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Open letter to President Obama09 December 2010
The SJTL - General Workers' Union of Timor-Leste - has sent an open letter to Barack Obama asking that the US Mission in Timor-Leste respect Timorese human rights
Read the background to this story and voice your support by emailing the US Ambassador.
The Honorable Barack Obama
By Fax: 202-456-2461
9 December 2010
Dear President Obama,
Re: Open letter to President Obama asking that the US Mission in Timor-Leste respect Timorese human rights
The Timor-Leste Trade Union Confederation respectfully requests your support in conciliating a resolution with the US Mission in Timor-Leste commensurate with the Universal Declaration on Human Rights as the US Mission is claiming that their Timorese workers do not have a right to join a trade union.
On 22 November 2010 the US Mission in Timor-Leste refused to meet with the union regarding the unfair dismissal of our 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 the United States of America enjoys diplomatic immunity.
We are requesting your assistance because of your commitment to human rights and your undertaking that the United States of America will exemplify the values that you advocate.
In 2008 you made the following public statement on Human Rights Day.
The United States was founded on the idea that all people are endowed with inalienable rights, and that principle has allowed us to work to perfect our union at home while standing as a beacon of hope to the world. Today, that principle is embodied in agreements Americans helped forge -- the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Geneva Conventions, and treaties against torture and genocide -- and it unites us with people from every country and culture.
In 2010 on the eve of Human Rights Day we ask for your support in ensuring that Timorese workers employed by the United States of America enjoy their human rights.
Union Aid Abroad - APHEDA
Ph: (02) 9264 9343
Fax: (02) 9261 1118
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