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Due to the Covid-19 outbreak, a wide range of exceptional measures both at EU level and at national level have either been taken or are being discussed and which touch upon workers’ and trade union rights.

Initial signs indicate that certain governments are using the Covid-19 crisis as an alibi through which to “temporarily” undermine and curtail human rights in general and workers and trade union rights in particular. For the ETUC this is unacceptable, and it is particularly in times of crisis that human and trade union rights must be upheld and even enhanced.

The ETUC therefore urges that any response given now by international, European and national authorities should ensure that the measures taken do not infringe human rights standards, including workers’ and trade unions rights, but rather promote trade unions and collective bargaining as the effective response to the crisis.

Whereas a previous ETUC Covid-19 Watch Briefing Note on ‘Human Rights and Covid-19’ looked at the impact of such measures on human rights (including workers’ rights) in general, this Briefing Note in particular looks at the impact on trade union rights (freedom of association, right to collective bargaining and right to collective action, including right to strike).


Please access the full briefing note here for more information on Covid-19 and Trade Union Rights.