Core labour rights - Topics - CNV Internationaal

CORE labour rights

The recognition and above all respect for workers' rights are a central pillar in the international trade union work of CNV Internationaal. These rights of workers (including trade union rights) are called international labour standards.

Although many countries have promised to respect these standards, reality often is very different. CNV Internationaal protects and advocates workers’ rights worldwide and assigns priority to the following standards:

  1. Protecting the universal human rights of workers and of the people in the community in which the company operates.
  2. Freedom for workers to be represented and to organise themselves in a trade union. Where trade unions are not officially recognised, the employer facilitates other forms of independent organisation and representation of workers. (ILO Convention 87)
  3. The right to collective negotiations; workers’ representatives must be enabled to negotiate and consult with decision-makers. (ILO Convention 98, supplemented by 135, OESO Guidelines IV, Art. 8).
  4. Workers must be able to choose their work freely; contributing to the eradication of all forms of slavery and forced labour. (ILO Conventions 29 and 105).
  5. Not employing children who are still at the compulsory school age (in any case no children aged 15 or younger (in some countries an exception is made at the age of 14) and participating in and contributing to schemes to remove currently working children from the labour situation and to enable them to undergo education. (ILO Conventions 138 and 182 and OESO Guidelines)
  6. Non-discrimination among workers. (ILO Conventions 100 and 111).
  7. The payment of a living wage. This means a wage with which one can meet the basic needs of an average family. (ILO Conventions 26 and 131).
  8. Ensuring safe and healthy working conditions for workers. (ILO Convention 155 and Recommendation 164).
  9. Applying and ensuring a maximum number of working hours, in principle no more than 8 hours a day, 48 hours a week. (ILO Convention 1).
  10. Providing job security. (ILO Tripartite Declaration of Principles Concerning Multinational Enterprises Art. 24-28). 


Supplementary workers' rights

The CNV regards the following standards as important supplementary workers’ rights:

  • Providing workers with relevant training. (ILO Tripartite Declaration Art. 29-32).

  • The right to the submission and handling of complaints without the risk of being punished or discriminated for this. (ILO Tripartite Declaration Art. 57 and 58).

  • The right to timely provision of information in matters such as reorganisations, collective dismissal and redundancy schemes. (OESO Guidelines IV, Art. 6).

  • The employer may not threaten with, for instance, relocation of the company when exercising the right to organisation. (OESO Guidelines IV, Art. 7).

  • Where possible local personnel should be employed and trained, and wages and labour conditions may not be less favourable than those applied by comparable employers in the host country. (OESO Guidelines IV, Art. 4a and IV, Art. 5).

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