By Bimbola Oyesola
The International Labour Organisation (ILO) has called for solidarity between all the tripartite partners in the world of work, labour, employers and government, to ensure survival and prosperity.
The ILO director-general, Guy Ryder, in a statement issued to mark May Day, charged workers, employers, governments, international organisations and all who are committed to building back better, to join forces to bring in a world of work with justice and dignity for all.
“This year, we again celebrate May Day, International Workers’ Day, under the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has devastated the world of work, destroying jobs, enterprises and livelihoods, throwing millions into poverty and global development into reverse.
“And, like most crises, it has hit the weakest and the most vulnerable the hardest, making an unequal world even more unequal,” he said.
Ryder noted that the pandemic and its consequences were a stark reminder of global interdependence that applies to health as much as it does to working lives.
He said, “No one is safe until everyone is safe. No one can afford to be indifferent to the situation of others in the face of the fragility of the interdependent world that we have constructed. Solidarity is key to our common survival and prosperity, within borders and across borders.
“As we deal with today’s crisis and look to the future, one thing is clear: we need a human-centred recovery, with justice and equity, a recovery that is sustainable and inclusive of all.”
The ILO DG stated that building back better means making deliberate and coherent policy choices: to generate jobs and short, decent working conditions for everybody, to extend social protection, protect workers’ rights and to use social dialogue.
“And on this May Day, we recall historic struggles that brought hard-won gains.
Today, again, extraordinary sacrifices are being made by people in the world of work to beat COVID-19. We salute them, just as we mourn those who have lost their lives, but we must never sacrifice our values of social justice nor our fundamental rights at work, nor our determination to build a better future.”