"Around the world, workers trying to claim basic rights to decent work in many countries are being met with sackings, violence and in extreme cases murder by governments, employers and businesses," said Sharan Burrows, general secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC).
The largest number of killings of apparel unionists (6), and breaches of their core labour rights, took place in Bangladesh, said the ITUC's annual survey of violations of trade union rights in the world.
It also highlights that protests at garment factories in Bangladesh over minimum wage demands were widespread throughout the year, and were met with police brutality, with hundreds injured in the clashes.
Stephen Benedict, ITUC director of human and trade union rights, said the group has recently written to authorities in Bangladesh expressing its growing concerns over continued abuses of apparel workers and demonstrators.
Similarly the survey, carried out in 143 countries, documents that in Pakistan, Mustansar Randhawa, the founder of the Labour Quami Movement for loom workers, was shot dead in his office. And in Cambodia, Ath Thorn, president of the country's apparel union CCAWDU, received death threats last August before nationwide strikes were held.
Moreover, hundreds of textile migrant workers from South Asia, the vast majority women, were stripped of their passports and subjected to conditions amounting to slavery in an apparel plant in Jordan, with two reportedly "overworked to death."
90 trade unionists were murdered worldwide in 2012, including 49 in Colombia. In addition, 75 received death threats, at least 2,500 were arrested and 5,000 sacked because of union activities, said the ITUC.