Building and Wood
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Since the opening of the International Labour Conference, the workers’ group and the employers’ group were negotiating the annual individual case list of countries to be further examined by the Committee on Application of Standards. Suddenly yesterday, the International Organisation of Employers (IOE) refused to discuss any cases and blocked the most serious cases of violations of trade union rights included in the annual report of the ILO’s Committee of Experts, a committee designated according to ILO principle of tripartism.
For BWI General Secretary, Ambet Yuson “This never happened in the history of the ILO. The employer group is trying to undermine one of the most effective human rights mechanisms in the international system.“ said Yuson. “The world’s most eminent labour law jurists have presented their findings to the ILO Conference, but the employers refuse to allow their findings to be examined. Employers’ are playing a dangerous political game. We cannot tolerate that their decision impacts on workers coming to report about worst abuses in their country.”
Violence against trade unionists continues to be perpetrated in Colombia, Guatemala and Swaziland but employers don’t think the ILO should even discuss the issue. Egyptians are in the midst of a battle for their basic rights to decent work, but employers seem to be siding with the military and fundamentalist forces both of which want to deprive workers of a voice. The employers have also refused to allow discussion of the withdrawal of collective bargaining rights in Greece and Spain and many serious cases where decent labour laws are under attack.
For employers, convention 87 is silent on the right to strike and the experts don’t have the mandate to comment or interpret the right to strike in their annual report.
The BWI and the IMF will be demonstrating in front of the ILO building this afternoon at 3:00 p.m.