October 5, 2012—Being employed in “decent work” sounds basic. But for millions of people around the world, it’s not a reality. When workers are jobless—or, at the other end of the spectrum, forced to toil under dangerous job conditions or for pay so low they cannot support themselves or their families, decent work is out of reach.
|Some 75 million young workers without jobs are among those who need decent work.
Each October 7, World Day for Decent Work reminds all of us about the plight of these workers. The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) launched Decent Work Day in 2008, and each year, the Solidarity Center and its partners in the global labor movement observe that day to bring attention to the need for decent work. As the ITUC states: “Decent work must be at the center of government actions to bring back economic growth and build a new global economy that puts people first.”
Broadly defined, decent work is productive work in conditions of freedom, security, equality and human dignity, including a fair income and the ability to join together into unions.
Decent work also is key to achieving fair globalization and reducing poverty. The International Labor Organization (ILO) describes a decent work agenda as one involving job creation, rights at work, social protection, social dialogue and gender equality.
This year, the ITUC is highlighting the global jobs crisis young workers face. Some 75 million young people are without jobs around the world, millions more are trapped in informal or precarious work, and tens of millions of new job seekers have no prospect of finding work, or education and training to equip them for work in the future. Youth unemployment is as high as 60 percent in some countries.
Young workers and others can take action for decent work on a new ITUC website, www.workforecast.org, which makes it easy to send an e-mail, a tweet or a Facebook message to their nation’s labor officials asking for decent employment.
To follow October 7 events on Twitter, check out the hashtag #WDDW.
To join in World Day for Decent Work in your community, find an event here.