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International Labour Conference calls for strong action on Covid recovery

24 June, 2021The pandemic is still wreaking havoc around the world with a devastating impact on democracy and the 109th session of the International Labour Conference (ILC) ended with a global agreement on action for Covid recovery.

Covid and social protection were among the key discussions during the ILC, which was held online this year. A strong call to action on the pandemic was adopted, in response to the impact of the pandemic more than a year after its original outburst. The Global Call to Acton for a Human-centred Recovery was adopted unanimously by government, employer and union representatives and fast-tracks implementation of the ILO Centenary Declaration.

As a unique tripartite forum, delegates at the ILC are made up of employers, governments and workers’ representatives of ILO member states. The ILC Committee on Application of Standards witnessed substantial and sometimes tough discussions on the 19 individual cases of violations of ILO Conventions, but managed to adopt conclusions for all cases.

IndustriALL and affiliates actively participated in the ILC Committees and in the Committee on Application of Standards denouncing the lack of respect towards workers’ rights in different countries.

Together with the other global unions and affiliates, IndustriALL took the floor to denounce the most serious violations of ILO Convention 87 on freedom of association and protection of the right to organise in BelarusEthiopiaCambodiaColombiaKazakhstan and ILO Convention 98 in Romania.

For the case of Belarus, the CAS issued the strongest set of conclusions  according to which the continuing violations of workers’ rights on freedom of association in Belarus have to be considered under a special paragraph. This is the strongest possible measure taken by the CAS towards the country systematically violating ILO Conventions.

IndustriALL, as a part of the council of global unions, challenged the legitimacy of the Myanmar junta throughout the UN system. The ILC adopted an emergency resolution on Myanmar, among other things urging the military regime to end violations of human rights, respect ILO Convention 87 on Freedom of Association, stop violence and arbitrary arrests and detention.

“In the face of an unprecedented crisis we must recognize that the recovery from the previous global crisis, while generating wealth, has not generated equitable distribution and has deepened inequality. The ILO is the home of tripartism where governments, employers and workers seek agreements to improve the world of work. A fair global recovery will only happen with the effective guarantee of the fundamental conventions established by this house, especially by ensuring freedom of association and collective bargaining”,

says IndustriALL general secretary Valter Sanches.