Committee on the Application of Standards: the Worker Vice-Chair’s Comments

Press release | 16 June 2011

Geneva, 16 June 2011 (ACTRAV INFO) – The Worker Vice-Chair of the Committee on the Application of Standards, Luc Cortebeeck, has condemned “incidents” during the preparation of the list of cases to be examined by the committee.

At the end of its work, “we were very happy that we arrived at common conclusions for the 25 cases which were chosen,” he said, “even though setting up or drafting the list of cases was extremely difficult and a source of great tension. The preparation of this list is becoming increasingly difficult, but this year the experience was much worse than any year in the past.” He was speaking during the adoption of the report of the Committee on the Application of Standards.

“This year,” he recalled, “the incidents that accompanied the drafting of the list forced us once again to find a creative solution in the case of Colombia, where assassinations and threats to workers continue. These incidents also forced us to remain silent on the case of Japan and Convention No. 29 [Forced Labour Convention, 1930]. At the moment, there is no prospect of a solution for this case, despite the repeated calls to the employers and the Government in Japan. The Conference is finishing without any sign of a possibility of offering these women a respectful solution to their rights.”

To governments, the Worker Vice-Chair of the Committee on the Application of Standards emphasized that “recognizing the facts and asking for people’s pardon and rectifying the situation does not involve losing face.”

On the workers’ behalf, Luc Cortebeeck hailed the release of Iranian trade unionist Mansour Osanloo: “The workers also paid tribute to the liberation of Mansour Osanloo, the president of the Bus Workers’ Trade Union in Tehran. We are extremely happy to hear this news. Nonetheless, there are still two other leaders of the same trade union in prison, Abraham Madadi and Reza Shahabi. We would ask that they, along with Mansour Osanloo, be freed immediately.”

The Worker Vice-Chair of the Committee also said his group has noted “the follow-up to the decision of the Governing Body of 24 March 2011 to send a high-level tripartite mission to the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela on Conventions Nos. 87 [Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organize Convention, 1948] and 98 [Right to Organize and Collective Bargaining Convention, 1949], and we look forward to hearing the outcome of those missions.”

To read Committee on the Application of Standards:Mr CORTEBEECK (Worker, Belgium; Worker Vice-Chairperson, Committee on the Application of Standards)