Trade union rights news

All work has dignity, and all workers deserve to be treated with respect by their employers. Trade unions play a decisive role in improving working conditions, safety and wages – yet some governments and employers systematically abuse the right of workers to join existing unions or form new ones. PSI works actively to support the right of workers to free collective bargaining, and to help stop abuses when they occur.

Workers' rights improve healthcare delivery

16 August 2017
Dr Salameh Abu Zooiter

Health care is a measure of human development. When we analyse the health situation in the Arab countries, it soon becomes clear that there are obstacles to obtaining quality healthcare for all. Those most in need of health services, the poor and disabled, do not receive the essential care they deserve.

Senate of the Philippines ratifies ILO Convention 151

07 August 2017
Photo: Camilo Rubiano

The Philippines is about to become the first Asian country to ratify the so called "Labour Relations Public Service Convention (1978)", which deals with the protection of the right to organise and procedures for determining conditions of employment in the Public Service. This victory comes after 7 years of work led by PSI affiliates and other public sector unions in the country.

Decent work requires decent public policies

12 July 2017

Extract from the Civil Society Report "Spotlight on Sustainable Development 2017" -the new global report assesses how privatization and corporate capture have become obstacles to progress under the 2030 Agenda.

PSI General Secretary’s visit to Ecuador

27 June 2017

PSI’s General Secretary, Rosa Pavanelli, visited Ecuador between 17-23 June. Her stay was productive and the aims of the visit were met.

PSI North America: Principles for Nafta renegotiation

26 June 2017

PSI affiliates in the US and Canada comment on the NAFTA renegotiations submitted to the United States Trade Representative (USTR). "We need a new approach to trade that puts the interests of working people and the environment first. We need an economy that puts a high priority on jobs, living standards, sustainability, and labor rights." Click on the image below to read it in full.

Canada: CUPE education workers reach agreement with provincial government

20 June 2017

In what may be one of the largest settlements of its kind in Canada for employees who have suffered a workplace breach of Charter rights, CUPE education workers have reached an agreement on “remedy”, or financial compensation, with the Ontario government.

On the last day of the ILC, UN staff based in Geneva embarked on a work stoppage against 7,5% pay cut

16 June 2017

PSI affiliate United Nations Geneva Staff Coordinating Council called people to wear a red armband to show solidarity to all UN staff who engaged in a work stoppage on the last day of the ILC

Guatemala’s President defies the ILO by cancelling all collective agreements in the public sector

24 March 2015

Only days before Guatemala is due for discussion at the ILO’s Governing Body, President General Otto Pérez Molina, takes the unprecedented initiative of prohibiting the negotiation of collective agreements in the public sector, on the grounds that austerity measures are needed to deal with a massive fiscal deficit.

Hands off our right to strike!

13 February 2015
Right to strike logo

Public Services International joins the ITUC, ITF, EI and other Global Labour Federations in calling for unions to act in defence of the right to strike, which is under attack by employer groups at the ILO.

Turkey: PSI General Secretary meets dismissed health care workers, denounces attack on labour rights

13 January 2015

In December 2014, the hospital of Maltepe University in Istanbul dismissed nearly 100 workers for being members of the Progressive Union of Health Workers. PSI/EPSU ask all affiliates to join the LabourStart campaign calling for the reinstatement of these workers.

Government of Peru tries to silence union leader

02 December 2014
Luis Isarra - FENTAP General Secretary

PSI is urgently calling for letters of protest to be sent to the Peruvian Minister of Labour in support of Luis Isarra (FENTAP General Secretary) whose permanent union leave has been abrogated by the Peruvian Government. This takes place just before COP20 when Luis Isarra is responsible for coordinating Peru's labour movement mobilisation for the summit.

International Workers' Day - 1 May 2014

01 May 2014
Quality Public Services

The first of May symbolizes the struggle of the international labour movement. In 2014, International Workers’ Day, May Day, is as relevant as ever. Six years of austerity and neo-liberal policies washing over entire continents have left trade unions struggling for fundamental freedoms and rights at work all over again. Twenty-five years after the break-up of the Soviet Union and the fall of the Iron Curtain, the world is engulfed in another ideological and economic battle. Public service workers from Canada to Paraguay, Algeria to Botswana, South Korea to Thailand and Turkey to Spain, are fighting for their rights and against anti-worker policies, often risking their lives.

Tell Ecuador’s President: Stop the persecution of social and labour activists

23 April 2014
Dr. Carlos Figueroa

The former leader of an organization affiliated with Public Services International (PSI) in Ecuador and two others were sentenced to prison after criticizing government actions in Ecuador. The American Commission of Human Rights, IACHR, has recently granted precautionary measures in favour of these people and the Ecuadorian government refuses to comply.

