Tell us your plans for World Day for Decent Work

Dear colleagues,

Many of you will have already made plans for the upcoming World Day for Decent Work. But have you registered your event at www.wddw.org? If you can, please take a moment now.

Whether your plan is to highlight slavery or corruption or precarious work or low wages or attacks by governments on labour laws or specific disputes with major corporations, it is all being driven by corporate greed. Big business believes that labour is just a commodity and that labour rights are bad for business. And our governments are listening to them.

The stark reality is that the world’s GDP has trebled since 1980, yet inequality is at historic levels. But the wealth generated by workers is not being shared with them. Increasing numbers of workers are trapped in the hidden workforces of the richest companies in the world, where they have no job security, and work long hours for poverty wages in unsafe environments or with unsafe products.

The world has reached a tipping point. Sixty per cent of global trade is now driven by big business which, without apology, uses a business model based on exploitation and abuse of human rights in supply chains. Workers’ rights at home or abroad mean little or nothing to the heads of major corporations.

CEOs of major companies must take a good look at the business model they preside over. They must know their profits are too often driven by low wage levels that people cannot live on; that these profits risk safety with the result of indefensible workplace injuries and deaths; that these profits are increased by tax evasion or tragically linked to pollution of community land and water. All the while, corporate lobby teams are turning governments against the rule of law that would hold them to account.

When labour laws, wages, pensions and job security are under attack in too many countries, we have a common enemy - corporate greed.

When a textile worker like Rina from the Philippines tells me she cannot tell her 12-year-old son if she will be home to cook him a meal or say goodnight because she is forced to work extra shifts without notice – this is not decent work!

When men gathering seafood for many of our tables are enslaved on boats in Indonesian waters without living quarters and sanitation for months on end, there is no hope for them of decent work.

And when the world largest institutions like FIFA are riddled with corruption, and think it is ok to have the World Cup in a slave state, the world has lost its moral compass.
Working people and their families have had enough: Ninety-four per cent of people want the guarantee of labour rights as a foundation for global trade. Ninety-four per cent of people want stronger rules to hold corporations accountable for better wages and conditions. Eighty-eight per cent of people want minimum wages lifted around the world. And we all stand against slavery and the corruption of FIFA.

So whatever your campaign for decent work this year, we encourage you to use the umbrella logo of ’end corporate greed’:

Go to WDDW.org to sign up your events and tell us your plans for the World Day for Decent Work. Here is what to do:

1) Register your event:
For the ITUC it is critically important that you register your event on the designated web site: www.wddw.org. You can register your event directly on the web site, or send an e-mail to wddw@ituc-csi.org.

2) Use the logo:
On 7 October, we encourage you to use the ‘End Corporate Greed’ logo in your events. Please download it here: English, German, French, Spanish).

3) Report back:
It is just as important that you report your activities to the ITUC as soon as possible after they have taken place (the very same day if possible), giving details of what happened with photos, links to videos and any other campaigning material that you have used. This can be sent to: wddw@ituc-csi.org.

Decent work, reducing inequality, ending slavery, eliminating tax evasion and corruption, protecting the environment – it all requires the rule of law.

We petition world leaders to implement and enforce the rule of law. If every nation held its big corporations responsible for their business conduct at home and abroad, we could end corporate greed and put the global economy to work for the many rather than the richest one per cent.

If governments defend strong labour market institutions that ensure fair distribution of wealth through minimum living wages and collective bargaining – based on the fundamental guarantee of freedom of association – we could reduce inequality and end corporate greed.

And if governments prioritise the dignity of the social protection floor for their people – the basic income and the public services that ensure sustainable and peaceful communities – the endless race to the bottom would stop and we could rebuild economic justice.

We are united in our determination to end corporate greed – let’s make this October 7 count.

In solidarity,
Sharan Burrow

P.S. - If you have questions, please email us at wddw@ituc-csi.org.