Press Releases

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ITUC Mourns the Passing of Global Trade Union Leader Neil Kearney


It is with profound sadness that the ITUC has learned of the passing of global trade union leader Neil Kearney in Dhaka, Bangladesh, on 18 November. Born in 1950 in Donegal, Ireland, Neil Kearney served as General Secretary of the International Textile, Garment and Leather Workers’ Federation since 1988, following 16 years as a national trade union official in the UK.

Bangladesh: Three Workers Killed During a Peaceful Protest


The ITUC has strongly denounced the killing of three workers on 21 October in Tongi near Dhaka airport. According to the information received by the ITUC, workers of the Nippon garments factory have been dismissed without receiving their salary and other benefits for the last month of work.

The police opened fire against the workers, while they were protesting against the dismissal at the gate of the factory. The last information received by the ITUC numbered three workers killed, Tajul Islam, Babul Sheikh and Shafiqul Islam, and 50 others wounded.

Zimbabwe: Trade Unionists Freed, Charges Thrown Out


Lovemore Matombo, president of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions, and four other unionists, Michael Kandukutu, Percy Mncijo, Dumisani Ncube and Nhawu Ndlovu, have been released on the order of a Zimbabwean Magistrate and the charges against them thrown out by the Court in Victoria Falls. The five were detained by police on Sunday, and charged under the notorious Public Order and Security Act (POSA), which has been used against the ZCTU and its affiliates on several occasions over a number of years by the Mugabe regime.

Schakowsky Testimony on International Violence Against Women


WASHINGTON, DC (October 21, 2009) – Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-IL, delivered the following testimony before the Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on International Organizations and Oversight during the hearing, "International Violence Against Women: Stories and Solutions.”

Prepared Statement of Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky

Subcommittee on International Organizations, Human Rights, and Oversight

Hearing on “International Violence Against Women: Stories and Solutions”

Teachers, Students, Labor Rights Watchdogs, Religious Leaders, Call on Uzbekistan to End Forced Child Labor in Cotton Fields



CONTACT:  Ira Arlook, 202-822-5200, ira[at]
Leslie Getzinger, American Federation of Teachers, 202 321 4034, lgetzing[at]

Major Human Rights Abuses Complicate U.S. Trade Relations with Central Asian Republic

Teachers, Students, Labor Rights Watchdogs, Religious Leaders, Call on Uzbekistan to End Forced Child Labor in Cotton Fields

Demonstration at Embassy of Uzbekistan Delivers Petitions Demanding That Millions of Children be Sent Out of the Fields and Back to School this Fall

No Let Up in the Onslaught against Colombian Trade Unionists


On 1 October at 8.30 p.m., hired assassins seriously injured Mario Montes de Oca Anaya and killed Alberto Luis Pastrana Soto, who was with him at the time, as they approached the main entrance of Hospital San Jerónimo in the city of Montería, Córdoba. These crimes are yet another illustration of the failure to improve the lot of trade unionists in Colombia, where there is a systematic policy of violence against the trade union movement.

Guinea: Commission of Inquiry Must Be Set Up to Investigate Brutal Repression of Demonstrators


The ITUC has strongly condemned the brutal repression of demonstrators in Conakry and has reiterated the call for maximum sanctions against the perpetrators and instigators of the barbaric acts perpetrated on Monday 28 September in Guinea, when over 150 people were killed, 1200 injured and numerous women were raped in the middle of the street "The trade union movement is in a state of shock," said Guy Ryder, general secretary of the ITUC.

US Department of Labor Includes Uzbek Cotton on List of Products Made by Forced, Child Labor


September 10, 2009

Contact: Brian Campbell, brian.campbell[at], +1-202-347-4100 x102
Leslie Getzinger, lgetzing[at], +1-202-585-4373
Melinda Lovins, Melinda.Lovins[at], +1-301-657-7089

Advocates and Shareholders Express Concern about Ongoing Forced Labor of Children in Uzbekistan’s Cotton Industry

DOL Child Labor List Released


September 10, 2009
Contact: Brian Campbell
Tim Newman

Today, the US Department of Labor (DOL) released a list of goods believed to have been produced using forced or child labor globally.  The list includes a number of industries where the International Labor Rights Forum (ILRF) has identified these labor rights abuses to occur including cocoa, cotton, tobacco and rubber.

Middle East: Governments Step Up Repression As Economic Crisis Hits Jobs and Incomes


As the economic situation in several Middle Eastern countries has deteriorated over the past three months, an alarming increase in repression of independent trade union activity has taken place, as governments react with force to demands for better protection of incomes and for job security.

In Morocco, massive fraud took place during national employee-representative elections, aimed at excluding trade unions from future negotiations on wages and working conditions. Other forms of anti-union action have included dismissal of workplace trade union representatives.

Guatemala: A dysfunctional labour justice system


The ITUC joins the Confederación de Unidad Sindical de Guatemala (CUSG), the Central General de Trabajadores de Guatemala (CGTG) and UNSITRAGUA in expressing its profound concern at the very serious allegations of corruption and impunity within the Guatemalan labour law and justice system, affecting all workers in the union centres’ affiliates, with particular regard to the system’s independence and autonomy.

ILO team arrives to probe rights abuses


A three-member team of International Labour Organisations (ILO) officials is in Zimbabwe to probe alleged violations of trade union rights by the Zimbabwean government.

The team, which is led by Raymond Ranjeva, a senior judge with the International Court of Justice, is set to spend two weeks in the country.

Ranjeva is accompanied by Evance Rabban Kalula, University of Cape Town director of the institute of development and labour law, and Bertrand Ramcharan, a member of the Permanent Court of Arbitration.