Social dialogue key to creating decent jobs – ILO

The International Labour Organisation (ILO) report by the Global Deal partnership, says social dialogue plays a key role in creating decent jobs and improved performance for business. It however noted that new efforts were needed to ensure the recognition and realisation of the rights to freedom of association and collective bargaining.

The report, ‘Building trust in a changing world of work’, was co-authored by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and coordinated by the Global Deal– a partnership that aims to encourage governments, businesses, unions and other organisations to make commitments to enhance social dialogue.

“The new report shows that enhanced social dialogue can create opportunities for more inclusive labour markets and economic growth, better socioeconomic outcomes and greater well-being for workers, improved performance for businesses and restored trust for governments,” said ILO Director-General Guy Ryder. “Creating more and better jobs is key to achieving inclusive economic growth. At a time marked by increasing job insecurity, wage stagnation and new challenges from the digital revolution, constructive labour relations are more important than ever,” said OECD SecretaryGeneral Angel Gurría.

The report also notes that about half of the world’s working population remains outside the coverage of two critical international labour instruments protecting their rights to freedom of association and collective bargaining: ILO Conventions No. 87 and No. 98 . “As the ILO heads towards its centenary in 2019, we believe that initiatives such as the Global Deal are instrumental to place social dialogue at the core of the international agenda.”

Moussa Oumarou, ILO Deputy Director-General, also said the report calls for renewed efforts to promote ratification of the two fundamental Conventions, and ensuring that the rights they enshrine are realised in law and in practice. It also says that governments have a key role to play in creating the enabling policy environment needed for the full development of social dialogue, and of strong, independent and representative organisations of workers and employers.

This report highlights the crucial role played by social partners in shaping the future of work, through workplace cooperation, collective bargaining and tripartite social dialogue. “Social partners can jointly decide what technologies to adopt and how. They can contribute to manage transitions for displaced workers, help identify skills’ needs and develop education and training programmes.” The report further stresses the crucial role of social dialogue in enhancing the inclusiveness of labour protection and furthering Goal 8 of the 2030 Agenda on decent work and inclusive growth, noting that, “tripartite social dialogue and solidarity action by social partners can facilitate the transition from the informal to the formal economy.

“Collective bargaining can play a role in improving employment security, clarifying the employment relationship and the transition from temporary to regular employment. Inclusive and effective wage policies combine protective standards, such as minimum wages and limits on working time, and collective bargaining (participatory standards).

“The extension of collective agreements is a way to include migrant workers, workers in nonstandard forms of employment and other vulnerable categories, such as small and medium-sized enterprises under the scope of negotiated labour protection and creates a level playing field for enterprises.” Speaking at the launch, ILO Deputy Director-General Moussa Oumarou declared that, “as the ILO heads towards its centenary in 2019, we believe that initiatives such as the Global Deal are instrumental to place social dialogue at the core of the international agenda.”

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