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Trade Union Rights June 2021

ILO and UNICEF to release latest estimates of child labour

Near the end of May, ILO News reporetd that a joint report by the International Labour Organization and UNICEF would provide critical data for measuring progress on Target 8.7 of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

It was noted that the International Labour Organization (ILO) and UNICEF would publish a new report describing the scale and key characteristics of child labour around the world, as well as changes over time.

It was further reported that the report, published for the first time jointly by the ILO and UNICEF, as co-custodians of SDG Target 8.7, would also present the results of a simulation exercise of the likely impact of the COVID-19 crisis on child labour up to 2022.

It was argued that thanks to more and richer data from national household surveys and ongoing refinements in estimation methods, the child labour profile emerging from the 2020 estimates would be disaggregated by age, region, sex, sector, rural and urban.

World Employment and Social Outlook - Trends 2021: The report in short

On 2nd June the ILO reported that their new report, World Employment and Social Outlook: Trends 2021 (WESO Trends), looks at the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the global labour market. It analyses the effects on inequality, working poverty women and young people, as well as what is needed for a comprehensive, sustainable and human-centred recovery.

 

Slow jobs recovery and increased inequality risk long-term COVID-19 scarring

ILO projections highlight the danger of a COVID-19 labour market legacy of increased geographic and demographic inequality, rising poverty and fewer decent jobs.

On 2nd June, ILO News reported that the labour market crisis created by the COVID-19 pandemic was far from over, and employment growth would be insufficient to make up for the losses suffered until at least 2023, according to a new assessment by the International Labour Organization (ILO).

It was further reported that the ILO’s World Employment and Social Outlook: Trends 2021  (WESO Trends) projected the global crisis-induced ‘jobs gap’ would reach 75 million in 2021, before falling to 23 million in 2022. It was pointed out that the related gap in working-hours, which includes the jobs gap and those on reduced hours, amounts to the equivalent of 100 million full-time jobs in 2021 and 26 million full-time jobs in 2022. This shortfall in employment and working hours comes on top of persistently high pre-crisis levels of unemployment, labour underutilization and poor working conditions.

It was argued that in consequence, global unemployment is expected to stand at 205 million people in 2022, greatly surpassing the level of 187 million in 2019 and that this corresponds to an unemployment rate of 5.7 per cent. Excluding the COVID-19 crisis period, such a rate was last seen in 2013.

 

ITUC General Council begins 2022 Congress preparations and tackles rights abuses

On 3rd June the ITUC reported that their General Council meeting, 26-27 May, had confirmed that the 5th ITUC World Congress would now take place from 17 – 22 November 2022 in Melbourne, Australia.

It was noted that the decision to postpone the Congress from July had been taken in order to provide for the highest possible physical participation in the event, with international COVID-19 travel restrictions expected to continue into 2022.

It was further noted that the Council had approved the Congress theme ‘A New Social Contract’, as well as the preparatory process for developing the draft Congress Statement, and other key milestones on the road to Congress.

Attacks on workers

It was also reported that the Council had received reports on attacks on workers’ rights and democracy from union leaders in several countries, including:

  • Belarus, where the Lukashenko regime’s suppression of trade union activity and pro-democracy activities, including the jailing of trade union leaders, continues.

  • Colombia, where dozens of trade union and community leaders have been killed in the past four weeks as public opposition to the policies and actions of the government of President Duque grows.

  • Hong Kong, where China’s puppet government has intensified its suppression of democracy, including handing a second prison sentence of 18 months to Lee Cheuk Yan, General Secretary of the Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions.

  • Myanmar, where the military junta’s ongoing campaign of murder and repression includes the specific targeting of officials from the ITUC-affiliated Confederation of Trade Unions of Myanmar.

  • The Philippines, where the brutal rule of President Duterte includes ‘red tagging’ of trade unionists for assassination.

 

ILO and UNICEF to release latest estimates of child labour

ILO News reported on 3rd June that the International Labour Organization (ILO) and UNICEF were to publish new global estimates of the number of children in child labour.

