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STOP Precarious Work 2013

25 October, 2013On the World Day for Decent Work (WDDW) on 7 October, IndustriALL affiliates mobilized around the world to draw attention to the negative impacts of precarious work. The campaign for better laws and collective agreements continues.

As precarious employment continues to spread throughout the globe, the Executive Committee of IndustriALL Global Union has endorsed a worldwide campaign to STOP Precarious Work. The global mobilization of affiliates on the World Day for Decent Work is an important component of the campaign, bringing visibility to the issue and strengthening efforts on the ground.

As IndustriALL’s campaign page shows, unions around the world took to the streets for colourful rallies and demonstrations, while others organized seminars and meetings with the authorities.

I enjoyed the flash mob organized by the Mining and Metallurgy union of Kyrgyzstan. In Nigeria, all affiliated unions together, wearing red and black IndustriALL t-shirts, joined forces with civil society allies to protest against casualization of work and anti-union practices.

And in Thailand, IndustriALL affiliates took the occasion to launch a new joint organization, the Confederation of Industrial Labour of Thailand (CILT), while demonstrating in favour of the ratification of ILO conventions 87 and 98 and a labour law reform.

However, IndustriALL’s STOP Precarious Work campaign is not only about an annual action day, it's about a mainstreamed strategic goal. The issue of precarious work continues to be a standing item on the agenda of all IndustriALL meetings to develop common approaches and actions. We need better laws and collective agreements. We need continuous mobilization and pressure.

Several union networks in multinational companies are undertaking mapping of the incidence of precarious work in their companies and formulating joint strategies to reduce it. New improved language is being introduced to global framework agreements with major corporations like Lafarge and Enel. The “Temporary Work Charter for the Volkswagen Group" remains a benchmark. We need more agreements like this.

IndustriALL’s major externally-funded project is supporting a large number of specific activities in Asia, Latin America and Africa. Regional and national activities are focusing on supporting affiliates to make demands on employers through collective bargaining to limit precarious employment, to push for legislative reform that restricts precarious work, and to resist legislation that expands it.

Organizing precarious workers continues to be a priority. In many cases, union structures do not permit it and need to be reformed.

In October 2012, IndustriALL released a publication attacking the massive expansion of employment via agencies, labour brokers, dispatchers and contractors and the wholesale replacement of permanent, direct employment. ‘The Triangular Trap: Unions take action against agency labour’ exposes the lobbying efforts of the global agency industry body Ciett to remove legal restrictions on agency work. It is still a useful tool for raising awareness of the dangerous impact on workers’ rights.

The massive spread of precarious work is a global problem and we must unite to fight against it. Join us in the global campaign to STOP Precarious Work!

Jyrki Raina

General Secretary