Building Workers' Power
ITUC Newsletter - May 2021
Sharan Burrow, ITUC General Secretary
We will be taking the call from working people for a new social contract to a global stage this month:
3-19 June, Conference (ILC)
This year’s ILC comes at a critical time for the global economy. The recurrent item for discussion is social protection. It will be an opportunity to review governments’ delivery of the right to social protection, a key part of the new social contract. It will take stock of the commitment to ensure social protection for all working people as stated in the ILO Centenary Declaration.
The financing of social protection will be a major point of debate. Participants will be asked how they will ensure stable financing, adequate resources and equity in payment of social security contributions and taxes. Finally, the discussion will look at how the international community can provide support for low-income countries to build their social protection systems, including the potential for a .
We expect a major report later this month to back our call for a global social protection fund. The United Nations (UN) Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, Olivier De Schutter, will make his report to the UN Human Rights Council. We are clear that social protection is a right and is essential for human security and social justice.
At the ILC, the Committee on the Application of Standards will consider critical cases of rights violations. Due to the virtual nature of the conference, the two further technical committees on inequality and on lifelong learning will be scheduled for later in the year.
The ILC will also discuss the ILO’s Covid-19 response; this discussion will result in a statement that reinforces the need to implement the ILO Centenary Declaration as a guide for recovery and resilience. This is important to ensure a new social contact.
The new social contract, including implementing the ILO Centenary Declaration, means supporting and protecting workers, and it will also help bring the pandemic under control. The ITUC will be continuing to push for universal access to vaccines, tests and other public health tools. This includes through waivers on intellectual property rights and a massive scaling up of production of vaccines, tests and treatments in developing countries in particular. Central to this is our campaigning for occupational health and safety to be an ILO fundamental right and for Covid-19 to be classified as an occupational disease.
The ITUC General Council will be held on 26-27 May.
The report on its decisions will be available in June.
The ITUC Global Rights Index 2021 will be released on 30 June, rating 149 countries on violations of workers' rights in law and practice. The 2021 Index will feature a new interactive digital platform, making the findings more accessible and increasing our impact as we fight to defend the rights of working people everywhere.
Sharan Burrow, ITUC General Secretary
A new report for the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) shows that there is a strong economic, as well as moral and public health, case for governments to introduce universal social protection.
On the 1 May, workers across the world will be celebrating the achievements of nearly 200 years of trade union activity and putting forward their demands for decent work and sustainable development.
The ITUC is expressing its support for the people of Colombia as they face a brutal crackdown by the government of President Iván Duque.
An analysis by the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) has found that most new climate plans submitted by governments under the Paris Agreement on Climate Change lack sufficient ambition, Just Transition plans and social dialogue.
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