Building Workers' Power
ITUC Newsletter August 2019

Coming up this month – Sharan Burrow, ITUC General Secretary

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been joining trade unions in Eastern Europe and Asia at Wage Floor Forums in support of wage campaigns.

Low-wage, short-term and precarious contracts and unsafe work environments affect too many workers. In Eastern Europe, the minimum wage doesn’t even cover one third of a basket of goods to feed a family. At the same time, in Asia, where supply chains dominate, corporate greed means that companies allow low wages and insecure work because they don’t take responsibility for the hidden workers on whom they rely for their profits.

When the G7 Leaders meet at the end of August in France, and the G20 Labour Ministers meet in September in Japan, we will demand a new social contract that is underpinned by a labour protection floor that encompasses the four elements of the ILO Centenary Declaration: ILO fundamental rights, occupational health and safety, an adequate minimum wage and maximum limits on working hours.

Multilateralism is in crisis and the G20 will be difficult, but even as we want reforms to protect workers and share prosperity, the importance of international cooperation for both economies and peace must never be forgotten. The 74th anniversary in August of the atomic bombings at Hiroshima and Nagasaki commemorated by unions in Japan and all around the world is a timely remind of what is as stake.
Call to Action - "No to Nuclear Weapons, Let’s Reduce Military Spending!"
Join unions across the world and show your solidarity this week with the working people of Japan in their commemoration of the Hiroshima & Nagasaki nuclear bombings. Share a message and sign our petition to say "No to Nuclear Weapons, Let’s Reduce Military Spending!"
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International condemnation as repression deepens in Kazakhstan
The ITUC has harshly condemned the sentencing of Kazakhstan trade union leader Erlan Baltabay. Efforts to improve freedom of association for working people are once again jeopardised; but the country’s new leadership could still intervene.
Djibouti: ITUC demands an end to repression against teachers and railway workers
The ITUC is demanding an end to the detention and suspension of workers in Djibouti, in the education and railway sectors, following the arrest and imprisonment of six teachers and the suspension of 37 railway workers.
HLPF 2019 - Putting SDG8 and the New Social Contract at the top of the development agenda
Through its Trade Union Development Cooperation Network, the ITUC participated in the UN High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) 2019. Trade unions stressed the centrality of decent work and carried the global call for a New Social Contract to the United Nations.

Monthly Highlights

Reports, briefings, photos and videos from the world of work.
L20 to labour ministers
Acting for a just transition, for tax justice & due diligence for Human Rights... These are essential to addressing the global problems humanity faces.

More here
In the United States, ‘click workers’ are struggling to make ends meet
Regulating work on these platforms is one of the major challenges facing the labour movement today.
More here
A Trade Union Take on the SDGs 2019
The report includes the monitoring and evaluation done by 17 trade unions in 14 countries of their respective government’s plan on the national implementation of the SDGs.
The climate emergency is a core trade union issue: that’s why it’s time to ‘Climate-Proof Our Work’
Workers have a right to know whether their livelihoods are guaranteed.
International cooperation for SDG and effectiveness development principles
Provides examples of how trade union programmes contribute to the 2030 Agenda.

In Albania, call centre workers are organising for better working conditions
Breathing new life into organised labour.


Key Dates

G7 Summit
24-26 August 2019 – Biarritz, France

 G20 Labor and Employment Ministers’ Meeting
 1-2 September – Matsuyama, Japan
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