Specifically, the Sec-Gen focused on the challenges of securing the future of working people amidst profound environmental, demographic and technological change, but said the ILO was uniquely placed to ensure minimum standards and protections are afforded to all workers, regardless of employment status.
Mr Cotton noted
The ITF is committed to multilateralism, tripartism, and the work of the ILO. However, we are at a critical juncture in history. This house must recall its mandate – to achieve a world of social justice for peace and stability – and take bold decisions to make it happen.
What was mostly highlighted during Mr Cotton's speech was the need for the ILo to be strong on enforcement and ensure violations do not go unpunished.
In the meantime, the Secretary General talked about harassment, intimidation and fear, as the CAS heard evidence of violence against trade unionists, imprisonments and undermining of fundamental rights. In light of this matter, incidents of harassment, are mostly cases included violations of ILO Convention 87, Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise, in Turkey and in the Philippines.
Thus, both governments have to report back to the ILO’s Committee of Experts so the ILO can monitor progress.
Following the historic global standard on violence and harassment in the workplace, which ITF firmly applauded, the ILO agreed a centenary declaration designed to give all workers a floor of rights and protections in an ever-changing world of work.
Mainly, the Declaration addresses some key issues affecting transport workers, whereas also gives trade unions a base to fight for a fair and democratic work future.
Major parts of the Declaration include:
- recognising safe and healthy working conditions are fundamental to decent work
- the need for cross-border action to secure workers’ rights in supply chains
- policies and measures that ensure appropriate privacy and personal data protection, and respond to challenges and opportunities in the world of work relating to the digital transformation of work, including platform work
- the importance of promoting quality public services
In support of this Declaration, Mr Cotton concluded
Universal ratification of core conventions must be achieved. And Declarations must be supplemented by action plans to ensure outcomes are implemented; where they’re not, steps must be taken. Working people must believe we are serious. Trust and understanding in the tripartite system is the bedrock of the social contract - a contract to which we will continue to hold employers and governments to account.