With unprecedented public demand for decent jobs, and pressure mounting on banks and the finance industry, the 2011 World Day for Decent Work today features over 400 actions across more than 70 countries, according to the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC). More than 200 million people worldwide are unemployed according to official figures, and hundreds of millions more lack decent, secure jobs. “People’s rights at work are under attack as never before, and governments lack the vision and commitment to fix a global economy which is failing working people,” said ITUC General Secretary Sharan Burrow.
Actions on the World Day for Decent Work this year aim at tackling “precarious work” – the deepening trend towards casual, temporary and insecure jobs, often with little legal protection. Young people and women in the workforce are most likely to be affected, with their incomes and earning potential suffering as a result. Decent work – rights at work, job creation policies, social protection and social dialogue involving unions and employers – is seen crucial to turning the global economy around and generating the tax revenues for governments to tackle the fiscal situation.
“With the G20 leaders soon to meet in France, we are looking to them to take the steps needed and to stop following the failed policies which put the vested interests of banks and finance ahead of people’s lives and livelihoods,” said Burrow, who is addressing a special conference in Amsterdam today to mark the World Day. Today’s events include some 50 activities across Japan, with marches, conferences and youth meetings in several African countries and meetings and mobilisations throughout Russia and Ukraine. A series of activities in Latin America includes initiatives by trade unions in Peru and Chile to get official government recognition of the World Day for Decent Work.