#timefor8 – The clock is ticking for a New Social Contract

The ITUC is launching the campaign ’#Timefor8 - The Clock is Ticking for a New Social Contract’ to raise global awareness on the central role that Sustainable Development Goal number 8 (SDG 8) plays in the 2030 Agenda and how it links to trade unions’ global call for a New Social Contract.

A political opportunity

The revision of the implementation of the SDGs

As the governments of the world are set to revise from June to September 2019 the progress done on the implementation of the SDGs globally, trade unions want to make sure that this process is taking into account the labour movement’s key demands on sustainable development and the centrality of SDG 8.

As part of this campaign, unions have started discussions with their government and international institutions to contribute their viewpoint to this revision and defend the SDG-friendly sustainable development model that trade unions are implementing throughout their activities.

An educational opportunity

Why are trade unions engaging in the SDGs

Many people are unaware of both the SDGs and of the role that trade unions play in the world as champions of sustainable development . And yet, through their every day work, trade unions promote progressive and sustainable policies contribute to the implementation of the SDGs..

The political revision of the SDGs, therefore, opens a window of opportunities for trade unions to inform as many as possible about their work and explain why, of all the SDGs, number 8 is so central to the 2030 Agenda, as well as to all workers and their families.

In a nutshell, SDG 8 is about decent work and sustainable economic growth. It integrates matters related to growth, employment, productivity and the social dimension. Furthermore, it bears at its core the fundaments for a New Social Contract that trade unions are calling for. The New Social Contract - between governments, employers and trade unions - would include floors for the respect of fundamental labour rights (e.g. collective bargaining and freedom of association), healthy and safe work places, minimum living wages, access to universal social protection schemes and fair control over working time. Moreover, these elements are fundamental to achieve a Just Transition and Climate Justice that leaves no one behind.

Showing the centrality of SDG 8

As part of #timefor8 – The clock is ticking for a New Social Contract, the ITUC will undertake a global research on the centrality of SDG 8 in the 2030 Agenda to:

  • Underline existing gaps with respect to the targets of SDG 8.
  • Analyse the policy implications of the main links and trade-off existing between SDG 8 and other SDGs.
  • Highlight how the priorities of the trade unions - ie. labour rights, healthy and safe work places, expansive wage policies, inclusive labour market policies, social protection systems, Climate Justice and Just Transition – can contribute to achieving the 2030 Agenda.
  • Address the challenge of “policy coherence and integration” for SDG 8.
    The outcomes of this work and trade unions’ recommendations will be presented in a policy report, which will be published in September 2019.


Contribute too!

It’s #timefor8 and the clock is ticking for a New Social Contract!