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ILO launches Future of Work global commission

23 August, 2017With the view to finding adequate answers to the rapidly changing working environment, on 21 August 2017 in the presence of the Prime Minister of Sweden and the President of Mauritius, the International Labour Organization (ILO) launched the Global Commission on the Future of Work.

The high-level international body will work on a comprehensive report providing an in-depth examination of the future of work that will serve as the analytical basis for the delivery of social justice and fairness at work in the 21st century. The commission will focus on the relationship between work and society, the challenge of creating decent jobs for all, the organization of work and production, and the governance of work.

The commission is composed of 28 members, including the co-chairs themselves and its four ex-officio members - ILO Director General Guy Ryder and the officers of the ILO Governing Body. Philip Jennings, general secretary of UNI Global Union, is also part of the group.

The commission was set up as part of the ILO’s Future of Work Centenary Initiative launched by the ILO Director General in 2013. The members of the commission will produce an independent report that will be submitted to the Centenary Conference of the ILO in 2019.

The launch of the global body was addressed by Ameenah Gurib-Fakim, President of Mauritius, and Stefan Löfven, Prime Minister of Sweden.

Opening the ceremony, ILO Director General Guy Ryder spoke about the importance of the future of work in light of the unprecedented large-scale transformative change of the world of labour due to technological innovation, demographics, climate change and globalization.

“It is fundamentally important that we confront these challenges from the conviction that the future of work is not decided for us in advance. It is a future that we must make according to the values and preferences that we choose and through policies that we design and implement,” he said.

In her address at the launch, the President of Mauritius strongly encouraged

“all countries and stakeholders to come up with comprehensive recommendations and novel ideas on how to address the opportunities and challenges of the future of work. We can accomplish this by ‘putting people first’, by recognising that labour is more than simply a commodity in the labour market in the spirit of the ILO Constitution, or even just a factor of production.”

Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven said:

“We cannot stop development, nor should we even try. What we need to do is come together: to harness innovation to improve the daily lives of millions, to use new technology to build cleaner and more sustainable societies, and at the same time create new jobs with better conditions for everyone. These objectives lie at the heart of this Commission."

Valter Sanches, IndustriALL Global Union general secretar,y attended the ceremony and said,

“As a global player representing the interests of 50 million industrial workers in the world, we certainly welcome the launch of the ILO initiative. Workers must have a place at the table to discuss the Future of Work. A Just Transition is one of our answers to the challenges faced by people of labour in the fast changing work environment. We expect that this initiative will help us on how to achieve fairness and justice especially in the countries where workers’ conditions are still at the level of ‘Industry 0.4’ in terms of precarious working conditions.”

Watch the video of the event is available on the ILO website.