Today is World Day for Decent Work. All around the world millions are mobilising and taking action for decent work for everyone – the ambitions for a good job, safe and fairly rewarded; for the rights at work so fundamental to the dignity working people should enjoy; and of course for social protection. Every country must have a floor of social protection that protects the most vulnerable, that guarantees unemployment benefits, that looks after basic child protection, education, health, and of course a dignified retirement income. This is what we mean by decent work.
And on World Day for Decent Work this year, we also want to see those people who brought us the financial crisis, the financial elites who drove the crisis through greed and speculative behavior, know that they’re going to make a fair contribution, rather than shifting the burden onto ordinary working people.
And in that process we must insulate all governments against the austerity measures. This means opposing the cuts in public services that will not only cost the jobs of our colleagues working in those enterprises , but cost private sector jobs as well, as demand falls. It means protecting working people’s pensions. People are entitled to a dignified retirement income. And of course it means resisting the slashing of services for the poor and the most vulnerable.
Instead we want to see employment at the heart of macroeconomic policy; decent work; social protection; financial regulation; and of course a financial transactions tax.
World Day for Decent Work is being marked in 89 countries this year, with 351 actions and events. But wherever you are, this October 7, stand with your colleagues, and thank you for being the heart and soul of the future. We know that with social dialogue, with a campaign for rights, with decent work, with financial regulation and the financial transactions tax, we can shape a better world.
Sharan Burrow is the General Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC
), the worldwide union organisation that co-ordinates World Day for Decent Work.
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