Racism? Not for us!

22 March 2014

Speak out and take a stand against racism and xenophobia! On the eve of the United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, 21 March 2014, Rosa Pavanelli, General Secretary of the global union federation Public Services International affirms that “our commitment to fight racism and all forms of discrimination is guided by respect for human rights and basic union principles: social justice, equality, collective action and collective responsibility”.

Support for Ukrainian trade unions

12 March 2014
Trade Union House, Kiev

PSI affiliates in Ukraine have requested assistance to help them to re-build Trade Union House, the headquarters of the FPU (national union confederation), burnt down during on 19 February during the escalation of the crisis in Ukraine. The building on Maidan square also housed several trade union offices and the EPSU regional office.

Solidarity with the Korean People’s Strike

03 March 2014
Korea People's strike

On 25 February 2014, the one year anniversary of President Park Geun-hye's administration, the Korean labour movement and other social groups held a "People's Strike" protesting the deterioration of democracy in South Korea.

Turkey: Stop the judicial harassment of trade unionists

23 January 2014
KESK rally outside Ankara criminal court - April 2012

PSI joins EPSU and ITUC in denouncing the Turkish government’s anti-union attacks as well as the abuse of the Turkish legal and judicial system by the authorities against the trade union movement.

PSI calls on its affiliates to take action now and tell the government of Turkey to stop judicial harassment against trade unionists.


Send your protest message, sign the ITUC online action or download the model letter

Support Korean workers – hold protests at Korean embassies on 9 and 16-18 January

03 January 2014
striking workers in Korea

PSI affiliate KPTU asks for continued global support in its fight for worker rights and quality public services. All affiliates are invited to demonstrate international solidarity by bringing our voices to Korean embassies and consulates around the world on 9 and 16-18 January 2014.

Korea: Support railway workers' right to strike

19 December 2013

Since June, the South Korean government has been pushing forward a new rail restructuring and privatisation programme despite widespread opposition. Faced with the government and Korea Railroad Corporation's (KORAIL's) flat out rejection of social dialogue, the Korean Railway Workers' Union (KRWU), an ITF affiliate, has been on strike since 9 December.


KRWU is also a member of the KCTU-Korean Federation of Public Services and Transportation Workers' Unions (KPTU), a PSI affiliate.

FirstEnergy locks out utility workers in US

28 November 2013
Demonstrators holding banners, one saying "I want to work"

FirstEnergy Corp. – one of the largest electric power corporations in the United States – locked out 150 members of the Utility Workers Union of America (UWUA) in the early morning hours of November 25, three days before the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday.

Algeria: Reinstate Rachid Malaoui and end trade union rights violations now!

23 November 2013
SNAPAP logo and photo of Rachid Malaoui

Public Services International, together with the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), the International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers' Associations (IUF), the Comité International de Soutien au Syndicalisme Autonome Algérien/CISA (International Support Committee for Autonomous Algerian Trade Unions), the Solidarity Center from AFL-CIO and the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network (EMHRN), is calling for international action in solidarity with Algerian trade union SNAPAP, including the reinstatement of SNAPAP President, Rachid Malaoui.

Take action: International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women - 25 November 2013

21 November 2013
PSI violence against women poster

PSI is calling on all its affiliate members, men and women, to make a pledge to end violence against women and girls, at each of their workplaces around the globe.
Violence against women is an age-old problem – it is time to end it now.

Banners: Route of Shame 2014

22 May 2014
Banner: Route of shame

Banners (in pdf) for the 'Route of Shame 2014' bicycle ride.

The banners can be downloaded in English and French.

Campaign materials: Route of Shame 2014

22 May 2014
Route of Shame

Campaign materials for the 'Route of Shame 2014' bicycle ride.

Flyer: Route of Shame 2014

22 May 2014
Flyer Route of Shame 2014

Flyers (in pdf) for the Route of Shame 2014 bicycle ride.

Flyers can be downloaded in English, French and Spanish.

Badges: Route of Shame 2014

22 May 2014
Badges: Route of Shame 2014

Badges (in pdf format) for the Route of Shame 2014 bicycle ride.

Badges can be downloaded in English, French and Spanish.

The Route of Shame 2014 logos

22 May 2014
Route of Shame logo

Logos (in pdf and jpg) for the Route of Shame 2014 bicycle ride.

Logos exist in English, French and Spanish.

Presentation: Route of Shame 2014

22 May 2014
Route of Shame, Geneva

PSI Presentations on the 'Route of Shame', taking place in Geneva on Wednesday 4 June 2014. Presentations can be downloaded in English, French and Spanish.

