The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), a trade group alliance that works to improve laborers' rights around the globe, released its Global Rights Index this week. Countries are ranked from 1 (best) to 5 (worst) on a scale of how well they guard workers' rights. Cambodia, Qatar, and Guatemala were among the worst offenders.
The ITUC Global Rights Index ranks 139 countries against 97 internationally recognised indicators to assess where workers' rights are best protected, in law and in practice.
"Countries such as Denmark and Uruguay led the way through their strong labour laws, but perhaps surprisingly, the likes of Greece, the United States and Hong Kong, lagged behind," said ITUC general secretary Sharan Burrow.
"A country's level of development proved to be a poor indicator of whether it respected basic rights to bargain collectively, strike for decent conditions, or simply join a union at all."
• In the past year, governments of at least 35 countries have arrested or imprisoned workers as a tactic to resist demands for democratic rights, decent wages, safer working conditions and secure jobs.
• In at least 9 countries murder and disappearance of workers were commonly used to intimidate workers.
• Workers in at least 53 countries have been dismissed or suspended for attempting to negotiate better working conditions.
• Laws and practices in at least 87 countries exclude certain type of workers from the right to strike.