‌‌‌Building Workers' Power

ITUC Newsletter – September 2022


Sharan Burrow, ITUC General Secretary

17 – 22 November: 5th ITUC World Congress #ITUC22 – ‘A New Social Contract’ – Melbourne, Australia

It is three months until Congress and plans are well advanced for an engaging, interactive event that will set the course of the ITUC for the next four years.

The main plenary will debate the draft congress statement and there will be three thematic forums on trade union wins and future challenges: 1. Trade Union Lessons from Global Shocks, 2. Technology and Impacts at Work and; 3. An Inclusive Union Movement.

There will be special sessions on trade union organising and the “Congress Live” stream will enable delegates to deliver speeches to audiences around the world, with panel discussions on key topics.

Nominations for the election of the next ITUC General Secretary have now closed. Kemal Özkan received 18 nominations from affiliates in 16 countries, and Luca Visentini received 134 nominations from affiliates in 91 countries.

Any affiliate that has not yet submitted the composition of its delegation for Congress must do so without delay to enable the final stages of planning for the event. People who are not present in Melbourne will still be able to follow the proceedings via internet streaming.

14 September: G20 Labour Ministers Employment meeting, Indonesia

As part of the Labour 20, we are calling on the G20 ministers meeting in Bali for a new global commitment to the new social contract to deal with three major challenges for working people: climate change, global health and digitalisation.

This means governments legislating corporate behaviour to ensure rights and environmental standards with mandated due diligence and compliance in all supply chains, closing tax loopholes and investing in a just transition to create millions of jobs and address the pressing need for climate action.

We are going to call on the next G20 presidency (the government of India) to organise a joint Labour and Finance ministers meeting to address the crisis engulfing the world of work. However, working people need immediate action to create wage justice through minimum living wages and collective bargaining, plus urgent action to address global energy and food insecurity and the overwhelming levels of debt facing many developing countries.

13 – 27 September: UN General Assembly, USA

This is an important moment for the UN and its members to stand firm on its key pillars of peace and security, human rights and sustainable development.

The implementation of the Global Accelerator on Jobs and Social Protection is a priority. This joint initiative with the ILO aims to bring together states, international financial institutions, trade unions, civil society and the private sector to create at least 400 million jobs by 2030, primarily in the care and green economies, and massively expand social protection to the more than four billion people not currently covered.

We want governments to make a firm financial commitment towards its implementation. They must create the necessary fiscal space to invest in jobs and universal social protection, through progressive taxation, tackling tax evasion and formalising the jobs of the two billion workers in the informal economy.

We also urgently need greater international solidarity to support low income countries in these efforts, which is why unions are calling on governments and the international community to increase the share of official development assistance (ODA) allocated towards social protection to at least 7% by 2030, and to establish a Global Social Protection Fund to mobilise and coordinate financing efforts.

19 – 25 September: UN Climate Week, USA

We must see a push for action at the COP27 climate conference in Egypt this November. Climate negotiations must change gear and start delivering.

This means just transition policies and measures, focused on the creation of quality jobs in all sectors and in all countries. This requires investment, industry policy, skills and income. As the climate emergency accelerates, working people demand an increased rate of this just transition to a low-carbon economy. You can see how working people participated in #CEPOW22 here

21 – 23 September: Global Clean Energy Action Forum, USA

This event brings together energy ministers from around the world with union leaders, CEOs and civil society groups to discuss the transition to clean energy. Just transition and organised labour are key themes this year and I will be moderating a high-level roundtable on just transition with other labour leaders.

In solidarity,

Sharan Burrow, ITUC General Secretary


Key Upcoming Dates

UN Human Rights Council, Switzerland

13 September – 7 October

UN General Assembly, USA

13 – 27 September

UN Climate Week

19 – 25 September

G20 Labour Ministers Employment meeting, Indonesia

14 September

 International Day of Democracy

15 September

 International Equal Pay Day

18 September

International Day of Peace

21 September

Global Clean Energy Action Forum, USA

21 – 23 September

International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons

26 September

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