Speech by Rosa Pavanelli at the 9th EPSU Congress

21 May 2014

Rosa Pavanelli, PSI General Secretary, introduced the discussion on Resolution n. 3 “Strengthening workers’ rights and employment in Europe through collective bargaining, social dialogue and industrial action” at the 9th EPSU Congress held in Toulouse, 20-23 May 2014.

Opening Statement by PSI General Secretary at the Global Dialogue Forum on Challenges to Collective bargaining in the Public Sector

04 April 2014

International Labour Organization, Geneva
2-3 April 2014

Esteemed delegates,

Speech: PSI leader addresses FNL Congress in Guatemala

31 March 2014
Rosa Pavanelli - FNL Congress

PSI leader Rosa Pavanelli made a keynote address to the Congress of the Frente Nacional de Lucha (FNL) the rapidly growing people's movement in Guatemala that includes many PSI affiliate union members. Some 11,000 people attended this historic event on the last weekend of March 2014.

PSI mission to Guatemala March 2014

26 March 2014
Rosa Pavanelli at Press Conference in Guatemala

Public Services International returns to Guatemala in March 2014.

Here is the 2014 PSI report in English and Spanish on the trade union rights and solidarity mission.

What Women Want: CPSU Australia 2013-2014 survey

24 March 2014
What Women Want

PSI affiliate in Australia, Community & Public Sector Union (CPSU), launched, for the eighth year in a row, a survey on “What Women Want” asking women to give a detailed picture of their working lives. This is Australia’s largest survey on working women, with over 11 200 women participating.

PSI Washington office report - January 2014

13 February 2014

PSI-North America was very busy in the last week of January with a series of meetings to more effectively coordinate the work among affiliates and PSI.

Download a PDF of the report.

Presentation: A new approach to outsourcing

12 February 2014

PSI Canadian and United States affiliates gathered in Washington, D.C. on January 30, 2014 to discuss the attacks on labor rights in North America.

Presentation: Free trade agreements and the public sector

12 February 2014

PSI Canadian and United States affiliates gathered in Washington, D.C. on January 30, 2014 to discuss the attacks on labor rights in North America.

Presentation: Legislative attacks on public employees, public services and labor standards

12 February 2014

PSI Canadian and United States affiliates gathered in Washington, D.C. on January 30, 2014 to discuss the attacks on labor rights in North America.

EPSU 9th Congress

20 May 2014
EPSU Congress logo

The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU), PSI's European branch, is holding its 9th Congress, 20-23 May 2014, in Toulouse, France.

PSI follow-up mission to Guatemala

24 March 2014

A PSI international delegation returned to Guatemala in March 2014 to follow-up on the trade union rights and solidarity mission made in August 2013.

PSI Sub-regional Advisory Committee for the Caribbean (SUBRAC)

07 March 2014

Co-chairs: Sis Jillian Bartlett (NUGFW-TT) and Bro Wayne Jones (JCSA)

The SUBRAC is a PSI advisory body comprising representatives from affiliates who “facilitate the consultation process at sub-regional level on policy issues and work programme implementation, and who participate in exchange and dialogue on issues relevant to PSI affiliates.” 

Also see the SUBWOC meeting.

PSI Sub-regional Advisory Committees for USA and Canada (SUBRACs) and Labor Rights Seminar

29 January 2014

Canadian and United States PSI affiliates gathered in Washington, D.C. on January 30, 2014 to discuss the attacks on labor rights in North America.

Joint ILO-PSI Training and Planning Workshop on Labour Migration

13 December 2013

This event is part of a Joint PSI and ILO ACTRAV project on labour migration in Russia, Caucasus and Central Asia.

World Day for Decent Work 2013

03 October 2013

On 7 October we celebrate the World Day for Decent Work. Public Services International (PSI) joins the international trade union movement in demanding decent work for all and an end to the continuous attacks on trade union rights around the world. We want jobs that provide decent salaries and social security with safe working conditions.

Mission to Guatemala

25 June 2013

The global union federation Public Services International is leading an international delegation of trade union leaders to meet with Guatemala’s President and leading ministers on August 13-14, 2013.

The Route of Shame: A bicycle ride for social justice

12 June 2013
Poster Route of Shame

Join us in calling for the universal protection of workers’ rights and social justice!

Second Forum & Federation symposium on workers' health

22 May 2012

The next FORUM & FEDERATION Lunch-time Symposium on workers’ health will take place on 26 June from 12:00 to 14:00 at the International Labour Office (ILO), Room 3. The focus is the “Right to Work and Right to Health: Workers with Physical and Mental Disabilities”.

International Women's Day 2012

08 March 2012
PSI Poster for International Women's Day 2012

On International Women’s Day, 8 March 2012, Public Services International recognises and applauds the work of women trade unionists, who are always at the very heart of our struggle for human and labour rights and equality.

