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Global campaign to post workers' rights at the workplace

ICFTU Online..., 15 February 2001

"We want every worker to know they have rights",
ICFTU General Secretary Bill Jordan

Brussels February 15 2001 (ICFTU OnLine): The global labour movement will launch a public campaign on May 1 to post the International Labour Organisation's 1998 "Declaration of Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work" in workplaces, union halls and government offices in 148 countries and territories. The announcement was made at the Executive Council meeting of the American Federation of Labour and Congress of Industrial Organisations (AFL-CIO) taking place February 11-15 in Los Angeles, California.

The principles and rights include "the rights of workers to reject child labour, refuse forced labour, to work free from discrimination and to organise and bargain collectively."

The International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU), the world's largest trade union body, fully supports the initiative and expect the campaign to have an enormous impact on the public. "It will give us a powerful new tool to put a human face on the unrestrained globalisation that continues to undermine conditions and standards for millions of workers around the world", ICFTU General Secretary Bill Jordan said at a press conference.

The initiative is in part intended "to challenge employers and government worldwide to help workers know their rights and exercise them freely", AFL-CIO President John J. Sweeney added.

Despite the fact that the 1998 Declaration received unanimous support from business and labour members of the ILO from 175 countries and overwhelming support from government members, "workers continue to be murdered, tortured and dismissed from their jobs simply for claiming their rights", Bill Jordan reminded world trade unionists.

"There is no doubt that we will create controversy, but out of that controversy will come a greater public outcry. ' No child labour, no forced labour, no discrimination, and no interference with the freedom to organise and collectively bargaining'. We want every worker to know they have rights.", concluded the General Secretary.

For more information, please contact the ICFTU Press Department on +32 2 224 0210

International Confederation of Free Trade Unions(ICFTU)
Boulevard du Roi Albert II 5, B1, B-1210 Brussels, Belgium.

For more information please contact: Luc Demaret on: 00 322 224 0212 - press@icftu.org