TUC hears of UN concerns over UK union rights

The says the UK must strengthen trade union rights, UNISON’s Liz Cameron told TUC delegates as they debated international issues an the busy final day of t in Bournemouth.

Remiinding delegates of the call earlier this year from the UN special rapporteur on the freedom of assocation, she asked: “Are you listening Mr Cameron? The UN has called on you to strengthen trade union rights not destroy them!”

Seconding a motion on international union rights, Ms Cameron said: “The UN report calls for the UK government to protect the right to peaceful assembly, freedom of association and the right to strike.

“This government’s cynical attempts to dilute the rights of workers to join independent trade unions must be resisted.”

And she observed: “We must ensure that international standards, including ILO conventions 87 and 98 protecting our rights to join unions and bargain collectively, are protected.”

In a similar vein, UNSION’s Bev Miller called for unions to show solidarity with those struggling for LGBT rights across the world as she addressed congress on international LGBT rights.

And she urged delegates to remember to “ask before we act” on the issue.

Supporting the general council’s statement on Syria, UNISON president Maureen Le Marinel stressed that it “quite rightly emphasises the importance of international diplomacy in bringing about an end to the conflict in Syria.

“That’s why we should welcome the current initiative by the US and Russia to locate and destroy Syria’s chemical weapons through the United Nations.”

More importantly, the statement “states that the best way to deal with war crimes – and let us be clear that the use of chemical weapons is a war crime – is through the International Criminal Court,” she said.

UNISON working internationally