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close this bookABC of Women Workers' Rights and Gender Equality (ILO; 2000; 124 pages)
View the documentThe International Labour Organization
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View the documentPreface to the earlier ABC of women workers' rights
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Open this folder and view contentsIntroduction: Labour standards promoting women workers' rights and gender equality (Ingeborg Heide1)
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View the documentTrade unions
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Trade unions

Trade unions are organizations of workers, established for protecting and/or improving, through collective action, the economic and social situation of workers of both sexes.

Trade unions, their representatives and members should ensure the respect for and promotion of equal remuneration, opportunity and treatment through their relations with management. In this regard, they should engage in the following equal opportunity and treatment policies:

• encouraging management to introduce adequate measures in areas where they do not exist, and negotiating the extension of existing policies;

• negotiating for the inclusion in collective bargaining agreements of clauses on equal opportunities, protection against discrimination, affirmative action and family-friendly arrangements;

• cooperation with and assistance to management in formulating, implementing and monitoring equal opportunity and treatment policies.

Within the trade union organization, representatives and members should ensure equal opportunities and treatment. In this respect, they should:

• solicit membership from workers of all groups and both sexes in the workplace; this may include positive action measures to promote the affiliation of women;

• encourage the election of representatives from the under-represented groups and sex; special measures should be taken to guarantee women's equal sharing of decision-making;

• encourage all workers to participate in union activities, particularly in education and training, which are aimed at increasing awareness and capacity building to promote equality;

• provide information to all members on their equal role in the union, union procedures and structure, and their rights and responsibilities under collective bargaining agreements, relevant laws and other legal provisions and work rules; and

• provide support to members alleging discrimination in the workplace, in the form of guidance, educational activities, information and, where appropriate, representation.

Workers should enjoy adequate protection against acts of discrimination due to trade union membership or activities.

C. 87: Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise, 1948
C. 98: Right to Organise and Collective Bargaining, 1949

→ see also Collective bargaining, Family responsibilities, workers with, Freedom of association and the right to organize and Fundamental principles and rights at work

 

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