorisation to the General Secretary of the UN- and ILO- accredited World Federation of Trade Unions, Georges Mavrikos. The WFTU leader is scheduled to attend an event of the United Nations in New York but will be unable to participate without US travel authorisation. WFTU has no major US affiliates, but its representatives must travel through US territory to access the UN building.

An overview of trade union rights in the country plus previous ICTUR intervention letters and relevant articles from International Union Rights can be found at our USA country profile page.

ICTUR letter    
Link to letter    
Korea (South): February 2018
map image

Former general secretary of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU), Lee Young-joo was arrested in December 2017, after leaving the headquarters of the ruling Democratic Party, where she had been on a ten-day hunger strike to protest working time regulations. For the two years up until December, Lee had been staying in the refuge of the KCTU office in order to continue her activity as general secretary, after police issued an unlimited arrest warrant for her role in organising a mass demonstration on 14 November 2015.

An overview of trade union rights in the country plus previous ICTUR intervention letters and relevant articles from International Union Rights can be found at our Republic of Korea country profile page.

ICTUR letter    
Link to letter    
Algeria: February 2018
map image

ICTUR has received reports complaining that hundreds of union members, delegates and officers of the independent union of electricity and gas workers (Syndicat National des Travailleurs de l’Électricité et du Gaz, SNATEGS) have been dismissed, harassed and persecuted.

An overview of trade union rights in the country plus previous ICTUR intervention letters and relevant articles from International Union Rights can be found at our Algeria country profile page.

ICTUR letter    
Link to letter    
Mexico: February 2018
map image

On 24 January labour activist Quintin Salgado was killed by a group of armed men. A week earlier Salgado was threatened and beaten while on his way to meet strikers from Torex Gold's Media Luna mine, where approximately 600 workers have been on strike since November 2017 in a dispute over their bid for recognition of the SNTMMSSRM miners’ union. Two striking workers were murdered on 18 November (see below).

An overview of trade union rights in the country plus previous ICTUR intervention letters and relevant articles from International Union Rights can be found at our Mexico country profile page.

ICTUR letter    
Link to letter    
Philippines: February 2018
map image

ICTUR is gravely concerned by a deterioration respect for trade union rights, specifically:

- the murder of Reneboy Magayano, the leader of a local plantation workers’ association, on 18 September 2017 - unsubstantiated allegations by the President that the PISTON transport workers union and the Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) centre were guilty of the crime of ‘rebellion’
- threats to the life and safety of George San Mateo, the leader of the PISTON transport workers’ union
- the murder of Edwin Pura, the leader of a local chapter of PISTON, who was shot dead in Gubat, Sorsogon, on 25 October 2017
- threats issued by the President in December 2017 to use the military and ‘rubber bullets’ to end the PISTON strike
- the arrest of PISTON leader George San Mateo in December 2017.
- the dismissal of 532 activists and members of the Associated Labor Unions (ALU) from Amertron Incorporated Philippines after forming a union

An overview of trade union rights in the country plus previous ICTUR intervention letters and relevant articles from International Union Rights can be found at our Philippines country profile page.

ICTUR letter EILER 'endorsement' of ICTUR letter  
Link to letter Link to letter  
South Africa: February 2018
map image

On 18 January 2018, unknown gunmen shot the branch chairman of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) at Eastern Platinum Mine, a unit of Lonmin, at his home in Bapong village, near Brits. He subsequently died in hospital; it is understood that the miner’s wife was also shot and injured in the attack.

An overview of trade union rights in the country plus previous ICTUR intervention letters and relevant articles from International Union Rights can be found at our South Africa country profile page.

ICTUR letter    
Link to letter    
Greece: January 2018
map image

The right to strike was restricted further when a legislative amendment was passed on 15 January raising the quorum for a valid strike ballot from 20 percent to 50 percent, which exceeds levels accepted by the ILO, and which contradicts the recommendations of the Expert Group for the Review of Greek Labour Market Institutions.

