October 7 is here again and trade Unions globally as usual are championing the world day for Decent work. This has been the spectacular effort of the International Trades Union Congress since 2008, to mobilize all Trades Unions over the world to stand up for decent work.
Though it's on a low profile in Ghana, activities marking this years, edition, stretch from Japan to Ecuador and South Africa to Russia as 33 countries have already been registered on the special website. Last year, the focus was on: Justice for Workers; Climate Justice, as workers drew attention to their plight.
This years' edition, under the banner; “End Corporate Greed” really serves a global purpose, as for example, Brussels, the “Capital of Europe”, comes to a standstill with a huge demonstration organised by the Belgian trade unions against austerity, while unions from the manufacturing sector hold events in some parts of the world to demand an end to precarious working conditions.
On this occasion, many trade unions are expected to be on the streets to make personal contact with rush-hour commuters while others hold press conferences, public events and workplace meetings to drum home the need for people in authority to attend to the genuine concerns of workers in both the private and public sectors for work efficiency and effectiveness sake.
Locally, it sounds rather unfortunate, how the nation is battling with labour unrests particularly in the public sector, especially in the education and health sectors which is becoming one too many. Prominent among them are doctors, pharmacists, some category of teachers and drivers, and now nurses and midwives.
With the global economic crisis still hitting working people hard, in every part of the world, trade unions around the world are demanding decent jobs and full respect for workers’ rights. It sounds appropriate therefore, as Germany’s trade union centre DGB holds a conference to press for “Fair Play for Workers in Mega Sports Events” as pressure mounts for reform of FIFA and an end to exploitation of the workers who build and deliver the world’s major sports competitions.
Presently raging in South Africa is mass workers protest led by COSATU for a decent living minimum wage. At the just ended UN General Assembly, four pillars of the Decent Work Agenda were identified as employment creation, social protection, rights at work, and social dialogue which will become integral elements of the new United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
With the global focus on ending corporate greed, eliminating precarious work and formalising informal jobs, as well as living minimum wages, there is every need to support ITUC General Secretary's call to transform the exploitative supply chain model which robs workers while filling the coffers of multinational companies, many of which are culpable of the most egregious exploitation including the use of modern slavery. The trade union movement stands with the most exploited and vulnerable in the global economy.
On this day, the World Day for Decent Work, workers everywhere are expected to show their determination to build a better world for working families and for generations to come.
BY ROSEMARY M. GAISIE.