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Trade union rights news

All work has dignity, and all workers deserve to be treated with respect by their employers. Trade unions play a decisive role in improving working conditions, safety and wages – yet some governments and employers systematically abuse the right of workers to join existing unions or form new ones. PSI works actively to support the right of workers to free collective bargaining, and to help stop abuses when they occur.

Guatemala: Union leaders imprisoned for having negotiated a collective agreement

30 January 2019

PSI is calling on all affiliates to join the LabourStart campaign in support of Dora Regina Ruano and Luis Alpirez Guzmán, Organizing Director and General Secretary of PSI's affiliate the National Union of Health Workers of Guatemala (SNTSG).

Historic national general strike in India

08 January 2019
Demonstration by Power Employees & Engineers National strike on 8th January at Nashik and Pune, Maharastra

The Forum against FTAs has issued a Solidarity Statement in favour of the workers, trade unions and independent federations across India joining together in a historic general strike on 8-9 January. The Forum believes India's flawed trade and investment policies have contributed to deepen the crisis that workers are currently facing.

PSI extends full support to nationwide strike in India

08 January 2019

On 8-9 January, Indian workers and their trade unions are holding a two-day nationwide general strike to protest against "anti-labour, anti-people and anti-national policies " of the Modi government. PSI extends full support and solidarity to its affiliates, other unions and the workers of India participating in the strike action.

Global unions condemn conviction of union leaders in Cambodia

18 December 2018

PSI, together with five other Global Union Federations, strongly condemn the sentence against the six independent trade union leaders in Cambodia and call for the convictions to be immediately voided.

Brazil denounced at the International Labor Organization for violation of trade union rights

14 December 2018

An official complaint was filed with the ILO on Wednesday, 12, in Brasilia (DF). Signatory entities accuse the Brazilian government of violating UN Convention 151, which guarantees, among other things, the right to collective bargaining in the public sector.

PSI Interamerica Regional Conference: The Future of Work and Ending Violence and Harassment in Public Services

13 December 2018

More than 90 trade unionists from Latin America, Canada and the Caribbean met to discuss issues including challenges for trade unions and workers in ongoing debates on the future of work, the impact of technology on work and the ILO Convention on Violence and Harassment in the World of Work. A strong gender analysis was integrated into every one of these topics.

70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

10 December 2018

Today, 10 December, we celebrate International Human Rights Day and the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Trade unionists killed and arrested in Turkey

21 January 2016

Sanitation worker Mehmet Kaplan, father of three children and member of PSI affiliate DİSK/Genel-İş Union in Cizre Municipality (Şırnak), was shot dead on 17 January in front of his house while another worker was seriously injured and a further three arrested in separate incidents.

Solidarity with trade unionists in Korea

10 December 2015

UPDATE 10 December 2015: KCTU President Han Sang-gyun is in detention after handing himself over to the police.
Trade unions in South Korea are facing a barrage of restrictions and repression from the government of President Park, Geun-hye. Please write a protest letter to President Park and to the Korean embassy in your country, denouncing the crackdown on trade unions and disregard for freedom of peaceful assembly and association in Korea.

PSI stands in solidarity with South Korean unions after government carries out punitive raids

25 November 2015
Police raid on the KPTU offices

PSI condemns police raids on 6 and 21 November 2015 on the Korean Federation of Public Service and Transport workers’ Union (KPTU), which the government carried out in an attempt to discourage workers from standing up for their rights.

Support PCS strike at London's National Gallery

21 August 2015

Staff at London's National Gallery, organised by PSI affiliate the Public and commercial services union (PCS), have been on strike since February 2015 following the Gallery's decision to privatise almost all staff, including those who look after the paintings and help the gallery's six million annual visitors.

Campaign to restore trade union rights in Ecuador

20 August 2015
Workers demonstrate in Quito, Ecuador

The United Collective of Workers, Social and Indigenous Organisations of Ecuador held a national strike on 13 August to demand the Ecuadorian government to rectify their restrictive rights policy. Since then, trade unions and indigenous and civil society organizations have continued to demonstrate in Quito, the Amazon region and the south of the country.

Trade unionists in Swaziland under attack

03 April 2015
Vincent Ncongwane and PSI affiliate representatives at a meeting in London

Trade unionists and activists are subjected to intensified attacks in Swaziland, the only remaining absolute monarchy.

Guatemala’s President defies the ILO by cancelling all collective agreements in the public sector

24 March 2015

Only days before Guatemala is due for discussion at the ILO’s Governing Body, President General Otto Pérez Molina, takes the unprecedented initiative of prohibiting the negotiation of collective agreements in the public sector, on the grounds that austerity measures are needed to deal with a massive fiscal deficit.

Hands off our right to strike!

