ITUC: Workers in Belarus, Ukraine have fewest rights

The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) has ranked Belarus and Ukraine among the worst countries in Europe which to work inits latest Global Rights index. The same report also identifies Estonian ferry company TS Laevad and Croatia Airlines – the state-owned flag carrier – as companies in the region which are violating workers’ rights.

While no emerging Europe countries received the worst rating on the six-point scale (Rating 6), Belarus and Ukraine are among the 34 countries of the world where there is “no guarantee of rights” for workers (Rating 5). The report states that in Belarus “the authorities maintained their repression of independent unions, prosecuting and sentencing trade union leaders on trumped-up charges.”

Bosnia and Herzegovina, North Macedonia, Serbia and Romania were named as countries with a “systemic violation of rights” (Rating 4). Five further countries of the region (Albania, Bulgaria, Georgia, Hungary and Poland) were ranked among countries where a “regular violation of rights” is present.

The ITUC report found that Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova and Montenegro were states with “repeated violation of rights” (Rating 2), while Slovakia was mentioned among those countries with only “sporadic violation of rights” (Rating 1).

“Attacks on the right to strike in 85 per cent of countries and on collective bargaining in 80 per cent undermine the role of trade unions,” the report said, adding that court orders were used to stop strike action in countries including Croatia and Georgia, while the right to collective bargaining was violated in Estonia, among others.

Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kosovo and Slovenia were not included in the report.