24 November 2005 Edition

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Nuacht na nOibrithe - Report details murderous attacks on trade unionists

BY Justin Moran

A total of 145 people were killed worldwide in 2004 for trade union activities, an increase of 16 deaths on the previous year, according to the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions annual report published last month. The report covers 136 countries from five continents. It documents over 700 violent attacks on trade unionists, and nearly 500 death threats

Colombia is the deadliest country for trade unionists, with 99 murders, hundreds of death threats and a background of government efforts to undermine the trade union movement.

Fourteen people were killed in the Philippines when police and military attacked workers striking at a sugar mill. In Lebanon seven workers were killed and 50 injured when the army fired live ammunition into workers at a union-organised demonstration against rising fuel prices.

A catalogue of intimidation, beatings, attempted assassinations, kidnappings and harassment was reported in many eastern European states

• Copies of the report are available at http://www.icftu.org/survey2005/

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