Take action – sign the letter Ban Ki-Moon In an astonishing act of hypocrisy and just days before the terrorist attack on the UN facility in Mogadishu in June, United Nations staff represented by CCISUA (the federation representing staff associations a …

Walton Pantland

UN

Take action – sign the letter Ban Ki-Moon

In an astonishing act of hypocrisy and just days before the terrorist attack on the UN facility in Mogadishu in June, United Nations staff represented by CCISUA (the federation representing staff associations and unions organised in the United Nations and who are affiliated to the GFTU in the UK) had their union rights unilaterally withdrawn by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

Unions across the world were shocked by the move. TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady wrote directly to the UN Secretary General in New York, and to UK Foreign Secretary William Hague asking him to stand up for union rights for UN staff.

Frances O’Grady’s letter received the following appalling response from the UN.

UN staff have drawn attention to the health and safety implications for staff of losing their collective bargaining rights.

In the last decade, 220 staff have been killed in attacks, on top of 102 who died in the Haiti earthquake three years ago.

Ahead of a 10th anniversary commemoration of the Baghdad bombing in which 22 UN staff died, Ian Richards, President of the UN staff union in Geneva, wrote:

We believe that union rights save UN lives. In order to help ensure the safety of colleagues who serve in the field, a credible negotiating framework between representatives of staff and management is essential. Without the ability to challenge decisions that may prove to be harmful to them, or even to speak up for themselves, our colleagues are helpless.”

You can take action to protest at this disgraceful decision, and demand that UN staff should have their collective bargaining rights restored, by backing an International Trade Union Confederation e-action and demanding that the United Nations honour’s ILO Conventions.


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License.
Author avatar

Walton Pantland

South African trade unionist living in Glasgow. Loves whisky, wine, running and the great outdoors. Walton did an MA in Industrial Relations at Ruskin, Oxford, and is interested in how trade unions use new technology to organise.

Read All Articles