Building Workers' Power

ITUC Newsletter - March 2021

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Sharan Burrow, ITUC General Secretary

A year ago, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a pandemic. Since then, the health crisis has led to a worldwide jobs crisis.

The ITUC Frontlines Poll of ten G20 countries found that 49% of people live in a household where someone has either lost their job or had their working hours reduced due to the pandemic.

Workers are demanding their governments commit to job creation plans: 54% of people believe that their government should be doing more than it is to create jobs for workers affected by the pandemic.

As we work together to secure a New Social Contract for recovery and resilience, governments must have plans to create jobs. Jobs have to be the anchor of recovery because they give people the means to rebuild economies from the ground up.

The pandemic has also exposed the injustice that less than half of the world’s population have access to any form of social protection.

It is time for a global social protection fund to become a reality. Lobby your government to support this drive to create universal social protection.

Coming soon:

28th April, International Workers’ Memorial Day

The International Labour Organization (ILO) includes the elimination of discrimination as a fundamental right at work, but occupational health and safety (OHS) is not included. OHS is crucial to tackling the Covid-19 pandemic, and it must be given sufficient priority by the global community. This International Workers’ Memorial Day, please join us in calling on the ILO to make OHS a fundamental right at work and #SaveLivesAtWork.

Reform or Bust: no WTO without workers’ rights for fair competition

Later this year, the World Trade Organization (WTO) will hold its first ministerial meeting under the leadership of Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala. With fresh leadership at the WTO and an unprecedented global economic crisis, the ITUC is coordinating a campaign to reform the organization and put workers’ rights and fair competition at the heart of world trade. Contact [email protected] for more information.

In solidarity,

Sharan Burrow, ITUC General Secretary

P.S. Thank you to everyone who shared the stories of their Covid-19 pandemic experiences. You can watch them here.

Call to Action

A New Social Contract for a gender-equitable recovery and resilience

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As we celebrated International Women’s Day (IWD) last year, the world was on the verge of a global public health crisis. Covid-19 was declared a pandemic on 11 March 2020, resulting in the unprecedented disruption of economic, social and cultural activity worldwide.


Myanmar: Unions call extended national work stoppage

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The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) has expressed its full support and solidarity with the call by Myanmar’s unions for an extended nationwide work stoppage to protect democracy and end the military dictatorship.

Haiti: Time to break the silence and expose the dictator Moïse

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The united voice of the global unions has called for immediate action to withdraw support from the Moïse regime in Haiti to begin the restoration of human and trade union rights for the Haitian people.

New poll shows governments failing to tackle jobs crisis

One year into the global COVID-19 pandemic, the health crisis has exposed gaps in access to social protection and has left a devastating impact on working people as households struggle with the loss of jobs and working hours.

Key Upcoming dates

ILO Governing Body
11 - 25 March

ETUC / ITUC Myanmar webinar: Panel discussion on the role of the European Union in relation to the military coup in Myanmar
12 March

International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
21 March

Mexico Generation Equality Forum, UN women
29-31 March

ILO/ITUC Global Webinar on Migration & Technology: Spotlight on Recruitment Advisor
30 March

IMF World Bank spring meetings 
5-11 April

Chile elect deputies for Constitutional Assembly
11 April


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