IndustriALL’s affiliated unions around the world took strong and colourful action to mark International Women’s Day 2018, with some unions adopting IndustriALL’s pledge to combat violence against women in the workplace.
In Spain, 8 March saw a two-hour work stoppage, called by IndustriALL affiliated UGT and CCOO to underline the fact that as women’s salaries are lower than men’s, women effectively work for free two hours per day.
There were also demonstrations in the country’s main cities.
IG Metall in Germany organized a round of activities, including a women’s breakfast and round table discussions, to highlight what has been achieved so far and what the union is doing in the future.
The German union also adopted IndustriALL’s pledge, committing the union to fight violence against women.
The Philippine women committee of IndustriALL has been campaigning for more than three years to increase the maternity leave benefit from 60 to 120 days. Thanks to these efforts the Senate counterpart bill was passed in 2017, but has since been pending at the House of Representatives.
Unions in the Philippines called on the legislators for the immediate passage of the bill on expanded maternity leave that will benefit all working women in the country.
“We call on the leadership of the House of Representatives to give us this important piece of legislation as a gift today, as we celebrate International Women’s Day," said Shirley Yorong, IndustriALL Women- Philippines.
Unions in Guatemala and Zambia came out in force to call for an end to violence against women in the workplace.
United Auto Workers from USA, said in a statement as they adopted the pledge:
“The need to address gender violence and harassment is urgent and the pledge is clear. To move one step forward toward our goal of violence- and harassment-free workplaces and spaces, we join IndustriALL affiliates around the world”.
In a rally in Japan, IndustriALL affiliates committed to work with the ITUC for the adoption of a convention on violence and harassment against women and men in the world of work at the ILO Conference.
In Nigeria, IndustriALL affiliated unions rallied in Lagos, under the theme “Press for Progress”.
NUMSA, the metalworkers’ union in South Africa, adopted IndustriALL’s pledge on 8 March.
Petrol-Is, organizing oil workers in Turkey took IndustriALL’s pledge on 8 March, reinforcing its commitment to fight violence against women in the workplace.
Miguel Torres, president of CNTM (National Confederation of Metalworkers) and vice-president of Força Sindical in Brazil, adopted IndustriALL’s pledge, committed to put into effective actions to combat violence and harassment against women workers.
IndustriALL assistant general secretary Jenny Holdcroft says:
It is great to see the action taken by our unions around the world, and it is especially encouraging to see affiliates take the IndustriALL pledge to end violence against women in the workplace.
Violence against women is a core trade union issue, and we need to take action and advocate for a binding international law on gender-based violence.