‌‌‌Building Workers' Power

ITUC Newsletter – May 2022

Sharan Burrow, ITUC General Secretary

1 May: International Workers’ Day 

This May Day, working people demand peace and the social justice of a strong social contract required to ensure our common security. The world needs a new social contract: one that provides jobs, rights, wages, social protection, equality and inclusion.

The world needs 575 million jobs, and these must be focused on tackling the climate emergency and meeting society’s most pressing needs. That means a just transition to convert jobs in fossil fuels to jobs in clean energy, and it also means rapid, deep and immediate investments in green jobs and jobs in care.

A new social contract will provide the shared prosperity that can underpin lasting peace. It will ensure that we can build together economies that are cleaner and more caring. It will build the resilience we need to manage future shocks.

With pandemic restrictions relaxed in parts of the world, many of us can take our message back to the streets, and so we wish everyone a celebratory May 1.

War on Ukraine: union action

Putin’s invasion of Ukraine is abhorrent, and our hearts and solidarity are with our colleagues and the people of Ukraine. We call for all nations to work together for a pathway to peace.

In the meantime, we can all be very proud of the response of the global union movement.

You can see here our overview of some of the action taken, and this is just a small part of the incredible work being done to save lives.

This work is helping people in the country and is also helping the five million people who have fled to seek refuge. The humanitarian work of our affiliates in Ukraine and in neighbouring countries to welcome refugees and help meet their needs is tremendous, and we are doing all we can to support them.

You can make a donation to the emergency fundraising appeal, and you can sign the petition for peace, dialogue and democracy.

16 – 20 May: Fifth Global Conference on the Elimination of Child Labour

It’s beyond time to end the cruel exploitation of children. Even before the economic and social disaster of the pandemic, more than 150 million children were at work instead of in school.

At the heart of this injustice is the failure to provide decent jobs for adults, social protection for all households and a well-funded education system.

We will take to this conference the message that we need corporate accountability with a new social contract, which guarantees investment in jobs, social protection, and free, quality education for all children. This is the key to achieving the elimination of child labour and meeting UN Sustainable Development Goal 8.7 by 2025.

Elections: the Philippines, Colombia, Hong Kong

Democracy has taken a battering in these countries. In Colombia, the Duque government has used violence to repress the trade unions and social groups that oppose his far-right agenda.

In the Philippines, President Duterte has carried out a systematic campaign against labour and human rights defenders, with countless people killed and detained.

In Hong Kong, attacks are increasing on unions and civil society groups as the Chinese Communist Party accelerates its political takeover.

But the international trade union movement stands with everyone fighting for democracy and demanding respect for their most basic human rights. The authorities behind this repression need to realise that the light of democracy will not go out. The desire of the people to have a voice and be heard will not be extinguished, and we will not be silenced.

In solidarity,

Sharan Burrow, ITUC General Secretary


Key Upcoming Dates

International Workers’ Day
1 May

Fifth Global Conference on the Elimination of Child Labour, South Africa
16 – 20 May

International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia 
17 May

ITUC General Council
18 – 20 May

International Labour Conference
30 May – 18 June

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