An overview of trade union rights in the country plus previous ICTUR intervention letters and relevant articles from International Union Rights can be found at our Greece country profile page.

ICTUR letter    
Link to letter    
Libya: December 2017
map image

Nermin Al-Sharif, general secretary of the Dockers’ and Seafarers’ Union of Libya, was recently detained for several days and her passport confiscated subject to 'an investigation', effectively barring her from travelling to an international event of the International Transport Workers’ Federation in Morocco.

An overview of trade union rights in the country plus previous ICTUR intervention letters and relevant articles from International Union Rights can be found at our Libya country profile page.

ICTUR letter    
Link to letter    
Mexico: December 2017
map image

On the night of 18 November, a group of armed men murdered two workers (Víctor and Marcelino Sahuanitla Peña) at the Media Luna gold mine in Guerrero, owned by the Canadian company Torex Gold Resources. The workers had been participating in a strike lasting several weeks, to protest for their right to join the union Sindicato Nacional de Trabajadores Mineros, Metalúrgicos, Siderúrgicos y Similares de la República Mexicana (SNTMMSSRM).

An overview of trade union rights in the country plus previous ICTUR intervention letters and relevant articles from International Union Rights can be found at our Mexico country profile page.

ICTUR letter    
Link to letter    
South Africa: December 2017
map image

On 17 October, Tholakele Dlunga was murdered at his home in Nkaneng. He is the sixth member of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) to have been killed in the North West Province since July. The others are Mvelisi Biyela, Zingisa Mzendana, Malibongwe Mdazo, Mohahu Daniel Maseko and Mpeke Nonyana. Dlunga was one of the leaders of the 2012 Lonmin strike. After the massacre at Marikana on 16 August 2012, Dlunga was arrested and alleged that police tortured him.

An overview of trade union rights in the country plus previous ICTUR intervention letters and relevant articles from International Union Rights can be found at our South Africa country profile page.

ICTUR letter    
Link to letter    
Turkey: December 2017
map image

Eighty workers were dismissed in November from the Posco Assan steel plant in Kocaeli, Turkey, as a result of their efforts to organise at the plant. The union Birleşik Metal-İş has been attempting to organise the site’s 420 workers after they expressed deep dissatisfaction with wages and working conditions.

An overview of trade union rights in the country plus previous ICTUR intervention letters and relevant articles from International Union Rights can be found at our Turkey country profile page.

ICTUR letter    
Link to letter    
Nigeria: November 2017
map image

On 1 November, Mallam Abdulmumini Yakubu, Chairman of the Kogi State branch of the Non-Academic Staff Union of Secondary Schools (NASU) at the Science and Technology Education Board (STEB), was murdered by unknown gunmen.

ICTUR's letter concerning this case was reported in the Nigerian media, see links below.

An overview of trade union rights in the country plus previous ICTUR intervention letters and relevant articles from International Union Rights can be found at our Nigeria country profile page.

ICTUR letter The Sun media report
Link to letter Link to report
Link to report
Australia: November 2017
map image

On 24 October the federal police carried out raids on both the Victorian and national headquarters of the Australian Workers’ Union (AWU) to seize documentation relating to organisations funded by the AWU. Unions say the police raids were unnecessary intrusion and concern events more than 10 years ago.

An overview of trade union rights in the country plus previous ICTUR intervention letters and relevant articles from International Union Rights can be found at our Australia country profile page.

ICTUR letter    
Link to letter    
Pakistan: October 2017
map image

The leader of a railway workers' union has been arrested and held in detention for six days following his part in organising a workers' meeting. Earlier in the year six train drivers and five of their deputies were arrested for participating in a strike called by the union.

An overview of trade union rights in the country plus previous ICTUR intervention letters and relevant articles from International Union Rights can be found at our Pakistan country profile page.

ICTUR letter    
Link to letter    
Guatemala: October 2017
map image

The leader of a recently recognised factory union has been shot and killed. His colleaugue was injured but survived the attack, carried out by unknown assailants who escaped on a motorbike.

