International Equal Pay Day: Trade unions in action

photo: Betsy Davis / UN Women

To mark UN International Equal Pay Day, 18 September, the ITUC is celebrating success stories from trade unions around the world that have campaigned to tackle the gender pay gap.

The briefing, Trade union action to promote equal pay for work of equal value, includes case studies from Chile, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Japan, Mauritius, New Zealand, Peru and the UK where unions have used social dialogue, campaigning and collective bargaining to win positive legislation, workplace policies and collective agreements.

On Equal Pay Day 2023, the ITUC Acting General Secretary, Luc Triangle, will be speaking at a high-level event of the Equal Pay International Coalition (EPIC): “The ITUC has been a member of EPIC since its founding by the UN General Assembly in September 2017. In that time a lot has been achieved, but progress is stalling.

“The main objective is to accelerate the pace of closing the gender pay gap to achieve equal pay for work of equal value by 2030 – a target of Sustainable Development Goal 8. This is central to the New Social Contract that demands fair wages, including minimum living wages, good quality, climate-friendly jobs and equality and inclusion for all.

“That is why we’re not just calling for 575 million new jobs. These jobs must be decent jobs, and one billion informal jobs, where women are overrepresented, must be formalised.

“A huge step towards this would by investing much more in care, as our report shows. The ILO estimates that investing in universal childcare and long-term care along would create 280 million jobs by 2030, it would boost the employment rate of women by 78%, and 84% of these jobs would be formal.

“It’s inspiring to see what so many trade unions are doing around the world to work towards equal pay for work of equal value. It’s time for every government around the world to do the same,” said Luc Triangle.