Building Workers' Power

ITUC Newsletter - April 2021

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Sharan Burrow, ITUC General Secretary


The month ahead will see the international union movement come together to demand a New Social Contract with climate-friendly jobs, rights, social protection, equality and inclusion on Earth Day (22 April), Workers’ Memorial Day (28th April) and Workers’ Day (1 May).

22 April, International Mother Earth Day
In total 136 governments are submitting new climate plans in line with their commitments under the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. For Earth Day 2021 we will publicise here the ten worst countries for climate ambition and Just Transition. Check the list and call out your government if it is not pulling its weight with an ambitious climate plan that includes Just Transition plans and social dialogue.

28 April, International Workers’ Memorial Day

Workers have been on the frontline of the COVID-19 pandemic and their roles are essential to the lives of others. But employers continue to let down working people and do not provide them with the equipment they need to be safe.

We must do all we can to #SaveLivesAtWork. Please take a moment to remember the working people who have been killed at work and join our call for the International Labour Organization (ILO) to make occupational health and safety (OHS) a fundamental right at work.

1 May, International Workers’ Day
For another year, pandemic restrictions mean that most of us cannot take to the streets to celebrate the contribution of working people everywhere. But we can make some noise in other ways to get every government in the world to tackle the jobs crisis caused by the pandemic measures. Use this May Day to make it clear – we need jobs, jobs, climate-friendly jobs.

These international days are a reminder of why we are fighting to stop the exploitation of working people who are desperate to feed their families and to give a renewed sense of urgency on workers’ rights. A new ITUC report, ‘Workers’ Rights in Crisis, Palestinian workers in Israel and the settlements,’ exposes the depravity of conditions for workers there. This is a scandal that must end. I urge you to read this report and share it with your governments along with the call for change.

In solidarity,

Sharan Burrow, ITUC General Secretary

Call to Action

New ITUC report on Palestinian workers in Israel and the settlements

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A new report released by the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) has revealed the scandalous exploitation of Palestinian workers who work inside Israel and in the illegal Israeli settlements on Palestinian land.


IMF, G20, World Bank: call to focus on jobs

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The forthcoming meetings of the IMF and the World Bank must prioritise tackling the world’s employment crisis to put the global economy on a pathway to recovery and resilience.

Occupational health and safety: Progress at the ILO

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A significant step towards making occupational health and safety a fundamental workers’ right has been taken at the International Labour Organization (ILO) Governing Body.

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

Under its new leadership the World Trade Organization (WTO) is scheduled to hold its 12th Ministerial Conference in 2021. This in a historic opportunity to reform the WTO’s governance of trade in the interests of working people.

Key Upcoming dates

International Mother Earth Day
22 April
Anniversary of Rana Plaza Collapse (2013) 

24 April

International Workers’ Memorial Day #SaveLivesAtWork 
28 April

International Workers' Day 
1 May


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