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.
Hmmm, call me suspicious.
First of all, why subtitle the report “The worlds worst countries for workers“? Why not just “World rankings for workers“? Do we have an agenda, perhaps? ITUC stands for International Trade Union Confederation. Maybe by some miracle a trade union organization managed to remain unbiased in a report that affects workers rights. Sure it did.
Who runs ITUC? Well, take a look at the bio on Joao Felicio. Wow, a good old fashioned Marxist.
Well, what matters is the report! The very first line of said report has this:
The guarantee of the free exercise of workers’ rights is also a guarantee of a more equal and a more prosperous society
I think there are a few economists in the world who would question whether a more equal society is a more prosperous society. But wait. What is meant here by “equal”? I doubt we are talking about equality of opportunity. But it’s interesting that leftist papers use the word “equality” all the time without specifying the meaning. What can we do but assume that the intent is one of equality of outcome? So, how can equality of outcome be achieved in a world where incomes overall are increasing but so is the wage gap? The only way to do that is with force: to take from some, by force, and give to others.
The next sentence in the paper is this:
When workers enjoy the freedom of a collective voice, can bargain for safe workplaces and fair wages and conditions and are free from discrimination then productivity and economic growth can flourish
I guess the first obvious question here is this: what is preventing workers from doing these things? Put another way: what is it that necessitates the need for government force in enabling a worker in these activities? Well, why don’t we take a look at another ITUC article on that subject. Well, that doesn’t till us much, except to hint that ITUC is looking to the government for solutions. Let’s take a look at this Upenn article instead, whose first sentence reads:
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s success in attracting investments to the state of Gujarat, where he was chief minister, was largely due to labor law reforms.
Wait, what?! I thought ITUC wanted to help workers? I guess by “help” ITUC means chase business out of countries, taking jobs with them. In that article, a trade union rep states:
They will be without any protection and, given the current unemployment situation in the country, the workers will become slaves of the contractors and employers
Slaves you say. I don’t recall reading about how slaves voluntarily surrendered their labor in exchange for payment. Another statement from the ITUC document:
The methodology is grounded in standards of fundamental rights at work, in particular the right to freedom of association, the right to collective bargaining and the right to strike. These rights are based on international human rights law which we have spelled out in the form of 97 indicators.
Notice the wordsmithing here. ITUC states these are “fundamental human rights”. It is the “fundamental” right of one group (unions) to ask another group (government) to force at gunpoint a third group (business) to allow a fourth group (workers), to demand something that that business is unwilling to give them voluntarily. Where are the natural and fundamental rights of business here? No, we can’t have any this “voluntary negotiation” nonsense. Bring out the guns.
So let’s get to the meat of this report. Basically, the format, as near as I can tell, was this:
Input is taken from there sources:
- Analysis of national laws
- Reports from 325 union centers
- A survey
I assume #1 is more specifically “analysis of labor laws”. In other words, things like expecting to continue getting paid despite refusing to work, that is, until demands are met. But is this how reasonable people behave? When a person seeks employment and comes to an agreement, is this not a voluntary action? Are unhappy employees not free to leave and seek employment elsewhere?
#2 seems a bit unfair. ITUC uses input from union centers in order to determine if union action is necessary?
#3, the survey, I can’t figure out. If you follow the link, it appears to simply be a summary of complaints regarding labor law. Silly me, I thought the survey would be something targeted to workers. Instead, it appears to be more of #1 and #2. So all of this boils down to input from those who make their living as union representatives, with a focus on how much government is involved.
Next, the steps to completing the report are:
- Surveyed information is coded against 97 indicators
- Coded violations are summed up
- Rating from 1-5 assigned to country
So who actually fills out these surveys? If you read the survey, they sure aren’t responses from the proletariat. You can read the report yourself, but it appears to me that the entirety of this report is aggregated from information supplied by people employed in the business of unions. I really don’t see anything at all from either the perspective of workers (and certainly not non-union workers), business, economists, etc. And yet I’m supposed to believe this report represents the following: The worlds worst countries for workers.
No, instead I think the title should be “The worlds best countries for trade union representatives”. Or perhaps “What would Karl Marx do”.