An overview of trade union rights in the country plus previous ICTUR intervention letters and relevant articles from International Union Rights can be found at our Guatemala country profile page.

ICTUR letter    
Link to letter    
Peru: August 2017
map image

From July the authorities have responded to trade union protests with a range of repressive measures, including the declaration of a state of emergency, the deployment of the military, and the use of projectile weapons, including rubber bullets, to suppress demonstrations.

An overview of trade union rights in the country plus previous ICTUR intervention letters and relevant articles from International Union Rights can be found at our Peru country profile page.

ICTUR letter    
Link to letter    
Belarus: August 2017
map image

Police raided the offices and homes of three individuals involved with the country's small independent trade union movement. A union leader and a trade union accountant were both arrested. The union leader was subsequently released but the accountant has been held in detention. Both are charged with tax evasion offences, contrary to Article 243(2) of the Criminal Code. The charges relate to funds received from overseas, around which the State has introduced restrictive measures.

An overview of trade union rights in the country plus previous ICTUR intervention letters and relevant articles from International Union Rights can be found at our Belarus country profile page.

ICTUR letter    
Link to letter    
UK: August 2017
map image

On 19 July the High Court issued a permanent injunction banning the Prison Officers Association from taking steps to incite or induce members to engage in strike action. The injunction was issued after the POA called upon members to refrain from participating in voluntary (non-obligatory) tasks. The classification of withdrawal from voluntary tasks as industrial action has potentially far- reaching implications for the law of industrial relations.

An overview of trade union rights in the country plus previous ICTUR intervention letters and relevant articles from International Union Rights can be found at our UK country profile page.

ICTUR letter    
Link to letter    
Spain: August 2017
map image

On 21 June Rubén Ranz and José Manuel Nogales were found guilty under Article 315.3 of the Criminal Code by the Madrid criminal court and fined euro 1825 each for their part in a peaceful informational picket held in Madrid during the general strike on 29 March 2012.

An overview of trade union rights in the country plus previous ICTUR intervention letters and relevant articles from International Union Rights can be found at our Spain country profile page.

ICTUR letter    
Link to letter    
Iran: August 2017
map image

On 25 July 2017, police and security forces raided the residences of workers at the Haft Tapeh sugar cane plantation and mill complex in the southern city of Shush. Fifteen workers were arrested and detained. These arrests were among a number of incidents of repression, including ongoing prosecutions, convictions, and sentencing to lengthy periods of detention, against those active in the independent trade unions.

An overview of trade union rights in the country plus previous ICTUR intervention letters and relevant articles from International Union Rights can be found at our Iran country profile page.

ICTUR letter    
Link to letter    
Brazil: August 2017
map image

Brazil’s Labour Reform Bill (Law No. 13.467) was approved on 14 July and is due to come into effect on 11 November 2017. Brazilian trade unions, legal experts and the ILO's Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations, have indicated that the Bill, which revises the 1943 Consolidation of Labour Laws, violates the Constitution and fails to respect ILO standards.

An overview of trade union rights in the country plus previous ICTUR intervention letters and relevant articles from International Union Rights can be found at our Brazil country profile page.

ICTUR letter    
Link to letter    
Indonesia: July 2017
map image

Management at the Grasberg copper and gold mine in West Papua have dismissed thousands of workers for participation in strike action.

An overview of trade union rights in the country plus previous ICTUR intervention letters and relevant articles from International Union Rights can be found at our Indonesia country profile page.

ICTUR letter Industriall report  
Link to letter Link to letter  
Colombia: July 2017
map image

There have been a series of murders of trade unionists in the Republic of Colombia, including:

Mario Calle Correa, President of the campesino peasant farmers association ASTRACAVA, an affiliate of FENSUAGRO within the CUT, who was killed on 14 May in Valle del Cauca.

Washington Cedeño Otero, a member of the education workers union of Córdoba, ADEMACOR, an affiliate of FECODE within the CUT, who was killed on 6 June in Cordoba.

