Trade Unions battle the Storm for Workers’ Rights

Oct 25, 2023 | In the spotlight

Trade unions across Europe and beyond are facing systematic and targeted attacks on workers’ fundamental rights.

In an era marked by the rise of populism and right-wing governments, we are at the forefront of defending the rights and safety of workers. Recent developments in the political landscape have raised concerns about the erosion of trade union rights, such as restrictions on the right to strike, witnessed in the UK, France, Belgium, Slovenia, and now Finland.

In response, EFFAT Executive Committee called to unite in defense of workers’ rights and emphasises the importance of upholding international labour conventions, recognising the right to strike as a fundamental right, defending the right to organise and engage in collective bargaining, and urging governments to protect and enhance workers’ rights. These actions are crucial in the face of a growing cost-of-living crisis and the need to combat increasing inequalities.

In particular, EFFAT takes a resolute stance on the matter:

  • Reaffirming Commitment to ILO Conventions: EFFAT acknowledges and respects the significance of International Labour Organisation (ILO) Conventions No. 87, 98, and 151. These conventions safeguard fundamental rights, including freedom of association and the right to organise, and EFFAT advocates for their comprehensive implementation.
  • Recognising the Right to Strike as Fundamental: EFFAT underscores the right to strike as a fundamental and indispensable element of democratic societies, playing a crucial role in safeguarding the interests and rights of workers.
  • Defending the Right to Organise and Bargain Collectively: EFFAT vehemently opposes any attempts to undermine the right of workers to organise, form unions, and partake in collective bargaining, considering these elements as cornerstones of a just, equitable, and democratic society.
  • Emphasising Respect for Trade Unions and Collective Bargaining Rights: EFFAT calls for the utmost respect for trade unions’ rights and the principles of collective bargaining, which serve as foundational elements of a just, equitable, and democratic society.
  • Supporting Trade Union Rights in Elections: EFFAT urges political parties involved in elections to support trade union rights, the ability to organise, and engage in collective bargaining, as well as to defend the right to strike.
  • A Call to Action Towards Governments: EFFAT strongly encourages governments to safeguard and enhance workers’ rights, the right to organise and bargain collectively, to protect the right to strike, and to promote the well-being of the working class.

Read our Emergency Resolution on the Erosion of Trade Unions Rights

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