The NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union has condemned the continuing and increasing number of attacks on trade unionists and on workers’ rights across the globe at TUC Congress in Manchester.

The Union has highlighted recent research by the ITUC which found systematic violations of international recognised collective labour rights by governments and employers in countries around the world.

The NASUWT has called on the UK Government to ratify and implement all conventions of the International Labour Organization (ILO) which enshrines rights around issues including pay, freedom of association, collective bargaining and workplace discrimination and to use its influence to press for these rights to be upheld abroad.

Chris Keates, NASUWT General Secretary, said:

“The right to be treated fairly at work and to be able to join a trade union and collectively organise should be a basic human right for every worker.

“The increasing attacks on labour rights both at home and abroad are scandalous and unacceptable.

“Workers and trade unionists routinely are arrested beaten and even murdered, simply for standing up for their rights.

“The UK Government needs to demonstrate its support for workers’ rights by implementing the conventions of the ILO and also use its diplomatic pressure and influence to press foreign partners to do likewise.”

Speaking on the motion Patrick Roach, NASUWT Deputy General Secretary,said:

“At home and abroad we need the TUC, together with the ILO and international partners to continue to show the courage, determination and leadership needed to defend workers’ rights at home and abroad, challenge those governments guilty of the most serious violations of workers’ rights and expose our own Government’s hypocrisy and the empty rhetoric behind its promise of a country that works for everyone.”


Some employers are attempting to manipulate the recently introduced GDPR (General Data Protection Regulations) to try to pursue exploitative and discriminatory employment practices and to deny trade unions their right to represent their members, the NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union has told TUC Congress.

The Union has told Congress in Manchester that some employers are misusing GDPR to seek to deny trade unions access to legitimate information on issues such as redundancy and equal pay.

The NASUWT has called on the TUC to press the Information Commissioner to issue statutory guidance to employers stating that trade unions have a legitimate right to be provided with information necessary to represent and support their members. 

Chris Keates, NASUWT General Secretary, moving the motion, said:

“Unfortunately, it is all too common for unscrupulous employers to seek to take a legislative provision designed to protect individuals and distort it to deny workers their rights.

“More and more examples are emerging of employers in the education sector seeking to withhold workforce data, designed to identify discriminatory practices and inequality, thereby preventing trade unions representing their members’ interests.

“Job loss, which causes appalling stress and distress, made worse by employers seeking to withhold vital workforce information needed for unions to seek to protect workers’ rights.

“These actions are nothing to do with protecting people’s personal data and everything to do with employers trying to pursue exploitative working practices and prevent trade unions fighting for decent pay and working conditions for members.

“We are calling on the TUC to press the Information Commissioner to act and to prevent the manipulation of this important legislation to disadvantage working people.”