Johanna Alarcón, a member of the SUTEV union, an affiliate of FECODE within the CUT, was killed on 7 June in Cali.

Mauricio Velez, Vice-President of the public universities union SINTRAUNAL, within the CUT, who was kidnapped from his family home and executed on 21 June.

Alberto Román Acosta González, President of the Guacarí branch of the agricultural workers’ union SINTRAINAGRO, within the CUT, who was shot dead by gunmen on 1 July 2017.

An overview of trade union rights in the country plus previous ICTUR intervention letters and relevant articles from International Union Rights can be found at our Colombia country profile page.

ICTUR letter    
Link to letter    
Philippines: July 2017
map image

There have been reports of violence against striking workers in Compostela Valley, Mindanao.

An overview of trade union rights in the country plus previous ICTUR intervention letters and relevant articles from International Union Rights can be found at our Philippines country profile page.

ICTUR letter
Link to letter
South Africa: July 2017
map image

On 23 June 2017, the Secretary General of the Young Nurses Indaba Trade Union (YNITU), Mduduzi Ndlovu, was arrested following an assault on union delegates by security staff of the South African Nursing Council (SANC).

Also in June the company Sibanye Gold fired over 1500 workers from its Cooke mine for participating in a strike

An overview of trade union rights in the country plus previous ICTUR intervention letters and relevant articles from International Union Rights can be found at our South Africa country profile page.

ICTUR letter    
Link to letter    
Bangladesh: July 2017
map image

Workers at the Azim Group’s Orchid and Savar factories in Chittagong have been subjected to violence, threats and coercion for attempting to form a union.

An overview of trade union rights in the country plus previous ICTUR intervention letters and relevant articles from International Union Rights can be found at our Bangladesh country profile page.

ICTUR letter    
Link to letter    
China: July 2017
map image

In June 2017, three worker representatives (Fu Tianbo, Ai Zhenyu and Wang Shuai) were arrested by police for organising agency workers at the FAW-Volkswagen company in the city of Changchun. Fu Tianbo is reportedly still held in custody, and his family have since experienced police harassment.

Further, on 7 July 2017, labour activist Liu Shaoming, a labour rights and pro-democracy campaigner who was active in the 1989 protests, was sentenced to four years and a half imprisonment for 'inciting subversion of state power'.

An overview of trade union rights in the country plus previous ICTUR intervention letters and relevant articles from International Union Rights can be found at our China country profile page.

ICTUR letter    
Link to letter    
Egypt: May 2017
map image

Amnesty International has issued a report cataloguing violations of trade union rights and acts of harassment against workers involved with independent unions

An overview of trade union rights in the country plus previous ICTUR intervention letters and relevant articles from International Union Rights can be found at our Egypt country profile page.

ICTUR letter Amnesty report  
Link to letter Link to report  
Georgia: May 2017
map image

Anti-union violence and the violent repression of a trade union protest followed mass dismissals at a fertiser plant organised by the Trade Union of Metallurgy, Mining and Chemical Industry Workers of Georgia (TUMMCIWG).

An overview of trade union rights in the country plus previous ICTUR intervention letters and relevant articles from International Union Rights can be found at our Georgia country profile page.

ICTUR letter    
Link to letter    
Madagascar: April 2017
map image

Forty-three dockworkers from the Port of Toamasina were dismissed after they joined the Syndicat Général Maritime de Madagascar (SYGMMA).

An overview of trade union rights in the country plus previous ICTUR intervention letters and relevant articles from International Union Rights can be found at our Madagascar country profile page.

ICTUR letter    
Link to letter    
Honduras: April 2017
map image

In a climiate of violence and anti-union attacks a union leader Moisés Sánchez and his brother Misael, a member of the union, were violently attacked by armed assailants.

An overview of trade union rights in the country plus previous ICTUR intervention letters and relevant articles from International Union Rights can be found at our Honduras country profile page.

