Building Workers' Power

ITUC Newsletter - July 2021

Body Image 1

Sharan Burrow, ITUC General Secretary


This year’s ITUC Global Rights Index documents a shameful roll call of governments and companies that have pursued an anti-union agenda in the face of workers who have stood in solidarity providing essential work to keep economies and communities functioning.

I encourage you explore the findings of the 2021 Rights Index at the new interactive platform, where you will find an executive summary to download, along with videos, infographics, cases of violations of rights in law and practice by companies and governments, and a review of labour laws in 149 countries.

The ITUC Global Rights Index is a benchmark against which we will hold governments and employers to account as we build a new social contract with jobs, rights, social protection, equality and inclusion and rebuild the trust that has been shattered by repressive governments and abusive companies.

For the first time, Myanmar has entered the list of the ten worst countries for working people, where the military junta has used violence against those who oppose it. To support our courageous sisters and brothers fighting for democracy there, we have launched a Myanmar Strike Fund. Please see more here and consider donating.

The High-level Political Forum (HLPF) continues at the United Nations until 16 July. The UN has joined the call for a New Social Contract, but the ITUC SDG 8 monitor shows serious underperformance in four dimensions: economic well-being, employment quality, labour vulnerability and labour rights. We have set out the demands for the HLPF in our report, ‘SDG 8 as a New Social Contract for a job-rich recovery and resilience’. Through the #timefor8 campaign, unions will keep the demands of working people on the agenda.

23 July – 8 August: Tokyo Olympics:

We remain deeply concerned about Tokyo 2020. The flawed Covid-19 protocols of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) open up pandemic risks to the athletes, the public, support workers, and people in the athletes’ home countries when they return after the event. Participants in the Paralympics, from 24 August, may be at even greater risk.

The protocols have been heavily criticised by eminent pandemic and occupational health and safety specialists, but little if anything has been done to improve them by the IOC, which retains full control over the Games. The IOC has failed to engage with UNI World Players, which organises sportspeople and has considerable expertise in pandemic management at sports events. The IOC has even forced the athletes to take personal responsibility for the potential impacts on their health of Covid-19 and heat stress.

In solidarity,

Sharan Burrow, ITUC General Secretary

Call to Action

2021 ITUC Global Rights Index: COVID-19 pandemic puts spotlight on workers’ rights

Body Image 3

Abuses of the right to strike, the right to establish and join a trade union, the right to trade union activities and civil liberties and the right to free speech and assembly are at an eight-year high, according to the ITUC’s annual Global Rights Index


#RatifyC190 without delay

Body Image 3

On 25 June, the ILO’s robust and landmark instrument, the Violence and Harassment Convention (C190), comes into force two years after its adoption. To date, Argentina, Ecuador, Fiji, Namibia, Somalia and Uruguay have ratified it, and the ITUC is calling on all countries to follow suit.

The World Bank needs a roadmap for sustainable recovery

Body Image 3

As governments meet to discuss additional funding for the World Bank, trade unions are calling for the institution to promote quality job creation, universal social protection, debt relief and the international labour standards.

Key Upcoming dates

The High-level Political Forum (HLPF), UN, New York, USA
6 - 16 July

Centre for Sport and Human Rights formerly launched
8 July 

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, Japan

23 July – 8 August 

Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) review conference

2 August


Sign up to this newsletter here

Click here to unsubscribe