On the occasion of the World Day for Decent Work 2021, UNI Global Union’s key message to the world is that this is the time now to set new safety standards through bargaining and regulation to protect everyone.
As Christy Hoffman, UNI General Secretary said, “COVID-19 has brought occupational safety to the forefront in the global conversation about workers’ rights and put on display the indispensable role that unions play to keep workers safe from old and new forms of on-the-job hazards.
“The world must now acknowledge that the right to health and safety is fundamental.”
UNI Asia and Pacific strongly supports UNI Global Union’s campaign to get unions on every continent to call upon the ILO to designate occupational safety and health as a fundamental right.
The ILO is a tripartite body comprised of governments, employers, and unions. Unions are calling upon employers and governments to elevate occupational safety to the highest level of international labour standards. A fundamental right is one which applies to all countries and workers.
The 2019 ILO Centenary Declaration, unanimously adopted by governments, unions and employers, recognized the importance of occupational health and safety for all workers.
Since then, the pandemic coupled with hazards created by technology’s expanded use at work has added new urgency to making health and safety a fundamental right and shown that unions are essential to implementing and enforcing that right.
“Too many workers get sick, and too many workers die on the job. Action at the ILO level would advance unions’ role in keeping work safe locally,” said UNI Apro Regional Secretary Rajendra Acharya.
“COVID-19 is just one of many new challenges to occupational health we face, but we are confident that our affiliates can make work safe for all.
“And we at UNI Apro will strongly support their initiatives on the ground to make it so.”