UNITED NATIONS(IPS) - The United States, a self-styled promoter of human rights and global democracy, has come under heavy fire for "serious violations" of labour rights in its own backyard.

Many categories of workers in the United States — including government employees, independent contractors, and agricultural and domestic workers — are excluded from the Labour Relations Act that provides for freedom of association and collective bargaining rights, according to a new report released Wednesday by the Brussels-based International Confederation of Free Trade Unions.