It was noted that their joint report, Child Labour: 2020 Global estimates, trends and the road forward, would be launched on 10 June, 2021 ahead of the World Day Against Child Labour on 12 June.

It was said that the report would outline the latest trends and numbers of children in child labour, globally and by region, and will include estimates of those at additional risk due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Myanmar: International community must oppose new attack on union by military junta

On 4th June, the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) reported that it was calling on world governments to oppose the latest attack on trade unionists by the military regime in Myanmar.

It was noted that passports had been cancelled and arrest warrants issued for several senior members of the Confederation of Trade Unions, Myanmar (CTUM), with some detained. It was further noted that the regime had written to governments around the world requesting that they no longer recognise a number of passports.

It was argued that the CTUM had been instrumental in the wider resistance by the people of Myanmar to the military takeover and the establishment of a legitimate national unity government.

Asylum and protection

Sharan Burrow, ITUC General Secretary was reported as saying: “This cowardly, desperate act shows that the resistance of the Myanmar people and their workers’ unions is working.

This is the behaviour of a regime that is desperate and scared.

But the people in Myanmar need all the support we can give them to succeed. I call on all governments that receive a letter from the military regime demanding that they cancel passports to ignore this request and grant asylum and protection to the people in question.

These people deserve our support and best efforts to stop this persecution.”

 

Cataclysmic” COVID-19 crisis demands human-centred recovery policies, says ILO Director-General

It was reported on 7th June by ILO News that the ILO’s Director-General had told delegates at the opening virtual plenary sitting of the International Labour Conference that human-centred policies, such as those outlined in the ILO Centenary Declaration, were key to a sustainable and inclusive global pandemic response.

It was further reported that he had underlined the consequences of the “multiple and growing inequalities in our societies” the pandemic has exposed and the past failure to address them over time.

Guy Ryder, the ILO Director-general was reporetd as saying that, “the sum of human suffering caused by the pandemic is all the greater for that collective failure. In this house of social justice we, more than most, need to draw conclusions from this.”

 

To protect the oceans, we must promote decent work

On 8th June, ILO News argued that effective lifelong learning and quality education for all was essential for a better future of work. It was said that if teachers, trainers and support workers were to fill this need they would need to master new technologies and learning techniques and receive support to deal with their expanded responsibilities. It was noted that representatives of governments, employers and workers are meeting at the ILO to discuss strategies for promoting quality learning and decent work in education

 

ILO and Lebanon pledge to cooperate on improving rural livelihoods

It was reported by ILO news on 8th June that the ILO and lebeanon had pledged tp cooperate on improvong rural livelihoods and that the collaboration was building on the ILO’s work to improve livelihoods and resilience and the Ministry of Agriculture’s priorities in improving food security and rural development, and assisting poor farmers in developing agricultural infrastructure.

 

Minimum global tax rate: a positive step but concerns remain

On 8th June, the ITUC reported on the announcement by G7 finance ministers that agreement had been reached to introduce a minimum global tax rate on multinational corporations, and to make companies pay tax in the places where they make profits, is a positive step.

However, it was argued that concerns remained over the details, including what threshold of profit would trigger the tax, what percentage the tax would be, and whether the initiative will succeed in making big technology companies, in particular, begin to pay fair rates of tax.

Sharan Burrow, ITUC General Secretary, was reported as saying: “This is a step in the right direction, but it doesn’t go far enough. A 15% tax is much less than most workers pay on their whole income. And it falls short of earlier indications of more than 20%, as well as being below the corporation tax rates of many countries.

It also seems that the separate ’pillar 1’ tax agreement on large businesses would only kick in if profits exceed 10%. That threshold is too high and could also make it easier for companies, which have been cheating the public purse for years, to avoid paying their far share through ‘tax minimisation’ to keep getting away from paying up.

It’s absolutely crucial that we properly finance recovery and resilience from this pandemic, vital public services and climate action. A digital tax is also on the agenda of the OECD and G20 group of countries and must be supported.

