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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.

Four-day working week for all is a realistic goal this century, unions say

20 September 2018

Advances in technology mean that a four-day working week is a realistic goal for most people by the end of this century, the leader of the UK's trade union movement has said. She gets support from the biggest trade union in Norway, Fagforbundet, saying “our backdrop is the same” and there is a great “need for reorganizing our working hours”.

Forced labor down in spring cotton work, systemic problems remain

11 September 2018

For the first time in years, public sector workers were not forcibly mobilized to plant and weed cotton in Uzbekistan in spring 2018, although serious structural problems in the cotton sector threaten to undermine this development. The Uzbek-German Forum, a Cotton Campaign member, released these findings in a report published today.

Indonesia: Unfair dismissal of trade union leader

07 September 2018

PSI demands the immediate reinstatement of Idris Idham, President of PSI’s Indonesian affiliate the Pharmaceutical and Health Workers Union (PHWU), who was unfairly dismissed in direct contravention of international law and Indonesia’s obligations. PSI has sent a letter to Hanif Dhakiri, the current Minister of Manpower of the Republic of Indonesia.

Norwegian affiliate press charges against private health company

21 August 2018
Mette Nord, President of Fagforbundet.

"This is a very serious matter, where a large and professional private health company has taken advantage of our members," says Mette Nord, President of Fagforbundet.

Trade Unions in Transformation

31 July 2018
Photo: Striking dressmakers take a break in diner, ca. 1955 by Kheel Center - CC BY 2.0

With “trade unions in transformation«, the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) contributes to shifting the narrative about trade unions. Moving away from the standard depiction of unions as victims of globalization, this project highlights that unions do have agency and power. The stories of successful trade union action told in this brochure demonstrate how labour can and already does shape globalization.

In Honduras, mayor privatises waste sector and sacks 700 municipal workers

17 July 2018

Multinational company demands exclusive rights over street cleaning, waste collection, transport and disposal at the landfill site in San Pedro Sula, the country’s second biggest city. Many trade union representatives among those dismissed.

30 000 nurses on strike in New Zealand

12 July 2018

The 24-hour strike began on Thursday, and comes after months of negotiations between the government and nurses broke down on Wednesday. Nurses said they were overworked and underpaid, with unsafe working conditions leading to burnout and exhaustion.

Turkey: Stop the judicial harassment of trade unionists

23 January 2014
KESK rally outside Ankara criminal court - April 2012

PSI joins EPSU and ITUC in denouncing the Turkish government’s anti-union attacks as well as the abuse of the Turkish legal and judicial system by the authorities against the trade union movement.

PSI calls on its affiliates to take action now and tell the government of Turkey to stop judicial harassment against trade unionists.


Send your protest message, sign the ITUC online action or download the model letter

Support Korean workers – hold protests at Korean embassies on 9 and 16-18 January

03 January 2014
striking workers in Korea

PSI affiliate KPTU asks for continued global support in its fight for worker rights and quality public services. All affiliates are invited to demonstrate international solidarity by bringing our voices to Korean embassies and consulates around the world on 9 and 16-18 January 2014.

Korea: Support railway workers' right to strike

19 December 2013

Since June, the South Korean government has been pushing forward a new rail restructuring and privatisation programme despite widespread opposition. Faced with the government and Korea Railroad Corporation's (KORAIL's) flat out rejection of social dialogue, the Korean Railway Workers' Union (KRWU), an ITF affiliate, has been on strike since 9 December.


KRWU is also a member of the KCTU-Korean Federation of Public Services and Transportation Workers' Unions (KPTU), a PSI affiliate.

FirstEnergy locks out utility workers in US

28 November 2013
Demonstrators holding banners, one saying "I want to work"

FirstEnergy Corp. – one of the largest electric power corporations in the United States – locked out 150 members of the Utility Workers Union of America (UWUA) in the early morning hours of November 25, three days before the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday.

Algeria: Reinstate Rachid Malaoui and end trade union rights violations now!

23 November 2013
SNAPAP logo and photo of Rachid Malaoui

Public Services International, together with the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), the International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers' Associations (IUF), the Comité International de Soutien au Syndicalisme Autonome Algérien/CISA (International Support Committee for Autonomous Algerian Trade Unions), the Solidarity Center from AFL-CIO and the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network (EMHRN), is calling for international action in solidarity with Algerian trade union SNAPAP, including the reinstatement of SNAPAP President, Rachid Malaoui.

Take action: International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women - 25 November 2013

21 November 2013
PSI violence against women poster

PSI is calling on all its affiliate members, men and women, to make a pledge to end violence against women and girls, at each of their workplaces around the globe.
Violence against women is an age-old problem – it is time to end it now.

UN derecognizes staff unions, refuses to negotiate

12 November 2013

PSI urges all trade unionists to call on your UN Member States and Foreign Ministers and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to respect the rights of workers and immediately resume bargaining.

Join the LabourStart campaign send a letter of protest now

Solidarity with Korean education support workers

08 November 2013

KPTU-EdSol, the Korean trade union that organises education support workers, would like to receive solidarity statements and photos of education support members from PSI affiliates around the world, in time for their strike on 15 November.

Violence against trade union leadership continues in Guatemala

23 October 2013
Melvy Lizeth Camey Rojas, Secretary General of the Department of Santa Rosa in Guatemala has had her life threatened a second time (October 2013).

Latest update: On October 11, Juan Jose Ortiz, SNTSG member and Financial Secretary of the Health Centre of Barberena Santa Rosa, was kidnapped on his way to the city centre. For more than 24 hours he was held captive, threatened and tortured. On 12 October, he was bundled into a car for a short drive, his eyes were then uncovered and he was left in the centre of Barberena. Mr Ortiz does not remember much of what happened; he was apparently drugged and received cigarette burns on his eyelids and eyebrows. He fears for his life and that of his family.