13 February 2015
Right to strike logo

Public Services International joins the ITUC, ITF, EI and other Global Labour Federations in calling for unions to act in defence of the right to strike, which is under attack by employer groups at the ILO.

Turkey: PSI General Secretary meets dismissed health care workers, denounces attack on labour rights

13 January 2015

In December 2014, the hospital of Maltepe University in Istanbul dismissed nearly 100 workers for being members of the Progressive Union of Health Workers. PSI/EPSU ask all affiliates to join the LabourStart campaign calling for the reinstatement of these workers.

Government of Peru tries to silence union leader

02 December 2014
Luis Isarra - FENTAP General Secretary

PSI is urgently calling for letters of protest to be sent to the Peruvian Minister of Labour in support of Luis Isarra (FENTAP General Secretary) whose permanent union leave has been abrogated by the Peruvian Government. This takes place just before COP20 when Luis Isarra is responsible for coordinating Peru's labour movement mobilisation for the summit.

International Workers' Day - 1 May 2014

01 May 2014
Quality Public Services

The first of May symbolizes the struggle of the international labour movement. In 2014, International Workers’ Day, May Day, is as relevant as ever. Six years of austerity and neo-liberal policies washing over entire continents have left trade unions struggling for fundamental freedoms and rights at work all over again. Twenty-five years after the break-up of the Soviet Union and the fall of the Iron Curtain, the world is engulfed in another ideological and economic battle. Public service workers from Canada to Paraguay, Algeria to Botswana, South Korea to Thailand and Turkey to Spain, are fighting for their rights and against anti-worker policies, often risking their lives.

Tell Ecuador’s President: Stop the persecution of social and labour activists

23 April 2014
Dr. Carlos Figueroa

The former leader of an organization affiliated with Public Services International (PSI) in Ecuador and two others were sentenced to prison after criticizing government actions in Ecuador. The American Commission of Human Rights, IACHR, has recently granted precautionary measures in favour of these people and the Ecuadorian government refuses to comply.

Racism? Not for us!

22 March 2014

Speak out and take a stand against racism and xenophobia! On the eve of the United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, 21 March 2014, Rosa Pavanelli, General Secretary of the global union federation Public Services International affirms that “our commitment to fight racism and all forms of discrimination is guided by respect for human rights and basic union principles: social justice, equality, collective action and collective responsibility”.

Support for Ukrainian trade unions

12 March 2014
Trade Union House, Kiev

PSI affiliates in Ukraine have requested assistance to help them to re-build Trade Union House, the headquarters of the FPU (national union confederation), burnt down during on 19 February during the escalation of the crisis in Ukraine. The building on Maidan square also housed several trade union offices and the EPSU regional office.

Solidarity with the Korean People’s Strike

03 March 2014
Korea People's strike

On 25 February 2014, the one year anniversary of President Park Geun-hye's administration, the Korean labour movement and other social groups held a "People's Strike" protesting the deterioration of democracy in South Korea.

PSI Emergency Resolution on the Right to Strike

30 June 2014

Executive Board of Public Services International, 24-25 June 2014, Nyon, Suisse

(The Right to) Strike and the International Labour Organization

19 June 2014
FES publication

Is the System for Monitoring Labour and Social Standards in Trouble?

CLAUDIA HOFMANN


Mai 2014

Rosa Pavanelli's presentation at the ILC

10 June 2014

Find here the statement read by PSI General Secretary, Rosa Pavanelli, at the International Labour Conference (ILC) on Thursday 5 June 2014.

Banners: Route of Shame 2014

22 May 2014
Banner: Route of shame

Banners (in pdf) for the 'Route of Shame 2014' bicycle ride.

The banners can be downloaded in English and French.

Campaign materials: Route of Shame 2014

22 May 2014
Route of Shame

Campaign materials for the 'Route of Shame 2014' bicycle ride.

Flyer: Route of Shame 2014

22 May 2014
Flyer Route of Shame 2014

Flyers (in pdf) for the Route of Shame 2014 bicycle ride.

Flyers can be downloaded in English, French and Spanish.

Badges: Route of Shame 2014

22 May 2014
Badges: Route of Shame 2014

Badges (in pdf format) for the Route of Shame 2014 bicycle ride.

Badges can be downloaded in English, French and Spanish.

The Route of Shame 2014 logos

22 May 2014
Route of Shame logo

Logos (in pdf and jpg) for the Route of Shame 2014 bicycle ride.

Logos exist in English, French and Spanish.

Presentation: Route of Shame 2014

22 May 2014
Route of Shame, Geneva

PSI Presentations on the 'Route of Shame', taking place in Geneva on Wednesday 4 June 2014. Presentations can be downloaded in English, French and Spanish.