And with nearly 3,000 billionaires in the world, the time has come for wealth taxes as well as the unfinished business of financial transaction taxes, which would generate revenue and drive down speculation. In addition, action on the tax agenda must be complemented by action on competition policy. The dominance of companies like Amazon is stifling competition and opportunities for others, and they should be broken up.”

 

Scandalous child labour figures shame the world

For the first time since records began, the official count of the number of children in child labour is rising.

On 10th June, IITUC reporetd that or 20 years, the International Labour Organization (ILO) has been calculating the figure every four years through household surveys.

It was noted that the 2016-2020 figure estimated that 160 million children were in child labour globally – almost one in ten of all children. It was also reported that around 79 million were in hazardous work that endangers their health, safety and moral development.

It was further noted that although the percentage of children in child labour had remained roughly unchanged, these figures meant that the total number of children in child labour increased by over eight million in the period 2016-2020, while the absolute number of children in hazardous work rose by 6.5 million.LO to launch global report on domestic workers

 

The International Labour Organization (ILO) is to publish a new report on the situation of domestic workers worldwide.

On 11th June ILO News reported that the report, Making decent work a reality for domestic workers: Progress and prospects ten years after the adoption of the Domestic Workers Convention, 2011 (No. 189), would be launched on 15 June 2021, ahead of International Domestic Workers Day 2021 on 16 June, the 10th anniversary of the adoption of the landmark Domestic Workers’ Convention.

It was further reported that the report compares the working conditions of domestic workers with those of the wider population, assesses how far things have moved on since the adoption of the Convention, and the impact of COVID-19  on domestic workers.

 

New global commission launched to create ‘blueprint for survival’ in new age of world instability

On 14th June, the ITUC reported that a new high-level global commission, which includes representatives from the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), had been formed to tackle the risks of conflict to the contemporary world using the framework of ‘common security’.

It was further reported that the new commission would present a far-reaching report for Common Security 2022 that will form a blueprint for survival in the face of extreme challenges: climate change, unbalanced globalisation, crumbling disarmament treaties, the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic, and the decline of democracy.

It was also noted that the concept of common security emerged from the conclusion of a commission in 1982 led by the prime minister of Sweden, Olof Palme.

The ITUC General Secretary, Sharan Burrow, is on the commission: “After 40 years, the time has come to reframe security and reimagine our world again. No single country can address the extreme challenges of the modern world; we must work together.

I am looking forward to working with this diverse and knowledgeable group and finding ways to deal with the existential challenges facing the world. I believe that we will show that the only true security is common security.”

 

Making decent work a reality for domestic workers

On 15th June, the ILO reported that the COVID-19 pandemic had highlighted the vital role that domestic workers play in supporting the care needs of households, as well as the vulnerability they face earning a living behind closed doors. It was noted that Convention No. 189 had been adopted in 2011 precisely to protect domestic workers from such poor working conditions. After a decade of efforts, how far have we come to make decent work a reality for domestic workers? It was said that readers could find out more at: www.ilo.org/domesticworkers

 

10 years on, domestic workers still fight for equality and decent work

On the tenth anniversary of the adoption of the Domestic Workers’ Convention, the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed continued vulnerabilities of domestic workers in the labour market.

On 15th June ILO News reported that ten years after the adoption of an historic International Labour Organization (ILO) Convention that had confirmed their labour rights, domestic workers are still fighting for recognition as workers and essential service providers.

It was argued that working conditions for many had not improved in a decade and had been made worse by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new ILO report .

It was noted that at the height of the crisis, job losses among domestic workers had ranged from 5-20 per cent in most European countries, as well as Canada and South Africa. In the Americas, the situation had been worse, with losses amounting to 25-50 per cent. Over the same period, job losses among other employees were less than 15 per cent in most countries.

It was reported that data in the report shows that the world’s 75.6 million domestic workers (4.5 per cent of employees worldwide) have suffered significantly, which in turn has affected the households that rely on them to meet their daily care needs.

