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US Mission in Timor-Leste deny workers human rights07 December 2010
The US Mission is denying workers their right to form and join trade unions - in contradiction of Article 23(4) of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Read the open letter to Barack Obama here.
The US Mission in Timor-Leste refused to meet with the General Workers Union of Timor-Leste (SJTL) on 22 November 2010, regarding the unfair dismissal of its member Mario Baretto on the basis that:
"as part of the terms of his employment, Mr Baretto was/is not allowed to be a member of any organized union and therefore we will not meet with any representative acting on his behalf"
The US Mission is denying Mario Baretto his right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests as per Article 23 (4) of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
The US Mission is also breaching the International Labour Organization Convention 87, Freedom of Association, and Protection of the Right to Organise Convention, 1948, which Timor-Leste ratified on 16 June 2009.
US Mission officials had previously refused to meet with the union or to attend mediation by the Labour Board on the incorrect assertion that they enjoy diplomatic immunity.
Almerio Vila Nova, General Secretary of SJTL stated:
"The US Mission seems intent on using any fabrication to avoid their obligations to consult with Mr Baretto and his trade union. We are dismayed that the United States of America is denying Timorese workers their human rights and breaking national law and we are disappointed that the US Mission will not even meet with us or attend mediation to discuss the matter. As such we are left with no option other than to call on the governments of Timor-Leste to intervene and to seek international support."Mr Baretto was employed by the US Mission as a security officer from 3 May 2004 and was dismissed on 16 July 2010 in breach of the Labour Code of Timor-Leste.
SJTL will hold a press conference at 10am in front of the Palacio de Governo on 9 December 2010. All are welcome to attend.Please direct any media enquiries to:
Rigoberto Monteiro/Jose da Costa
Union Aid Abroad - APHEDA
Ph: (02) 9264 9343
Fax: (02) 9261 1118
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