Monday, 6 October 2008

October 7 - World Day For Decent Work

Guy Ryder, General Secretary, ITUC, Brussels

Today, 7 October, Trade Unionists across the World are answering the call of their International, the ITUC, to mark the World Day for Decent Work.

Starting on the Pacific, passing through all of the time zones and ending on the the western coast of the Americas, the workers of the world are mobilising in workplace meetings, through demonstrations, in public debates, with cultural and media events, via the internet.

On this day, together, we raise our voices to deliver a single strong and united message.

That decades of deregulation, of reward for corporate greed and excess, have brought the world to the brink of global recessions. A fundamental transformation of Globalisation is needed. And the time for that change is now.

Workers everywhere demand decent work opportunities for all. Work where our human rights are respected fully. Work which is safe and healthy. Work which provides for acceptable pay and protection for us and our families. Work where problems and conflict are resolved through dialogue and agreement not diktat and repression.

In each of our countries working families are bearing the brunt of the financial, food and energy crises - the deepest crisis that this globalised economy has ever known.

Pulling out of that crisis, restoring workers' living standards, respecting their rights requires fundamental change. Change to put fairness and equity back at the centre of public policy so that Globalisation works for all, not just the priveleged few.

Workers are tired of promises for a better future when what they and their families have to endure today is a constant degradation of working life and an ever harder struggle for the basics of a decent existence.

And as we demand respect for rights at work and an end to poverty and exploitation, the ITUC and its affiliates on all continents reaffirm the International Trade Union Movement's commitment to solidarity.

We will not allow the globalised economy to set worker against worker. Today we are showing that trade unionists are united as never before and determined to act together in solidarity through the ITUC to realise the unchanging goals of social justice.

Sisters and Brothers, as we mobilise today for decent work I ask you all to commit your organisations, your personal efforts to making the ITUC the instrument of a new trade union internationalism equal to the challenges of the era of Globalisation, capable of overcoming the injustices we face and ready to bring in the better tomorrow we know is possible.

Together we can do it.

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