ICTUR letter    
Link to letter    
Venezuela: April 2017
map image

Two trade unionists were reported murdered, Joel Alcalá, former Secretary General of the Sindicato Único de Trabajadores de la Industria de la Alúmina, Bauxita y sus Derivados (Sutralúmina), and Esmin Ramírez of the Movement 21 labour syndicate at the state enterprise Ferrominera.

An overview of trade union rights in the country plus previous ICTUR intervention letters and relevant articles from International Union Rights can be found at our Venezuela country profile page.

ICTUR letter    
Link to letter    
Kenya: April 2017
map image

The KNUT teaching union has been placed under an injunction prohibiting the union and its general secretary, Wilson Sossion, from making statements regarding a private teaching institution BIA, in the wake of domestic and international criticisms of BIA’s operations in Kenya.

An overview of trade union rights in the country plus previous ICTUR intervention letters and relevant articles from International Union Rights can be found at our Kenya country profile page.

ICTUR letter    
Link to letter    
Kazakhstan: April 2017
map image

On 7 April 2017, Nurbek Kushakbayev was sentenced to two and a half years in prison under Article 402 of the Criminal Code, for inciting workers to participate in an unauthorized strike in December at the company Techno Trading Ltd.

An overview of trade union rights in the country plus previous ICTUR intervention letters and relevant articles from International Union Rights can be found at our Kazakhstan country profile page.

ICTUR letter    
Link to letter    
Turkey: April 2017
map image

Criminal sentences against fourteen officials of Turkish union TÜMTİS’ Ankara branch were upheld in March 2017 by the appeal court. TÜMTİS firmly maintains that the charges, which date back to November 2007, were politically-motivated

An overview of trade union rights in the country plus previous ICTUR intervention letters and relevant articles from International Union Rights can be found at our Turkey country profile page.

ICTUR letter    
Link to letter    
Kenya: February 2017
map image

On 13 February 2017, seven officials from the Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU) were sentenced to one month in jail, On 15th February the Court of Appeal ordered their release.

An overview of trade union rights in the country plus previous ICTUR intervention letters and relevant articles from International Union Rights can be found at our Kenya country profile page.

ICTUR letter    
Link to letter    
Sri Lanka: February 2017
map image

The leader of the All-Ceylon Telecommunications Union was abducted and held by armed men during a strike by 'temporary' workers (many of them long-term outsourced employees) at Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT).

An overview of trade union rights in the country plus previous ICTUR intervention letters and relevant articles from International Union Rights can be found at our Sri Lanka country profile page.

ICTUR letter    
Link to letter    
Turkey: February 2017
map image

Following the failed coup of 2016 Turkey has experienced a wave of political repression that has included the mass dismissal of public sector workers, with the European Trade Union Confederation now estimating that 20,000 members from their affiliated confederations have lost their jobs and that tens of thousands from other unions have also been dismissed. In a serious incident of apparently politically-motivated violence, on 11 February 2017, the Chairman of the Türk Büro Sen union, Fahrettin Yokuş, was shot at in Ankara. Some days previously the union's headquarters had been besieged by an angry crowd, and in January, the defence of national security was offered as grounds for banning strikes at several enterprises, including at the Asil Çelik steel mill in Bursa, and at factories owned by ABB, General Electric and Schneider Electric.

An overview of trade union rights in the country plus previous ICTUR intervention letters and relevant articles from International Union Rights can be found at our Turkey country profile page.

ICTUR letter  
Link to letter  
Italy: February 2017
map image

Trade union leader Aldo Milani - the national coordinator of the SI Cobas trade union - was arrested on 26 January 2017 in Modena province, and is facing what the union says are ill-founded charges of extortion, and which appear to be based not on any act by Mr Milani but on the alleged receipt of funds by an independent mediator brought into a negotiation at the request of the employer.

IAn overview of trade union rights in the country plus previous ICTUR intervention letters and relevant articles from International Union Rights can be found at our Italy country profile page.

ICTUR letter  
Link to letter  
Algeria: February 2017
map image

Mellel Raouf, the leader of an independent energy sector union been sentenced to a six-month term of imprisonment after reporting corruption at SONELGAZ, the national electricity and gas company.

