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WORKER rights can no longer be taken for granted anywhere in the world, ITUC general secretary Luc Triangle said today.
In an address to the TUC Congress, he urged the union federation to continue the fight against the rise of authoritarianism.
Criticising France’s “vicious police beatings” of protesters this year, he said: “Also in this country, the UK: union busting, attempts to introduce legislation curtailing the right to strike and protest.”
This has seen Britain’s ITUC rating drop to the second lowest ranking of “systematic violation of rights” this year, he said, adding: “The right to strike is part of our fight for a real democratic society. Your fight is our fight.”
Earlier Mr Triangle said the ITUC had seen “social regression rather than progress in the last few years.
“Authoritarian government responses are on the rise,” he said.
“The interest of companies continue to predominate over the well-being of the majority of the population in the world.”
He warned at least 160 million children remain in labour, “with numbers going up again after decades of decline.”
More than 50m workers are in modern slavery, after the “top 1 per cent has taken 38 per cent of all wealth accumulated since the 1990s.”
“These sobering numbers can surely leave none of us untouched,” he said.
“It’s an unacceptable reality — we have to do much better, and we have to fight for that, in unity, in solidarity and across the world.”
This year’s ITUC Global Rights Index “provides shocking evidence that the foundations of democracy are under attack,” delegates heard.
“Attacks on workers’ rights are on the rise everywhere in the world and there are no regions in the world where we can take workers’ rights fo granted.”
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