The crisis has highlighted the urgent need to formalize domestic work to ensure their access to decent work, starting with the extension and implementation of labour and social security laws to all domestic workers."

Guy Ryder, ILO Director-General

 

EU’s new financial instrument for external action finally adopted: we need a ‘Global Europe’ based on solidarity

The ITUC and the ETUC have welcomed the EU’s adoption of a new financial instrument for the block’s external action for the period 2021-27, the ‘Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument - Global Europe’ (NDICI-Global Europe).

It was reported by the ITUC on 15th June that in their response on the adoption of the instrument, the union confederations pointed to the inclusion of many of their key asks in the final text: The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were among the NDICI’s key objectives; while decent work, the ILO standards and due diligence were listed in the instrument’s development cooperation priorities. It was noted that the NDICI incorporated more inclusive and transparent impact assessment mechanisms than in previous instruments.

However, it was also reported that the ITUC and the ETUC had raised a warning flag regarding the Instrument’s overall budget cuts and express their deep concern about the inclusion of a migration conditionality in the text, despite repeated trade union demands that the allocation of development aid not be conditional on cooperation on migration management.

 

World leaders to address ILO’s World of Work Summit

On 16th June, ILO News reported that world leaders and representatives from governments, workers’ and employers’ organizations would speak at the virtual International Labour Conference World of Work Summit that would take place 17–18 June.

It was noted that the Summit would focus on the response to the devastating impact of COVID-19 on the world of work and the action required to build a better future of work.

It was furtrher reported that on 17 June at 11:00 GMT (13:00 CEST), the firsty day of the Summit would heafirst day of the Summit would hear video addresses from Pope Francis, President of the Republic of Korea Moon Jae-in, the President of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Félix Antoine Tshisekedi Tshilombo, and the Portuguese Prime Minister, António Costa and US President Joe Biden (in order of appearance).

It was also reported that the high-level addresses would be followed by a conversation between the ILO Director-General, Guy Ryder, the Secretary-General of the International Organisation of Employers (IOE), Roberto Suárez Santos, and the General Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), Sharan Burrow.

 

Global agreement reached at ILO Conference on action for COVID-19 recovery

On 17th June ILO News reported that the International Labour Conference had adopted a Global Call to Action outlining measures to create a human-centred recovery from the pandemic and avoid the long-term scarring of economies and societies.

 

COVID-19 and social protection among key debates as June session of virtual International Labour Conference ends

It was reported on by ILO News on 19th June that the impact of COVID-19 on the world of work had featured prominently in the June segment of the first virtual International Labour Conference. It was further reported that conclusions on social protection and the application of international labour standards had been adopted on the final day, along with an emergency resolution on Myanmar.

 

First international treaty to address violence and harassment comes into force

It was reported by ILO News on 21st June that the International Labour Organization is to launch a global campaign to promote ratification of the Violence and Harassment Convention.

It was further reported that the first international treaty on violence and harassment in the world of work would come into force on June 25th 2021 – two years after it was adopted by the ILO’s International Labour Conference (ILC).

 

It was noted that to date, six countries had ratified the Violence and Harassment Convention, 2019 (No. 190)  – Argentina, Ecuador, Fiji, Namibia, Somalia and Uruguay. Ratifying countries were said to be legally bound by the provisions of the Convention a year after ratification.

 

ILO conference adopts strong pandemic call to action

The ITUC reported on 22nd June that the International Labour Organization’s (ILO) annual International Labour Conference (ILC) had concluded with the adoption of a strong and coherent response to the devastating impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

It was noted that the plan, which had been adopted with the unanimous support of government, trade union and employer representatives fast-tracks implementation of the ILO Centenary Declaration.

Sharan Burrow, ITUC General Secretary, was reported as saying: “This plan puts the new social contract in action with the foundations, for all workers, of workers’ rights, occupational health and safety, decent minimum wages and maximum working hours.