An overview of trade union rights in the country plus previous ICTUR intervention letters and relevant articles from International Union Rights can be found at our Algeria country profile page.

ICTUR letter Industriall campaign
Link to letter Link to letter
Link to letter
Egypt: January 2017
map image

Leaders of an independent union and up to 30 workers who organised strike action at a food sector factory - belonging to the IFFCO Indian multinational – have been arrested. Many remain in detention and are awaiting another court hearing. The International Union of Foodworkers warned they were at risk of fines or prison terms, but in February it was reported that they had been released.

An overview of trade union rights in the country plus previous ICTUR intervention letters and relevant articles from International Union Rights can be found at our Egypt country profile page.

ICTUR letter IUF campaign  
Link to letter Link to letter  
Bangladesh: January 2017
map image

There has been a rapid deterioration in the trade union rights situation in the garment sector of Bangladesh, specifically around the Ashulia export zone, which erupted in December 2016. The situation over a number of years has been serious, with key problems involving a near total ban on unions in the zone; the lack of any effective industrial relations bargaining or resolution system in the zones; hostile and violent policing of strikes; a lack of protection from retaliation for trade union activists, leaders, organisers, and for workers who participate in strikes; and an extremely serious problem with workplace safety, which resulted in several serious workplace fires, and the internationally notorious collapse of the Rana Plaza factory.

|The present concern relates to the serious violations of trade union rights that erupted in the period around 21 December, when numerous arrests were made, and when many workers were dismissed, following strike action in support of a demand for increased wages from 12 December.

An overview of trade union rights in the country plus previous ICTUR intervention letters and relevant articles from International Union Rights can be found at our Bangladesh country profile page.

ICTUR letter    
Link to letter    
Nicaragua: January 2017
map image

A group of 12 trade unionists and union leaders have been sentenced to periods of one year house arrest and two years imprisonment following their arrests during a peaceful protest at a factory in the Tipitapa free trade zone.

An overview of trade union rights in the country plus previous ICTUR intervention letters and relevant articles from International Union Rights can be found at our Nicaragua country profile page.

ICTUR letter  
Link to letter Link to letter  
UK: January 2017
map image

The leader of a small independent union has been arrested during a protest concerning deductions from workers' wages in the form of non-payment of tips. The demonstration itself was forcefully dispersed by police.

An overview of trade union rights in the country plus previous ICTUR intervention letters and relevant articles from International Union Rights can be found at our UK country profile page.

ICTUR letter    
Link to letter    
Burundi: January 2017
map image

Four trade union leaders were arrrested on 28 December 2016, including the Chairman of the Burundi Confederation of Unions (COSYBU), Tharcisse Gahungu, the Chairman of the Burundi Cotton Processing Company Union (COGERCO), the Chairman of the Coffee Processing Company Union (SODECO), and a further COSYBU member.

An overview of trade union rights in the country plus previous ICTUR intervention letters and relevant articles from International Union Rights can be found at our Burundi country profile page.

ICTUR letter    
Link to letter    
Lebanon: January 2017
map image

Two migrant workers' rights activists Rose Limbu and Sujana Rana have been arrested on grounds that are unclear and have been denied access to legal counsel. Sujana Rana was arrested on 30 November and deported on 10 December. Rose Limbu was arrested on 5 December. The women are involved with a small but pioneering and locally and internationally well-respected migrant workers' organisation which has been seeking formal recognition by the State.

An overview of trade union rights in the country plus previous ICTUR intervention letters and relevant articles from International Union Rights can be found at our Lebanon country profile page.

ICTUR letter    
Link to letter    
Brazil: January 2017
map image

The University of Sãu Paulo University has taken steps to evict the long-established Sindicato dos Trabalhadores da USP (SINTUSP) from its offices at the university, and to cease engagement with the union. The University has also launched a number of actions against the union's officers, which it describes as spurious and baseless.

