FREEDOM OF ASSOCIATION
Any employee or independent contractor has the right to freedom of association and collective bargaining. All employees have the right to talk to, join and/or form a labor union. Worker representatives are not discriminated against or treated unjustly. They are allowed to carry out their duties without interference. Where laws restrict freedom of association and collective bargaining, “the employer facilitates, and does not hinder, the development of parallel means for independent and free association and bargaining.”
Freedom of association: The right to form or join a labor union/group.
“Workers representatives are not discriminated against and have access to carry out their representative functions in the workplace.” (ETI)
“Workers’ and employers’ organizations shall organize freely and not be liable to be dissolved or suspended by administrative authority, and they shall have the right to establish and join federations and confederations, which may in turn affiliate with international organizations of workers and employers.” (ILO Convention, 1948 - No. 87)
“Facilities in the undertaking shall be afforded to workers’ representatives as may be appropriate in order to enable them to carry out their functions promptly and efficiently.” (ILO Convention, 1971 - No. 135)
“All categories of rural workers, whether they are wage earners or selfemployed, shall have the right to establish and … to join organizations of their own choosing without previous authorization.” (ILO Convention, 1975 - No. 141)
ILO does provide the right to collective bargaining and freedom of association to homeworkers, migrant workers and part-time employees. (ILO Convention No. 177, 97, 175 respectively).
The WFTO is inline with industry standards. The principle is mandatory on day one for all members.
International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) estimated that union members faced violence in 59 out of 139 countries (for which information is available). In 2017, trade unionists were murdered in the following 11 countries: Bangladesh, Brazil, Colombia, Guatemala, Honduras, Italy, Mauritania, Mexico, Peru, Phillippines and Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. Also in 2017, freedom of expression and freedom of assembly were severely restricted in 50 countries. In addition, in 84 countries, certain categories of workers are excluded from the labour legislation.