It addresses the five workers’ demands of job creation, especially for the environment, rights, universal social protection, equality and inclusion. It calls for fiscal, monetary and trade and investment policies that work for people, which is crucial, given the abject failure of austerity to deal with the global financial crisis just over a decade ago. The supply chain responsibilities of multinational companies are also addressed in the plan.

In addition, the strong commitment to universal access to vaccines, tests and treatments is welcome, along with the need for industrial policy. These and other key elements of the call to action provide the basis for recovery and resilience as we tackle the impacts of the pandemic and work to bring it under control.”

Belarus and Myanmar

It was also reported that the Belarusian government had openly threatened the ITUC affiliate BKDP and had claimed that the issues being debated were outside the scope of the ILO. It was noted that employers in that committee had continued their efforts to undermine the right to strike as well as collective bargaining.

It was reported that there had been a strong resolution on Myanmar, calling for the restoration of democracy and civilian rule and an end to the military junta’s violent attacks on those who oppose it. It was also said that the conference also refused to accredit the nominated representatives of the junta.

This conference underscored the value of social dialogue and the power of the ILO’s unique tripartite structure. It also places the ILO at the centre, leading multilateral action on the pandemic. Any weakening of collective bargaining and freedom of association, including the right to strike, would weaken the ILO itself. We look forward to constructive discussions with employers on this and other key issues,” said Sharan Burrow.

It was noted that two further segments of the ILC, with thematic discussions on inequalities and the world of work as well as skills and life-long learning, would take place in November and December.

 

The World Bank needs a roadmap for sustainable recovery

ITUC reported on 23rd June that as governments were meeting to discuss additional funding for the World Bank, trade unions were calling for the institution to promote quality job creation, universal social protection, debt relief and the international labour standards.

It was further noted that the International Development Association (IDA) is the arm of the World Bank that provides loans and grants to low-income countries. It was said that it normally replenished every three years, providing an opportunity to improve policies and operations.

It was further reported that due to the increased needs of developing countries for COVID-19 response and recovery, the twentieth round of replenishment was happening early and the Bank was negotiating with donor and borrower governments on 23-24 June, with the aim of reaching a final agreement by December.

ITUC General Secretary, Sharan Burrow, was reported as saying: “IDA acts as an important form of public investment and can help bridge the fiscal stimulus gap facing low-income countries. This replenishment is described by the Bank as ‘a moment of international solidarity’. We call on governments and the Bank to make this a reality by reaching a replenishment agreement with the resources and policies to promote the international labour standards and the Sustainable Development Goals.”

The ITUC was reported as calling for five IDA action items:

  • Measure the quantity and quality of jobs created by loans;

  • Align the Jobs and Economic Transformation strategy with international labour standards and just transition;

  • Fully implement of the labour safeguard protecting loan project workers;

  • Provide debt relief for borrower countries;

  • Rapidly help countries achieve universal social protection including social protection floors.

Sraan burrow was reported as saying that, “these are practical steps to support quality jobs and sustainable economic transformation, and to hold the World Bank accountable to those goals. Working people and developing countries have not received the support they need during the pandemic. The IDA should assist them through debt relief and universal social protection. Taken together, this means creating a roadmap to sustainable recovery”.

 

G20 ministers recommit to human-centred roadmap out of crisis

On 23rd June, ILO News reported that the Declaration issued at the conclusion of the G20 Labour and Employment Ministerial Meeting in Italy echoed the ILO Global Call to Action for a Human-Centred Recovery, adopted by delegates at the June session of the 2021 International Labour Conference.

It was further reported that the International Labour Organization (ILO) had welcomed the re-commitment by the G20 group of nations to a coherent and human-centred approach to recovery from the COVID-19 crisis that would lead to greater social justice and decent work for all.

It was noted that the G20 Labour and Employment Ministerial Declaration , issued following a full day of talks in Catania, Italy, echoed the Global Call to Action for a Human-Centred Recovery , adopted by delegates at the June session of the International Labour Conference  (ILC). It was said that the Call to Action outlinesd measures to create a human-centred recovery from the pandemic to avoid the long-term scarring of economies and societies.

