Last year, 115 trade unionists were murdered, while more than 1,600 were subjected to violent assaults and 9,000 arrested, according to the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions annual survey of union rights violations.
Alongside this, nearly 10,000 workers were sacked for their trade union involvement, and almost 1,700 detained.
Latin America remained the most perilous region for trade union activity, with Colombia once again topping the list for killings, intimidation and death threats – 70 Colombian unionists paid the ultimate price for standing up for rights at work.
Other countries under the spotlight for violence and repression against unionists include Iraq, Iran, El Salvador, Djibouti, China and Cambodia,
Brendan Barber, TUC general secretary, said: “All around the world, trade unionists stand up for people at work. So when authoritarian governments ’round up the usual suspects’, or when bullying employers want to ride roughshod over employees and communities, trade unionists are always in the firing line.”