This International Women’s Day on 8 March, UNI Global Union is calling on its affiliates around the world to demand that their national governments ratify ILO Convention 190 on violence and harassment (C190).
The historic new Convention, which was adopted by the International Labour Organization in June 2019, is the first ever global standard that aims to eliminate violence and harassment in the world of work.
However, for the Convention to come into force it must be ratified by at least two countries by June 2020. So far, only Uruguay has ratified C190. Argentina, Finland, and Spain have also committed to ratifying the C190.
UNI General Secretary, Christy Hoffman, says:
“ILO Convention 190 can change lives, and we all have a role to play to make it a reality. We’re asking trade unions to ramp up the pressure on their governments. There is simply no excuse not to ratify this Convention. Violence and harassment are unacceptable at work or anywhere else, and countries must step up and sign up to make this Convention happen.”
The ground-breaking Convention covers all workers in all sectors and has a strong gender-based focus, recognizing that women are disproportionately affected by violence and harassment.
C190 applies not just to the workplace but the world of work and includes third party violence and harassment from customers, clients or service providers.
As part of its 8 March actions, UNI, which represents millions of workers in commerce, is launching a campaign to protect retail workers called “There is no store for violence and harassment in commerce.”
The campaign is encouraging trade unions to push for ratification of C190 and to launch their own campaigns to combat violence and harassment at work, if they haven’t already done so.
UNI is already including aspects of the Convention in its global agreements with multinational companies, such as telecoms giant Orange. The global union is also encouraging trade unions to use C190 as a tool to support the negotiation of strong policies against gender based violence in their own collective agreements.
UNI is also choosing 8 March to launch a new mobile phone App to keep affiliates updated on news, campaigns, documents and information regarding Equal Opportunities.
“The 8th of March is the perfect day to carry out our launch. With this app we can reach women workers across the globe and share our work. It will be a great tool to share and raise awareness on issues such as the importance of ILO Convention 190 and the fight against violence”, added the Head of the UNI Equal Opportunities Department, Veronica Fernandez Mendez.
The app is free to download and available for iOS and Android.