Page last updated at 13:51 GMT, Wednesday, 10 June 2009 14:51 UK

Anti-union attacks 'on the rise'

Polish workers
Trade unionists have been attacked in many countries in Eastern Europe

Violent attacks on trade union members are increasing, the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) has said.

Seventy-six trade unionists worldwide were killed in 2008 - with 49 killed in Colombia, the "most dangerous place on earth for trade unionists".

ITUC also said many countries were passing legislation undermining a worker's ability to go on strike.

In Europe, it said there were 2,400 cases of anti-union dismissals this year. The vast majority were in Turkey.

ITUC said there were a total of 7,500 cases of dismissal of workers involved in trade union activity in 68 countries last year.

"This denial wreaks havoc on their lives, as they work extremely long hours in hazardous or unhealthy situations with incomes so low that they are unable to support themselves and their households properly," said ITUC general secretary Guy Ryder.

After Turkey, ITUC said Indonesia was the least tolerant of unions, followed by countries such as Malawi, Pakistan, Tanzania and Argentina.

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