An overview of trade union rights in the country plus previous ICTUR intervention letters and relevant articles from International Union Rights can be found at our Brazil country profile page.

ICTUR letter    
Link to letter    
Sri Lanka: December 2016
map image

The military has intervened in a port workers' strike following remarks made by a Government Minister who reportedly described the strike as 'piracy' and said that the military could 'shoot' strikers. ICTUR has written to express its concern at this action and to call for the Minister to retract his claim, which has no basis in law.

An overview of trade union rights in the country plus previous ICTUR intervention letters and relevant articles from International Union Rights can be found at our Sri Lanka country profile page.

ICTUR letter
Link to letter
Kazakhstan: December 2016
map image

The Government of Kazakhstan has begun a procedure aimed at de-registering one of the country's trade union centres, following changes to the law which make compliance much more demanding. The union concerned was the first independent centre, although it recently suffered a major split which left it very significantly depleted in numbers. Little clear information exists concerning its present membership levels, but the authorities argue it does not meet the new registration criteria. Human rights organisations and international trade unions have argued that the legal reforms are aimed at supressing independent unions.

An overview of trade union rights in the country plus previous ICTUR intervention letters and relevant articles from International Union Rights can be found at our Kazakhstan country profile page.

ICTUR letter Human Rights Watch report Labourstart campaign
Link to letter Link to report Link to letter
Pakistan: December 2016
map image

At least 63 hotel union members have been reported arrested. In a seperate incident 100 striking oil and gas workers were also arrested. Both incidents of mass arrest occured during labout disputes. A number of other reports of anti-union discrimination have been reported.

An overview of trade union rights in the country plus previous ICTUR intervention letters and relevant articles from International Union Rights can be found at our Pakistan country profile page.

January 2017 - update - see IUF webpage

ICTUR letter IUF campaign and letters APWC reply
Link to letter Link to letter Link to letter
Fiji: December 2016
map image

A trade union leader has been arrested and detained over a weekend. Firefighters also report having been pressurred to join an in-house union and to leave their existing union. They also report cancellation of 'check-off'.

An overview of trade union rights in the country plus previous ICTUR intervention letters and relevant articles from International Union Rights can be found at our Fiji country profile page.

ICTUR letter ILO Complaint (closed 2016) ICTUR Profile (Fiji)
Link to letter Link to report Link to report
Argentina: November 2016
map image

Teaching unions have reported acts of interference and harassment by the police, including posting officers outside union meetings, and harassing those posting union flyers. The union also reported that those posting its flyers were assaulted shortly after the police intervention.

An overview of trade union rights in the country plus previous ICTUR intervention letters and relevant articles from International Union Rights can be found at our Argentina country profile page.

ICTUR letter
Link to letter
Italy: November 2016
map image

A striking worker has been hit by a vehicle and killed while on a picket line. The local union reports that the vehicle was moving at speed and that managers had instructed the driver to cross the lines.

An overview of trade union rights in the country plus previous ICTUR intervention letters and relevant articles from International Union Rights can be found at our Italy country profile page.

ICTUR letter Reply from USB
Link to letter Link to letter
Philippines: November 2016
map image

An activist with the SENTRO trade union has been shot and killed outside his home.

An overview of trade union rights in the country plus previous ICTUR intervention letters and relevant articles from International Union Rights can be found at our Philippines country profile page.

ICTUR letter
Link to letter
Sudan: November 2016
map image

Several doctors and the leader of their union have been arrested during a strike.

An overview of trade union rights in the country plus previous ICTUR intervention letters and relevant articles from International Union Rights can be found at our Sudan country profile page.

ICTUR letter
Link to letter

The International Centre for Trade Union Rights

Established in 1987, ICTUR is a non-profit organisation
based in London, promoting international trade
union rights through research and advocacy services.

UCATT House, 177 Abbeville Road, London SW4 9RL
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7498 4700 Fax: +44 (0) 20 7498 0611
Email: ictur@ictur.org / Web: www.ictur.org