On Monday, the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) and the Brazilian trade union - Central Única de Trabajadores (CUT) called for the urgent intervention of Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff in the Rio+20 negotiations. In the coming days the President will be participating in the G20 Summit, being held in Los Cabos, Mexico.
According to the trade union leaders of both organizations, Sharan Burrow and Artur Henrique, the current Rio+20 text reduces even further the expectations to advance towards a sustainable development, and this could mean the failure of the negotiations. For the trade union movement, two indispensable goals for Rio+20 represent an advancement: social protection and decent work for all. These demands are intrinsically linked to poverty eradication, an issue which the government defined as a priority in the negotiations on the Sustainable Development Goals.
“Poverty eradication implies the recogniion of the human right to social security. These percepts are contained in the ILO Convention 102 on social security and in the recent Recommendation 202 on the National Social Protection Floors. The time has come to establish them”, according to Sharan Burrow “We must leave Rio with clear commitments on social protection for all by 2030, and with the allocation of the necessary economic resources to fulfill them”.
Trade union data show that 60% of workers all over the world lack safe work and another 75% do not have access to social protection. Futhermore, a recent ITUC poll carried in 13 countries, shows that 7 of every 10 persons believe that the labour regulations in their country do not protect employment stability.
Artur Henrique, CUT’s President, conceded with Burrow’s statements and added: “it is fundamental to establish equity and social justice as pillars in the final Rio+20 text”. For Henrique, it is essential to build a new world for the preservation of humanity. In this regard, the trade union leader stated “the final document of the United Nations Conference should include concrete objectives and commitments for building a new model of sustainable develepment”.
At the Summit, trade union organizations will defend the adoption of a strategie that pursues the objective of Decent Work for all with specific actdions to eliminate precarious work, reduce unemployment and promote a proportion of green and decent Jobs, including gender equity. The construction of a new model, according to CUT’s President signifies a Just Transition. “For this”, he affirms “what is necesssary is a social protection system and a guarantee for decent work, meaning the freedom to organize and the right to collective bargaining, equality between men and women, occupational health and safety, as well as the fight against forced and child labour”.
“What we are talking about is a long process of transformation in the world of work. We defend the idea that there are no jobs on a dead planet, and therefore, if we wish to maintain our jobs, these will have to be made sustainable”, said Sharan Burrow, General Secretary of the ITUC.
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