United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (UNCSW)

03 March 2012
Picture of african woman washing dishes

Union women from around the world are gathering in New York for the United Nations’ 56th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (UNCSW56), starting on 27th February 2012. Focusing on decent work for rural women, quality public services, social protection and human rights, the trade union delegation to UNCSW56 will call on governments to commit to concrete measures to ensure that women living and working in rural areas enjoy opportunities for economic, social and human development.

International Day for Decent Work 2012

23 November 2011

On 7 October we celebrate the World Day for Decent Work. Public Services International (PSI) joins the international trade union movement in demanding decent work for all and an end to the continuous attacks on trade union rights around the world. We want jobs that provide decent salaries and social security with safe working conditions.

Video: Greek journalists occupy public broadcast stations

06 January 2014

Members of the PSI-EPSU Communicators' Action Network, an expert team of international labour journalists, recorded the last inside interviews with workers occupying Greek public broadcast stations, before the government violently raided and evicted the workers in early November 2013.

Video: Austerity measures deny Greeks democracy

06 January 2014

Greece, known as the birthplace of democracy, has been reeling under the impact of punishing austerity measures imposed by the ‘Troika’ (IMF, European Commission and European Central Bank) over the past five years. Deep cuts to the public sector have left wages low and unemployment high for all working people.

Video: Public service workers resist austerity’s 'social experiment' in Greece

06 January 2014

Greece has agreed to cut up to 40,000 public workers over the next two years, in return for continued financial assistance. The global union federation Public Services International joined Greek workers who took to the streets in a general strike on 6 November 2013 to protest continued cuts to decent jobs and public services imposed by the 'Troika'.

Video: In the light of justice - Guatemala

16 December 2013

Guatemala health workers share their stories in PSI’s new documentary "Guatemala: In the light of Justice" (7 minutes).

Strengthening unions in Swaziland

07 November 2013

Swaziland remains one of Africa’s last dictatorships.  Trade unions, including PSI affiliates, are at the forefront of the democratic struggle in the country.  PSI affiliate Vision of Sweden (www.vision.se), in conjunction with LO-TCO Biståndsnämnd (www.lotcobistand.org), supports a project aimed at strengthening unions.  In the interview below, a PSI representative talks about the project and the situation in Swaziland.

Videos: BRICS Cycle of Debates

04 September 2013

The CSPB News Special Edition on the BRICS Cycle of Debates

Audio: Radio interviews - 2013 Guatemala mission

04 September 2013

Guatemala is one of the most dangerous countries in the world for unionists. Public Services International (PSI) sent a delegation to investigate and ask the Guatemalan government to stop the attacks on unionists in the country.

Video: 2013 Mission to Guatemala

04 September 2013

View on youtube all the videos relating to PSI's mission to Guatemala

Photos: Solidarity mission to Guatemala

13 August 2013

Solidarity mission to Guatemala, 12-14 August 2013

View all photos on Flickr

Video: The Route of Shame - Ride for Workers' Rights

14 June 2013

Led by members of the global union federation Public Services International (PSI), trade union leaders from around the world join in a ‘Route of Shame’ bicycle ride Wednesday 12 June and visit missions and embassies in Geneva, Switzerland to draw attention to countries which consistently violate workers’ rights.

Photos: KGEU sit-in May 2013

21 May 2013

49 trade unionists, members of PSI affiliate Korean Government Employees’ Union (KGEU), were arrested Monday 20 May, for holding a sit-in in front of the Ministry of Security and Public Administration.

Photos: World Social Forum, Tunis 2013

15 April 2013

Public Services International had the strongest global union presence at the World Social Forum 26-30 March 2013 in Tunis, Tunisia. PSI hosted and co-sponsored numerous events on trade union rights, youth, water, women’s issues, tax justice, energy and climate change.

Photos: Strike in India - Feb 2013

22 February 2013

An estimated 100 million workers took to the streets for a two-day strike organised by national trade union centres in India. PSI affiliated unions representing workers in the electricity, defense, water and municipal sectors were there in force.

Photos: KGEU Hunger strike, rally and press conference (photos)

31 January 2013

In January 2013, the Korean government dismissed 137 workers for being activist members of the Korean Government Employees' Union. Among those dismissed were the KGEU General Secretary and President. Kim Jungnam, President of the Korean Government Employees’ Union, launched a hunger strike on 15 January in the streets of Seoul outside the offices of the Presidential transition committee and has vowed to continue his hunger strike until the issues facing his union are resolved.

PSI General Secretary sends a message of solidarity and support to KGEU

31 January 2013

PSI General Secretary, Rosa Pavanelli, sends a message of solidarity and support to KGEU, PSI affiliate in South Korea.