1 May 2012: On the occasion of this year’s International Labour Day on 1st May, Global March Against Child Labour extends its support to the joint statement issued by its Governing Board members – the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) and Education International and other Global Union Federations (GUF) which in the wake of the lingering financial crisis call on governments to act for a sustainable and equitable recovery for all.
The 12 GUFs and ITUC which represent all the workers in the world across different sectors condemn the lack of effective and holistic actions by governments to the financial crisis that has been continuing since the last five years. While governments have together and separately engaged in activities, taking austerity measures to prevent the financial crisis from worsening, little has been done to support working people worst hit by the crisis. As a result of the crisis, millions have lost their jobs and millions more have been thrown into precarious work, i.e., insecure and/or informal work.
On this May Day, Global Unions call on governments to assume their responsibilities and join together to end the crisis. Governments need to create decent, sustainable jobs and stand up for the rights of people at work. Global Unions call for:
Global regulation of financial markets to reduce their dominant role in the global economy and restore them as a support for productive investment to meet social needs;
A broad range of urgent actions for jobs and recovery, including a focus on youth unemployment, in order to create good, secure employment;
Employment measures, including enhanced education and training, which will ensure the long-term generation of good, sustainable jobs; a central element of the fight against inequality and poverty;
Responses to the challenges of climate change in a way that has a real, demonstrable impact on carbon emissions, creates green jobs, and strengthens social sustainability;
Fair taxes that raise greater revenue from upper income groups and corporations, fight tax fraud and evasion, close loopholes and crack down on tax havens;
A Financial Transaction Tax to inhibit rapid financial transactions; making financial markets more stable and less dangerous, while generating essential revenue;
Full respect for trade union rights and the promotion of strong systems of collective bargaining and social dialogue to help build fairness and democracy;
More comprehensive social protection including through the creation of a global social protection floor supported by adequate funding;
Guarantees of rights to such basic needs as food, water, housing, health, and education;
Opposition to austerity measures and the maintenance of government capacity, so that they can govern effectively, deliver effective services, and be relevant and credible – including with respect to measures to influence and affect the direction of the economy; and
Sustained investment in quality public services, and, especially, in quality education services, as an important means to overcome the crisis, but also as a way to build democratic societies in which people have the opportunity to live healthy, rewarding and satisfying lives.
Extending support to this call by Global Unions on governments to act, Chairperson of Global March Against Child Labour, Kailash Satyarthi said, “Governments need to work to create decent and sustainable jobs for millions of workers rendered unemployed because of the financial crisis. For those whose jobs have been thrown into irregular and temporary work with precarious contracts, governments need to ensure that their fundamental rights at work are ensured. Only by doing so, can one end the exploitation and deprivation of these workers and their families, including their children. When parents are working in secured jobs earning fair wages, their children will be able to go school which is their fundamental right and not be compelled to work and waste their childhood.”
Global March Against Child Labour extends its wishes of solidarity to all workers and trade union organisations around the world on the occasion of May Day 2012.
For a full text of GUF’s statement on International Labour Day, 2012,
see http://www.ituc-csi.org/governments-must-act-for-a.html or http://www.ei-ie.org/en/news/news_details/2150
For more information on the Global Union Federations, visit www.global-unions.org.
Global March Governing Board Members from the Global Union Movement:
International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) www.ituc-csi.org
Education International (EI) www.ei-ie.org