World Day for Decent Work: Stop Wage Suppression

This year’s World Day for Decent Work, 7 October, is dedicated to ensuring wage justice for all workers.

Prices for energy, food and other essentials are spiraling to levels that are sending millions of working people into poverty, while they are being told by some governments, economists and central bankers that raising wages to enable them to withstand inflation is not acceptable.

Sharan Burrow, ITUC General Secretary, said: “The 2022 ITUC global rights index revealed that yet more countries are violating fundamental workers’ rights including the right to collective bargaining.

“This is purely and simply wage repression, and it has to stop. Governments need to promote collective bargaining for shared prosperity, rather than allowing employers and bankers to push workers into poverty, even as labour productivity continues to increase.

“Since 2005, workers’ productivity has increased 37% globally, but the economic benefits of this are being denied to the very people who produce the goods and services that economies and societies rely on.

“Meanwhile, capital productivity is stagnant, as companies fail to invest in urgently needed productive capacity, preferring to stash huge amounts of money into tax havens and fund luxurious lifestyles for shareholders and company owners.

“A small number of dominant multinationals continue to redistribute wealth to themselves at the expense of people and the planet.

“Wage justice, along with universal social protection, is at the heart of the new social contract that the world so desperately needs, to ensure financial security for households and a sustainable economy. This is particularly true for informal workers, as our latest ITUC economic and social policy brief explains.

“As working people with their unions continue to fight against wage repression and for wage justice all around the world, we use this World Day for Decent Work to call on governments to govern in the interests of people rather than continuing the extraction of wealth from people and handing it over to corporations.”