 

 

Trade Unions matter in a human-centred recovery from COVID-19

On 24th June ILO news reported that the new edition of the International Journal of Labour Research explored strategies to help workers and their organizations shape COVID-19 response policies and advocate for social justice and workers’ rights.

It was noted that trade unions matter and play an important role in combating the pandemic and ensuring a human-centred recovery, according to the new edition of the International Journal of Labour Research, launched by the ILO’s Bureau for the Workers’ Activities.

 

 

#RatifyC190 without delay

On 24th June the ITUC reported that the next day, the ILO’s robust and landmark instrument, the Violence and Harassment Convention (C190), would come into force two years after its adoption. To date, Argentina, Ecuador, Fiji, Namibia, Somalia and Uruguay have ratified it, and the ITUC is calling on all countries to follow suit.

It was noted that to mark the anniversary, ITUC affiliates across the world were mobilising to press for ratification and for effective implementation of the Convention and its accompanying ILO Recommendation 206.

The ITUC and the Global Unions partners were said to be organising a special online event to launch a C190 toolkit, which will become available in seven languages. To join the online event on 25 June at 14.00-15.30 CEST, register on Zoom or find the event on Facebook.

The ILO has also launched a global campaign to promote ratification and implementation

 

A fair future for seafarers key to shipping’s recovery

On 25th June ILO news noted that it was Day of the Seafarer and that hundreds of thousands of seafarers were still unable to join and leave their vessels due to restrictions put in place to contain COVID-19. It was argued that it was critical to respect the rights of seafarers, as set out in maritime law, and ensure seafarers have a fair and sustainable future. #FairFuture4Seafarers

 

Join the ILO’s global campaign for ratification of Violence and Harassment Convention

On 25th June, ILO News reported that the public were being urged to take part in the campaign to raise awareness of violence and harassment in the workplace and to encourage their governments to ratify ILO Convention No. 190.

The International Labour Organization (ILO) was reported as launching a global campaign to promote the ratification and implementation of Convention No. 190 on violence and harassment in the workplace.

It was noted that the campaign aimed to explain in simple terms what the Violence and Harassment Convention, 2019 (No. 190)  is, the issues it covers and how it seeks to address violence and harassment in the world of work.

It was said that the public can take part by downloading assets from the ILO campaign hub  and sharing them on social media.

It was also noted that the global campaign would also reach out to governments, employers’ and workers’ organizations, civil society and private sector companies, as well as policy makers, businesses and partners, while celebrities would also lend their voices to amplify the campaign messages.

 

 

Germany ratifies ILO Convention, 1989 (No. 169) as a strong expression of solidarity for the protection of indigenous and tribal peoples’ rights.

On 25th June ILO news reported that on 23 June 2021, Germany had deposited the instrument of ratification of the Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention, 1989 (No. 169) , becoming the 24th country to ratify this instrument, globally, and the 6th at the European level.

It was noted thatr ILO Convention No. 169 is the only international binding instrument dealing comprehensively and specifically with the rights of indigenous and tribal peoples that is open for ratification. It was said that it is based on the recognition of the aspirations of indigenous and tribal peoples to exercise control over their own institutions, ways of life and development and to maintain and develop their identities, languages and religions in the countries where they live. It was further noted that a 2019 ILO report  estimated that the total number of indigenous and tribal peoples to be at over 476 million globally. It also shows that these groups are nearly three times more likely to be in extreme poverty, with indigenous women particularly affected by inequality.

 

 

ILO to release new estimates on global labour migration

On 28th June, ILO News reported that the International Labour Organization (ILO) was to launch its 3rd report on Global Estimates on International Migrant Workers: Results and Methodology, on Wednesday 30 June.

It was noted that the report focuses on the evolution of global labour migration. It swas said to give a detailed picture of how international migrant workers, who constitute nearly 5 per cent of the global labour force, are an integral part of the world economy.

