ICTU: Make Decent Work a Cornerstone of National Recovery
Friday 05 October 2012, 01pm
Congress General Secretary David Begg said today (Oct 5) that priority must be given to the creation and maintenance of decent work as a cornerstone of any drive for national recovery.
Mr Begg was speaking ahead of World Day for Decent Work, an initiative of the International Trade Union Confederation, which falls annually on October 7.
He said the creation and protection of Decent Work was “the fundamental task of trade unions in Ireland and internationally. This goes to the core of what we do and why we were founded – to raise standards and protections for working people.
“If we are serious about genuine and sustainable recovery in Ireland, we need to focus on the creation of decent jobs and decent work. You cannot build recovery on the back of badly paid, insecure and precarious work that drives people into poverty.
“The Decent Work agenda is about giving people security, the means to raise and educate a family and the capacity to develop their skills and knowledge, which aids competitiveness” Mr Begg said.
“Across Europe there is a drive to reduce standards to the lowest common denominator and strip away rights that unions and working people have won over generations: equality, health and safety, paid overtime, holiday pay, occupational pensions, social protection and the five day working week are all under threat.
“This is exactly the wrong way to go and will lead to more inequality, rising poverty and a loss of social cohesion.
“The best protection people have is to join a union.
“It is no accident that the countries least affected by the current crisis – the Nordic states - are those which prioritise social protection and good employment.
“Ireland needs to learn from that example to ensure we do not repeat the mistakes of the past,” Mr Begg concluded.
A short animated film on the theme of Decent Work is available to view at
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