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World Day for Decent Work: TUCP calls for decent work, decent life

TUCP leaders engaged DOLE Secretary Marianito Roque and PEZA Director General Lilia de Lima in separate meetings for a dialogue and hand-over of the World Day for Decent Work’s Call to Action for Decent Work, Decent Life!

“Everyone should endeavour to place Decent Work at the core of development, economic, trade, financial and social policies at all levels. Decent Work should be promoted in every workplace, in every community, and in all institutions, be it private or public, in-country or overseas,” notes Democrito Mendoza, President of the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines.

October 7 is World Day for Decent Work where trade unions all over the world pushed for the Call to Action of seven key demands. It is a call on government and decision-makers, including international financial institutions for:

o inclusive strategies for full and productive employment,
o promotion and protection of workers’ rights,
o social protection,
o changes in unfair trade rules,
o rationalization of debt servicing,
o increase in the level of overseas development assistance (ODA) from rich countries which imperative to reach the UN Millennium Development Goals, and
o protection of migrant workers.

In the Philippines, TUCP led the campaign which includes a hand-over ceremony of the Call to Action for “Decent Work, Decent Life!” to the respective Secretaries of DOLE, DTI, NEDA and the Director General of PEZA. Similar regional activities were held in Regions III, IV-A, VII and XI. TUCP is set to meet with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Thursday.

Similar union-initiated hand-over ceremonies were held with the European Parliament, the Office Social Affairs Commission of the African Union; Organization of American States (OAS); the International Departments of IMF-World Bank and IMF at its scheduled meeting in Istanbul, Turkey, and, with the International Department of the WTO in Geneva.

Since its launching in 2007, 15 high-level political and institutional representatives including ILO Director-General Juan Somavia , UN General Assembly President Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann, ASEAN Secretary-General Surin Pitsuwan, European Commission (EC) President Manuel Durao Barroso and a number of Labour Ministers have indicated their support and signed the Call to Action.

“All stakeholders should join hand for the creation of employment. Stable and quality jobs make for a healthy economy. And we must promote and protect workers’ rights to form and join trade unions and bargain collectively. These are fundamental to decent work,” says former Senator and TUCP General Secretary Ernesto Herrera.

“Even before the current crisis, while GDP continuously increases in real terms, the lives of workers and their families have not improved. There is large unemployment and underemployment and inequitable distribution of income and wealth.

Affected by the financial crisis and recently, by typhoon “Ondoy”, we cannot tolerate “business as usual”. Workers, their families and communities are most affected. Over 5,000 members of the TUCP had been laid off so far due to closure of factories damaged by the typhoon. We hope this is not permanent. In these times, decent work is even more important,” says Herrera. (TUCP/PIA-Surigao del Norte)


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