Monday, October 07, 2013

World Day for Decent Work

As Dave Prentis reminds us in today's Grauniad, today is "World Day for Decent Work" as declared by the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) (

However much our every day work may be full of the immediate, local - even parochial - concerns of particular trade union members or groups of members, it's always good to be reminded that we are part of a global movement which aspires to organise all workers everywhere.

Whether it's a fire in an unregulated textile factory in Bangladesh or the shocking death toll of migrant labourers in Qatar, the world provides regular reminders of the need for our trade union movement and its campaigns.

We do need to campaign to put pressure on Governments, international bodies and major corporations to combat the life-threatening exploitation of many of our sister and brother workers around the world.

From the perspective of the oldest trade union movement in the world (here in the UK), however, the current Government provide a clear lesson in just how temporary and contingent can be gains from legislation and regulation.

With tribunal fees choking off individual employment rights and the mischievous lobbying bill throwing a spanner into the heart of what's left of the right to strike, while the Government proposes work without pay for the unemployed, our international solidarity work is likely to become much more of a two way street.

The most important thing to do to make every day a day for decent work is to build up trade union membership and organisation, the foundations of a decent society.

Sent using BlackBerry® from Orange

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