Fri, Nov 21, 2008 - Page 12 News List

Unions facing discrimination: report

CNA , BRUSSELS

Discrimination against trade unions remains prevalent in Taiwan despite the prohibition of such practices under the country’s laws, an annual report released yesterday by the Belgium-based International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) said.

The ITUC Annual Survey of Trade Union Rights Violations, which covers 138 countries, noted that Taiwanese employers were “loath to work with unions.”

Last year, many employers were unwilling to negotiate agreements with trade unions or discuss any other labor issues with them and many enterprises readily locked out or fired workers for union activities, the report said.

Also, the number of workers covered by collective agreements was limited in Taiwan, the report said.

Collective bargaining mostly took place in large companies, which accounted for a mere 5 percent of companies in the country, it said.

The report revealed that last year, a total of 91 trade unionists worldwide were murdered for defending workers’ rights. The worst offender was Colombia, where 39 lives were lost.

A number of “disturbing trends” were discovered, including collusion between some governments and employers to deprive workers of their legitimate rights to union membership and representation, the report said.

It also said organizing peaceful strike pickets could be a dangerous activity in many Asian countries.

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