Speech by Rosa Pavanelli at the 9th EPSU Congress

21 May 2014

Rosa Pavanelli, PSI General Secretary, introduced the discussion on Resolution n. 3 “Strengthening workers’ rights and employment in Europe through collective bargaining, social dialogue and industrial action” at the 9th EPSU Congress held in Toulouse, 20-23 May 2014.

Opening Statement by PSI General Secretary at the Global Dialogue Forum on Challenges to Collective bargaining in the Public Sector

04 April 2014

International Labour Organization, Geneva
2-3 April 2014

Esteemed delegates,

Speech: PSI leader addresses FNL Congress in Guatemala

31 March 2014
Rosa Pavanelli - FNL Congress

PSI leader Rosa Pavanelli made a keynote address to the Congress of the Frente Nacional de Lucha (FNL) the rapidly growing people's movement in Guatemala that includes many PSI affiliate union members. Some 11,000 people attended this historic event on the last weekend of March 2014.

PSI mission to Guatemala March 2014

26 March 2014
Rosa Pavanelli at Press Conference in Guatemala

Public Services International returns to Guatemala in March 2014.

Here is the 2014 PSI report in English and Spanish on the trade union rights and solidarity mission.

What Women Want: CPSU Australia 2013-2014 survey

24 March 2014
What Women Want

PSI affiliate in Australia, Community & Public Sector Union (CPSU), launched, for the eighth year in a row, a survey on “What Women Want” asking women to give a detailed picture of their working lives. This is Australia’s largest survey on working women, with over 11 200 women participating.

PSI Washington office report - January 2014

13 February 2014

PSI-North America was very busy in the last week of January with a series of meetings to more effectively coordinate the work among affiliates and PSI.

Download a PDF of the report.

Asia Pacific Forum on trade union rights: It is time for ACTION NOW!

30 October 2014

The Asia Pacific Regional Forum on Trade Union rights will come up with an Action Plan for the region for 2015. PSI affiliate leaders will share experience on campaigns for freedom of association, collective bargaining and the right to strike. Special attention will be devoted to the impact of privatisation and precarious forms of employment in the public sector, fire-fighters’ right to organise and campaigning for the ratification and implementation of international labour standards.

International Labour Conference 2014

28 May 2014

The Conference will be held in Geneva (Switzerland), at the Palais des Nations and ILO headquarters. Please note that Tuesday 27th May will be devoted to preparatory meetings requiring the attendance of the tripartite members of national delegations to the Conference.

EPSU 9th Congress

20 May 2014
EPSU Congress logo

The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU), PSI's European branch, is holding its 9th Congress, 20-23 May 2014, in Toulouse, France.

PSI follow-up mission to Guatemala

24 March 2014

A PSI international delegation returned to Guatemala in March 2014 to follow-up on the trade union rights and solidarity mission made in August 2013.

PSI Sub-regional Advisory Committee for the Caribbean (SUBRAC)

07 March 2014

Co-chairs: Sis Jillian Bartlett (NUGFW-TT) and Bro Wayne Jones (JCSA)

The SUBRAC is a PSI advisory body comprising representatives from affiliates who “facilitate the consultation process at sub-regional level on policy issues and work programme implementation, and who participate in exchange and dialogue on issues relevant to PSI affiliates.” 

Also see the SUBWOC meeting.

PSI Sub-regional Advisory Committees for USA and Canada (SUBRACs) and Labor Rights Seminar

29 January 2014

Canadian and United States PSI affiliates gathered in Washington, D.C. on January 30, 2014 to discuss the attacks on labor rights in North America.

Joint ILO-PSI Training and Planning Workshop on Labour Migration

13 December 2013

This event is part of a Joint PSI and ILO ACTRAV project on labour migration in Russia, Caucasus and Central Asia.

World Day for Decent Work 2013

03 October 2013

On 7 October we celebrate the World Day for Decent Work. Public Services International (PSI) joins the international trade union movement in demanding decent work for all and an end to the continuous attacks on trade union rights around the world. We want jobs that provide decent salaries and social security with safe working conditions.

Mission to Guatemala

25 June 2013

The global union federation Public Services International is leading an international delegation of trade union leaders to meet with Guatemala’s President and leading ministers on August 13-14, 2013.

The Route of Shame: A bicycle ride for social justice

12 June 2013
Poster Route of Shame

Join us in calling for the universal protection of workers’ rights and social justice!

Second Forum & Federation symposium on workers' health

22 May 2012

The next FORUM & FEDERATION Lunch-time Symposium on workers’ health will take place on 26 June from 12:00 to 14:00 at the International Labour Office (ILO), Room 3. The focus is the “Right to Work and Right to Health: Workers with Physical and Mental Disabilities”.

International Women's Day 2012

08 March 2012
PSI Poster for International Women's Day 2012

On International Women’s Day, 8 March 2012, Public Services International recognises and applauds the work of women trade unionists, who are always at the very heart of our struggle for human and labour rights and equality.