Defending trade union rights in South Korea

10 October 2013

PSI calls on all its members to request the authorities of South Korea to recognize the Korean Government Employees' Union (KGEU), to refrain from cancelling the registration of the Korean Teachers' and Education Workers' Union (KTU) and to amend its legislation in line with ILO recommendations.

PSI calls for international support for United Nations workers’ rights

09 September 2013

In the summer of 2013, the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon unilaterally decided to strip UN unions of negotiating rights and suspend the Staff Management Committee. This sends an unacceptable message to the world that unions are not valid – and is especially hypocritical coming from the global organisation dedicated to peace, social justice and upholding international conventions on freedom of association and collective bargaining.

PSI stands with Detroit and public workers

29 August 2013
Background image is part of a mural by Diego Rivera called Detroit Industry, North Wall at the Detroit Institute of Arts.

Detroit is the largest city to file for bankruptcy in United States history. But it is not the only city in economic crisis, and what happens in Detroit matters—it matters to AFSCME members who have dedicated their working lives to providing quality public services to the city and community, it matters to workers and retirees across the United States and around the world, it matters to all public sector workers who we depend upon to provide quality public services to citizens around the world. Detroit matters to all of us and we stand in solidarity with the workers and retirees of the city.

PSI supports its affiliates in PERU! Send a letter through LabourStart now!

27 August 2013

The roundtable dialogue between unions and the government will resume on 29 August 2013. We hope that this time the government will bring these negotiations towards an acceptable conclusion for all and that it will open a new chapter in the social history of Peru.

Week of action for Guatemala

22 May 2013
Demonstration in support of imprisoned Guatemalan trade unionists

In Guatemala, more than 50 trade unionists, most of them public sector workers, have been murdered in the last three years alone. In addition, numerous cases of torture, kidnappings, raids and death threats have created a culture of fear and violence.

Your Future in Public Hands

14 May 2013
Green poster: Your Future in Public Hands

Public services are under attack and action is needed to ensure that in the future quality public services will be available to young and old, generating social justice and equality for all.

Presentation: A new approach to outsourcing

12 February 2014

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

Presentation: Free trade agreements and the public sector

12 February 2014

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

Presentation: Legislative attacks on public employees, public services and labor standards

12 February 2014

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

Resolution 42: Palestinian solidarity: support for the Boycott Disinvestment and Sanctions campaign (BDS)

06 February 2014

The 29th World Congress of Public Services International (PSI), meeting in Durban, South Africa, on 27-30 November 2012

Resolution 6: Security at Work

31 January 2014

The 29th World Congress of Public Services International (PSI), meeting in Durban, South Africa, on 27-30 November 2012

Resolution 26: International Trade Union Solidarity with Central America

30 January 2014

The 29th World Congress of Public Services International (PSI),
meeting in Durban, South Africa, on 27-30 November 2012

Resolution 16: Against labour reform in Mexico

30 January 2014

The 29th World Congress of Public Services International (PSI),
meeting in Durban, South Africa, on 27-30 November 2012

International trade union mission in South Korea: High-level mission statement

21 January 2014

On 17-20 January 2014, a high-level international delegation, including TUAC, ITUC, PSI and ITF, took part in a four-day mission to look into the current situation of human and trade union rights in Korea. The mission confirmed what was feared, that under the current administration the government was engaging in a wave of intense repression against labour and civil society of the kind not seen in recent years and which threatens to hollow-out the country’s democracy.

The Legislative Attack on American Wages and Labor Standards, 2011–2012

25 November 2013

Over the past two years, state legislators across the country have launched an unprecedented series of initiatives aimed at lowering labor standards, weakening unions, and eroding workplace protections for both union and non-union workers. This policy agenda undercuts the ability of low- and middle-wage workers, both union and non-union, to earn a decent wage.

Communiqué: Public Services International Steering Committee SC-17

25 November 2013
PSI Steering Committee and staff, November 2013

Angered by the continuing attacks on public services and the workers who provide these services, distressed by the rising inequality across the world and the failure of the current economic system to provide jobs, particularly for young people, the Steering Committee reiterated its commitments to the 2013-2017 Programme of Action “Social Justice through Quality Public Services” and endorsed priority actions for 2014.

The U.S. - Colombia Labor Action Plan: Failing on the Ground

19 November 2013
The U.S. - Colombia Labor Action Plan: Failing on the Ground

In this report, two members of the Congressional Monitoring Group on Labor Rights in Colombia have assessed the implementation and real-world impact of the nearly three-year-old U.S.-Colombia Labor Action Plan (LAP). The report found widespread problems with the implementation of new labor rights for Colombian workers.

Presentation notes: Trade union rights in Japan

31 October 2013

This presentation was made by Tatsuya Nakmura during the PSI AP Quality Public Services Forum in Bangkok, Thailand - October 2013

Presentation: Ratification of ILO Convention 151

31 October 2013

This presentation was made by Glen Pastorfide during the PSI AP Quality Public Services Forum in Bangkok, Thailand - October 2013

Presentation: Trade union rights in India

31 October 2013

This presentation was made by Raman Kannan during the PSI AP Quality Public Services Forum in Bangkok, Thailand - October 2013

PSI Report: Conclusions and recommendations - Guatemala

10 October 2013
PSI Delegation to Guatemala

This report presents the main conclusions of the PSI solidarity mission to Guatemala and proposes a way forward.

Rally to reclaim Wisconsin

12 March 2012

On Saturday 10 March 2012, 62,000 Wisconsinites returned to the Capitol to mark the one year anniversary of the passage of Gov. Walker's union-busting bill.