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Trade Unions Face Increased Violence

Coal miners in Ukraine (file photo) 18 October 2005 -- Trade unionists around the world are facing more violence according to a new study.

The International Confederation of Free Trade Unions, or ICFTU, says 145 trade unionists were killed last year, with Colombia accounting for most of them (99).

According to the ICFTU study, some 700 union members were tortured or beaten last year. More than 4,500 were fired for union activities.

In Europe, the survey singles out Ukraine, "Belarus, and Moldova for state attempts at what it called a "Soviet-like" control of trade unions.

In the Middle East, the survey said trade unions are either banned -- like in Saudi Arabia or Oman -- or exist as a single entity controlled by the government.

The ICFTU did note Bahrain has allowed trade unions since 2002 and Qatar passed a law last year to permit trade unions.

The ICFTU survey covers 137 countries. The confederation represents 145 million workers in 154 countries.


See also:

Belarus: European Commission Threatens Trade Sanctions

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