United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (UNCSW)

03 March 2012
Picture of african woman washing dishes

Union women from around the world are gathering in New York for the United Nations’ 56th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (UNCSW56), starting on 27th February 2012. Focusing on decent work for rural women, quality public services, social protection and human rights, the trade union delegation to UNCSW56 will call on governments to commit to concrete measures to ensure that women living and working in rural areas enjoy opportunities for economic, social and human development.

International Day for Decent Work 2012

23 November 2011

On 7 October we celebrate the World Day for Decent Work. Public Services International (PSI) joins the international trade union movement in demanding decent work for all and an end to the continuous attacks on trade union rights around the world. We want jobs that provide decent salaries and social security with safe working conditions.

Video: Greek journalists occupy public broadcast stations

06 January 2014

Members of the PSI-EPSU Communicators' Action Network, an expert team of international labour journalists, recorded the last inside interviews with workers occupying Greek public broadcast stations, before the government violently raided and evicted the workers in early November 2013.

Video: Austerity measures deny Greeks democracy

06 January 2014

Greece, known as the birthplace of democracy, has been reeling under the impact of punishing austerity measures imposed by the ‘Troika’ (IMF, European Commission and European Central Bank) over the past five years. Deep cuts to the public sector have left wages low and unemployment high for all working people.

Video: Public service workers resist austerity’s 'social experiment' in Greece

06 January 2014

Greece has agreed to cut up to 40,000 public workers over the next two years, in return for continued financial assistance. The global union federation Public Services International joined Greek workers who took to the streets in a general strike on 6 November 2013 to protest continued cuts to decent jobs and public services imposed by the 'Troika'.

Video: In the light of justice - Guatemala

16 December 2013

Guatemala health workers share their stories in PSI’s new documentary "Guatemala: In the light of Justice" (7 minutes).

Strengthening unions in Swaziland

07 November 2013

Swaziland remains one of Africa’s last dictatorships.  Trade unions, including PSI affiliates, are at the forefront of the democratic struggle in the country.  PSI affiliate Vision of Sweden (www.vision.se), in conjunction with LO-TCO Biståndsnämnd (www.lotcobistand.org), supports a project aimed at strengthening unions.  In the interview below, a PSI representative talks about the project and the situation in Swaziland.

Videos: BRICS Cycle of Debates

04 September 2013

The CSPB News Special Edition on the BRICS Cycle of Debates

Audio: Radio interviews - 2013 Guatemala mission

04 September 2013

Guatemala is one of the most dangerous countries in the world for unionists. Public Services International (PSI) sent a delegation to investigate and ask the Guatemalan government to stop the attacks on unionists in the country.

Video: 2013 Mission to Guatemala

04 September 2013

View on youtube all the videos relating to PSI's mission to Guatemala

Photos: Solidarity mission to Guatemala

13 August 2013

Solidarity mission to Guatemala, 12-14 August 2013

View all photos on Flickr

Video: The Route of Shame - Ride for Workers' Rights

14 June 2013

Led by members of the global union federation Public Services International (PSI), trade union leaders from around the world join in a ‘Route of Shame’ bicycle ride Wednesday 12 June and visit missions and embassies in Geneva, Switzerland to draw attention to countries which consistently violate workers’ rights.

Photos: KGEU sit-in May 2013

21 May 2013

49 trade unionists, members of PSI affiliate Korean Government Employees’ Union (KGEU), were arrested Monday 20 May, for holding a sit-in in front of the Ministry of Security and Public Administration.

Photos: World Social Forum, Tunis 2013

15 April 2013

Public Services International had the strongest global union presence at the World Social Forum 26-30 March 2013 in Tunis, Tunisia. PSI hosted and co-sponsored numerous events on trade union rights, youth, water, women’s issues, tax justice, energy and climate change.

Photos: Strike in India - Feb 2013

22 February 2013

An estimated 100 million workers took to the streets for a two-day strike organised by national trade union centres in India. PSI affiliated unions representing workers in the electricity, defense, water and municipal sectors were there in force.

Photos: KGEU Hunger strike, rally and press conference (photos)

31 January 2013

In January 2013, the Korean government dismissed 137 workers for being activist members of the Korean Government Employees' Union. Among those dismissed were the KGEU General Secretary and President. Kim Jungnam, President of the Korean Government Employees’ Union, launched a hunger strike on 15 January in the streets of Seoul outside the offices of the Presidential transition committee and has vowed to continue his hunger strike until the issues facing his union are resolved.

PSI General Secretary sends a message of solidarity and support to KGEU

31 January 2013

PSI General Secretary, Rosa Pavanelli, sends a message of solidarity and support to KGEU, PSI affiliate in South Korea.