It was also reported that it includes regional estimates for Africa, the Americas, Arab States, Asia and the Pacific, Europe and Central Asia.

 

 

ILO Governing Body elects new Chair and Vice-Chairs

At its 342nd session, the ILO’s Governing Body elected a new Chair and Vice-Chairs, and discussed a number of items arising from the June session of the International Labour Conference.

On 28th June ILO news reported that the Governing Body of the International Labour Organization (ILO) hhad eld its 342nd session , virtually, on Friday 25 June, and elected its Officers for the period 2021-2022.

It was noted that:

Ambassador Anna Jardfelt Melvin of Sweden was elected as Chairperson and Renate Hornung-Draus of Germany as Employer Vice-Chairperson. Catelene Passchier (Netherlands) was re-elected as the Worker Vice-Chairperson. For the first time in the ILO’s history the Governing Body will have female tripartite leadership.

 

2021 ITUC Global Rights Index: COVID-19 pandemic puts spotlight on workers’ rights

Abuses of the right to strike, the right to establish and join a trade union, the right to trade union activities and civil liberties and the right to free speech and assembly are at an eight-year high, according to the ITUC’s annual Global Rights Index.

On 30th June the ITUC reported that the 2021 ITUC Global Rights Index documents how governments and employers had exploited the pandemic to dismiss workers who had exposed vital information about the spread of the virus in workplaces; violated collective bargaining rights; increased surveillance of workers and undermined the right to privacy; and restricted free speech and assembly.

  • Workplaces are becoming less safe, with more restrictions on trade union activity in Belarus, Colombia, Cambodia and Myanmar.

  • Surveillance of workers is increasing, with Amazon’s surveillance of warehouses becoming a global scandal.

  • Rights are being dismantled as governments have passed repressive laws in Honduras, India, Indonesia, Slovakia and Uruguay.

ITUC General Secretary Sharan Burrow was reported as saying: “The COVID-19 pandemic has devastated jobs, communities and lives. The Global Rights Index exposes a shameful roll call of governments and companies that have pursued an anti-union agenda in the face of workers who have stood on the front line providing essential work to keep economies and communities functioning.

When COVID-19 hit, we learned who the heroes are. Workers everywhere cared for the sick, put food on our tables, and kept the economy moving. But despite all that, workers are under attack like never before.

Governments and employers exploited the pandemic to exploit the people the world depends on by increasing surveillance, breaking agreements, laying off workers, blocking and intimidating unions and resorting to violence and murder.”

 

Global labour migration increases by five million

On 30th June ILO News reported that a new ILO report estimated that between 2017 and 2019 the number of international migrants has increased from 164 to 169 million.

It was noted that the number of international migrant workers globally had risen to 169 million, a rise of three per cent since 2017, according to the latest estimates from the International Labour Organization (ILO).
 

It was also noted that the share of youth migrant workers (aged 15-24) has also increased, by almost 2 per cent, or 3.2 million, since 2017. Their number reached 16.8 million in 2019.

 

 

 

Migrant worker numbers grow, along with vulnerabilities

ILO nes reported on 30th June that according to the latest estimates of the International Labour Organization (ILO), the number of migrant workers had increased by 5 million since 2017 and that the COVID-19 crisis had highlighted the critical role migrants play as essential workers, while also exposing their vulnerability to the devastating health, economic and social impacts of the pandemic.

 

 

Global agreement reached at ILO Conference on action for COVID-19 recovery

On 30th June, ILO News reported that delegates from 181 countries representing the Governments, workers and employers at the International Labour Conference had unanimously adopted a Global Call to Action for a human-centred #COVID-19 recovery, that prioritized the creation of decent jobs for all and addressed the inequalities caused by the crisis. It was noted that conclusions on social protection and the ILO Programme and Budget for the 2022-23 biennium had also been adopted. Find out more: www.ilo.org/ilc

 

Peter Sagar, A Living Tradition CIC, June 2021

 

 

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