Sharan Burrow: "Workers want a New Social Contract that delivers decent work for all"

For the global labour movement, SDG 8 on decent work and sustainable development is paramount. It both sets in stone the fundamental role decent work has for sustainable development and opens a window of opportunity to realise a New Social Contract. The campaign #timefor8 - the clock is ticking for a New Social Contract aims at keeping that window open.

Dear Colleagues,

The global economic model has failed working people. The power and greed of huge global corporations have captured governments which are acting against the rights and security of their own workers.

The social contract is broken!

We have the exploitation of workers in global supply chains with more than 60 per cent of global trade dependent on these contracts. This is simply inequality by design with an economic model based on low wages, insecure and often unsafe work. 60 per cent of the world’s workers are now working in informal work, including new platform businesses, with no rights, no minimum wages, no social protection, and no rule of law.

The promise of a zero poverty, zero carbon world where both social justice and sustainability is possible is dependent on governments delivering on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The United Nations have declared that 2020 marks the start of a Decade of Action to fulfill the objectives of the 2030 Agenda and its SDGs. Goal 8 – on decent work and sustainable growth – is at the core of this agenda. It is instrumental to reverse global injustice and realise a New Social Contract with decent work for all.

Workers want a New Social Contract with SDG 8 at its core and decent work for all!

The ILO Centenary Declaration, including the labour protection floor for all workers, would go a long way to rebuilding the social contract.

We must hold governments accountable to their commitments in delivering the SDGs and track progress of our governments.

This campaign provides trade unions around the world with a frame into which they can run actions between March – June 2020 and during the High Level Political Forum(HLFP) in July where progress on SDGs is reviewed reviewed.

Unions will fight to ensure that full employment and decent work remain the foundations of any economy and a new social contract is a vital start if we are to rebuild trust in a fractured world.

It’s #Timefor8!

Sharan Burrow, General Secretary
International Trade Union Confederation

Join #timefor8