“Hot smoke filled the air within minute as soon as fire alarm rang and electricity supply became off. We were running to escape death through the dark. Many died inhaling smoke”
It is certainly a positive sign that the AKP political party allowed a May Day demonstration in historic Taksim Square for the second time since 1977. It would be even better if they took real, positive action on labor rights.
Amnesty International launched a global campaign for workers’ rights in Turkey a few days ahead of the May Day demonstration because of the sorry state of Turkey’s labor conditions.
We remain deeply concerned about the longstanding failure of the Turkish authorities to ensure that labor laws guarantee the fundamental rights of working people. Indeed, many of these laws date back to the dark days of military rule in Turkey. A lot of time has passed, but on labor rights, too little has changed.
On April 4, 1968, shortly before his assassination, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. stood with sanitation workers in Memphis to demand human rights, basic respect and collective bargaining to gain a better life. Today, hundreds of thousands of people are taking the same stand—together.
All workers have a right to organize and to bargain collectively. Amnesty International stands in solidarity with all those seeking to defend collective bargaining rights anywhere these rights are threatened, and on April 4 we urge governors and legislators to protect workers’ rights by rejecting any attempt to limit collective bargaining.
We encourage Amnesty members to join the April 4th events and honor Dr. King’s vision for human rights. To find an event in your area and for more information visit the We Are One website. RSVP on Facebook here.
Legislation currently working it’s way through several US states would drastically restrict workers’ rights and violate numerous laws.
States including Colorado, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma and Tennessee–following Wisconsin’s lead–have recently proposed bills severely limiting the collective bargaining rights of trade union members.
Shane Enright, Amnesty International’s trade union adviser said that, if adopted, these measures would violate international law:
“The US has an obligation to uphold the rights of American workers – including the specific right to organize and bargain collectively.”
Wisconsin governor Scott Walker signed a bill on Friday that undermines the ability of unions in the public sector to protect workers. The legislation also takes away nearly all collective bargaining rights for most public employees, limiting their negotiation rights only to wages.
Amnesty International USA is deeply concerned by Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s proposal to limit collective bargaining for most public employees to wages. If enacted, the Governor’s proposal would undermine the ability of unions in the public sector to protect workers, including by limiting workers’ ability to object to work conditions.
Under international law, all workers have a human right to organize and to bargain collectively. These rights are an essential foundation to the realization of other rights, and are enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families, as well as conventions adopted by the International Labor Organization.
Amnesty stands in solidarity with those seeking to defend collective bargaining rights anywhere these rights are threatened, and we urge Governor Walker and Wisconsin legislators to protect workers’ rights by rejecting any attempt to limit collective bargaining. We further call on the Governor to respect the right to peaceful protest and ensure that protesters are not intimidated or subjected to unnecessary or excessive force.