Following a decision of the 2nd World Congress of Global March Governing Board member the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) in Vancouver, Canada, this summer, the ITUC is to convene the 3rd World Day for Decent Work (WDDW) as usual on 7th October 2010. In previous years, the WDDW has involved millions of trade unionists in action for Decent Work, and in today’s conditions of economic crisis it is more important than ever that trade unionists across the globe stand up for their rights to decent work and a decent life. Last year saw 472 actions in 111 countries around the world to celebrate WDDW.
As has been reported in various recent articles on the Global March web site, despite talk of economic recovery, there are few signs of an end to the crisis of employment. Every job lost is a human drama, and so far 34 million jobs have been lost as a result of the crisis since it broke in 2008 and 64 million people have been pushed into extreme poverty. According to the ITUC, the world is at a tipping point: either it can break with the failed policies of the past which brought in the crisis and move forward to a fairer, sustainable and more prosperous future, or it can fall back into the injustices and misery of the past with the prospect of increased poverty and mass unemployment as a permanent feature of societies.
Therefore, the ITUC will be putting forward three core messages for the WDDW this year:
- Growth and decent jobs, not austerity, are essential to beating the crisis and ending poverty.
- Quality public services are essential for a decent life and must not be slashed in the name of fiscal consolidation.
- The financial sector must pay for the damage it has caused and be made to serve the real economy and real human needs.
The ITUC has established a web site dedicated to the Day which is available in English, French, Spanish and German. To access the web site, please click here.
Through the site, organisations can discover what happened on previous WDDW Days and also what events are planned by ITUC affiliates around the world in their respective countries. This would be useful for Global March members and partners wishing to inform themselves of national actions and ways in which they might support these and become involved. The site also includes different campaigning tools, including national instruments, multimedia support materials and a wide range of documents relevant to the issue of decent work and from various countries and contributors.
“The achievement of decent work for all workers, women, men and young people, at all levels, particularly those in the informal sector, is the heart of the trade union movement,” said Mr Nitte Adyanthaya, Vice-President of the Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC) and ITUC representative on the Global March Governing Board. “The World Day for Decent Work is an occasion when all trade unionists across the globe stand together in solidarity to demand that ordinary working people can benefit from their fundamental rights, live and work in dignity and make their vital contribution to socio-economic development.”
“The promotion and creation of decent work opportunities for adults and above-minimum age workers underpins global efforts to eliminate and prevent child labour,” said Global March Executive Director Nick Grisewood. “If adults, especially the working poor, are working in decent working conditions, including decent wages, then they will have opportunities to work themselves out of poverty and become less reliant on their children having to contribute to family income to survive. We are very concerned at the impact on jobs of the current economic crisis and the apparent inability of some governments to put employment at the heart of their recovery programme. We fully support the World Day for Decent Work and call on members and partners to support national trade union activities and strengthen the voice of workers at this crucial time."