From dawn in Fiji to sunset in Hawaii, workers from more than 100 countries are taking part in a global day of action to demand stronger government action for economic recovery, job creation for young people, decent working conditions and full respect for workers’ rights.
World Day for Decent Work 2012, co-ordinated by the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), highlights youth unemployment, which is as high as 60% in some countries, and a whole generation of young people faces exclusion from the labour market. This is a social and economic time-bomb.
“The crisis, and the inability or unwillingness of governments to restore jobs and growth, is having a particularly brutal impact on young people. Official figures show that 75 million young people are without jobs across the world, many 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,” said Sharan Burrow, General Secretary of the ITUC.
Actions on the World Day for Decent Work this year are focusing on job creation for young people. Events will take place worldwide:
In Haiti the unions will come together in a historic event and occupy the streets for the first time in many years.
In Burma the ITUC General Secretary Sharan Burrow together with Maung Maung – a trade union leader who has just been let back into the country from many years of forced exile – will host the very first World Day for Decent Work event.
In Indonesia there will be a national strike on Sunday 7 October.
In Bulgaria there are 25 different events happening all over the country – from leafleting in the streets to sectorial meetings on youth employment.
Trade unions in Senegal are organising a conference on alternatives for youth employment.
This year the ITUC also launches a special campaign website on a weather forecast theme where young workers can find the outlook for their own country, and also take action by writing to their labour ministers.
“The issue of unemployment for young people is a global crisis but where each national government needs to take its own responsibility, and this is a big responsibility for the labour ministers,” said Sharan Burrow.
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