In Korea, workers from the transport and other sectors are in the midst of a major struggle with the anti-union government of President Park, and activists are protesting at the offices of Samsung, which is notorious for exploiting workers and exposing them to fatal toxic chemicals in the workplace. The ITUC has launched a solidarity petition with Labourstart demanding that the government release imprisoned unionists and respect fundamental rights. Korea is also a focus at Global Union Federation IndustriALL’s Congress in Rio De Janeiro, which was addressed by former Brazilian President Lula yesterday. Meanwhile in Australia, the ACTU is rallying against the corporate-dominated Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal, and a series of Decent work events are taking place in Nepal.
Europe’s ETUC has launched a call for the EU to guarantee decent work and pay, and actions by national unions in Belgium, Croatia, Estonia, Germany, Macedonia, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Switzerland, Ukraine, and Spain where events are happening in 36 different cities, can be seen on the World Day for Decent Work web pages. Sub-regional events are also organised by the Balkan and the Nordic unions.
In Africa, activities have been reported so far from Burkina Faso, Comoros, DRC, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa and Zambia, while information already in from the Americas shows events in Argentina, Bermuda, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Panama and Venezuela. Canada’s CLC is calling for a $15 per hour minimum wage and action on jobs for young people with events around the country this week.
Sharan Burrow, ITUC General Secretary, said “Pressure is building globally for governments to put an end to corporate greed. Major multinationals responsible for a hidden workforce of 94% of workers in their supply chains, and wherever we look we find modern slavery, dangerous and exploitative working practices and poverty wages embedded in the factories and farms which supply consumers worldwide. Governments must take responsibility for enforcing the rule of law, at home and in the operations of corporations abroad. Continued failure to act will mean even more inequality, death and injury at work and yet further erosion of the purchasing power that sustains production and jobs. It’s no coincidence that Decent Work is trending on social media today – our global polling shows that 82% of people want multinational companies to be held accountable for their supply chains.”