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SOLIDAR Weekly Round Up | 7th October 2016 | World Day for Decent Work
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DECENT WORK OR RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE?
Editorial by Conny Reuter, SOLIDAR Secretary General
 
7 October 2016

 
Since we launched the global “Decent Work, Decent Life” campaign together with the ITUC and the ETUC at the 2005 World Social Forum in Porto Alegre, Decent Work has been at the core of SOLIDAR’s commitments. In 2007, the trade union movement declared 7 October as the World Day of Decent Work, an annual opportunity to stress that not any job is necessarily a good job and that the quality of employment matters too. Decent jobs are a guarantee to lead people out of poverty, labour has a societal value that must be recognised, and a higher degree of identification raises productivity. Although the intentions are good, reality has so far fallen short of aspirations. Precarious work continues to spread, even in sectors which were considered to be exempt, like air transport or the banking sector. New forms of employment like the zero hours contracts and limited term contracts for the sake of so-called flexibility are gaining ground, including in Europe.
 
Young people, in particular in Southern Europe, have no access to the labour market and while the  Youth Guarantee was a good initiative, unfortunately  there are some countries where the administration is neither willing nor has the capacity to set up the required framework. In our neighbourhood countries of the Middle East and North Africa an entire young generation wants to enter the labour market and earn a living. In addition to conflict, the absence of employment prospects is one of the major push factors for migrating, either within the South or to the North.
 
At present, we are witnessing mass dismissals, for example in Belgium: Caterpillar 2000, ING Bank 3500 and more. The logic whereby a profitable enterprise recruits and does not dismiss is no longer valid: competitiveness and short term profits are the overriding priority, satisfying the shareholders’ interests and the stock exchange. Sounds like class rhetoric? Maybe, but it is the reality.
 
The new forms of employment created by the digital revolution around virtual platforms and click work will not only continue to wipe out jobs, but will also need new forms of regulation, new forms of industrial relations and new forms of securing the sustainability not only of jobs, but also of our social protection schemes as the new forms of employment will not be limited to national borders. Trade unions have taken up the challenge and we need to work together to challenge this transformation and not to develop rage against the machine. In this evolution the Pillar of Social Rights proposed by the European Commission can be a useful framework if taken seriously. Don’t miss this opportunity!
 
Decent Work is not for show, it is our common challenge to ensure social progress in a time of industrial technological revolution and globalisation!

 
SOLIDAR NEWS
ORGANISING INTERNATIONAL SOLIDARITY
2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development: a renewed commitment to achieve decent work and social protection for all
ten years after the Decent Work Agenda was launched by the ILO, the 2030 Agenda has renewed the global commitment to achieve decent work and social protection for all in Europe and the world.
Read more
 
BUILDING LEARNING SOCIETIES
Education and lifelong learning enablers for decent work

SOLIDAR Foundation together with its members advocates for putting a stronger emphasis on investment in the development of transversal skills that will give people the ability to transform and adjust to changing societies and work environments.
Read more
ORGANISING INTERNATIONAL SOLIDARITY
#SDG8 is about promoting decent work for all

SOLIDAR members work in more than 100 countries together with independent, representative and accountable community-based organisations and social movements, social economy actors, independent trade unions and local NGOs to promote decent work for all with a focus on freedom of association.
Read more
TOGETHER FOR SOCIAL EUROPE
Johannes Mihkelson Centre: Promoting social inclusion and decent work in Estonia

The visit served to know more about the work of JMC supporting long term-unemployed, rehabilitation of ex-prisoners and integration of resettled refugees and asylum seekers.

Read more
ORGANISING INTERNATIONAL SOLIDARITY
Promoting and supporting social dialogue and decent work for all in the MENA region

Last week SOLIDAR organised a mission to Jordan to attend the opening seminar of the ITUC-led regional Pilot Project on the Promotion of Social Dialogue in Southern Mediterranean Countries (Morocco, Tunisia and Jordan).
Read more

 
TOGETHER FOR SOCIAL EUROPE
European Parliament: Suspension of EU funds for Spain and Portugal

In a joint meeting of the Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON) Committee and the Regional Development (REGI) Committee on Monday in Strasbourg, MEPs held a so-called “Structured dialogue in the context of macro-economic conditionality” with Commissioner Cretu (Regional Funds) and Commissioner Kataiinen, Commission Vice-President for Jobs, Growth and Investment, on the possible suspension of Structural and Investment Funds for Spain and Portugal in the framework of their excessive deficit procedure.
Read more


 
MEMBERS' AND PARTNERS' NEWS
Today is World Day for Decent Work (WDDW), which has been organised since 2008 by the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC). The World Day for Decent Work is a day of mobilisation all over the world to stand up for decent work. Decent work must be at the centre of government actions to bring back economic growth and build a new global economy that puts people first. Watch Sharan BURROW’s video message on the WDDW.
 
Have you already seen this video on our member Humanitas’ ‘Roommates’ initiative? In the Humanitas elderly home in Deventer, the Netherlands, participating students reside rent-free in this elderly home when participating in the project in exchange for 30 hours per week socialising with their co-residents. The video tells the story of one of their volunteers and the relationship he has developed with his much older roommates. You can watch the video (in English and English subtitles) here.
 
Our Member the European Association for the Defence of Human Rights (AEDH) has published their monthly newsletter in which you can find an editorial by their Secretary General Dominique Guibert, an article analysing the “iron” reform of asylum law suggested by the European Commission, and an analysis of EU policy aimed at fighting youth unemployment as well as an opinion piece on the situation in Turkey. You can find the full version of their newsletter here.
 
Our Member the International Federation of Worker’s Education Associations (IFWEA) has published their third quarterly newsletter of this year highlighting their latest news, actions and campaigns. You can find the newsletter here.

 
The European Association for the Education of Adults (EAEA) is organising an adult education and employment workshop and regional meeting on 18 October in Bratislava. Along with Eastern and Central European representatives working in the field of adult education, they will be discussing the role that education plays in employment. They will also talk about the newest developments at the European level: the Skills Agenda and the Skills Guarantee, which will be presented by Dana Bachmann from the European Commission. Here you can find the programme of the workshop and for those who are interested in attending the meeting, you can register here.
 
The Center for Trade Unions and Workers Services (CTUWS) has sent out a news bulletin on the detention of six labour leaders that has been extended for another 15 days in Egypt. The labour leaders are accused of: calling for a strike, inciting public employees against performing their duties and belonging to a banned organisation. Their defence calls for the release of the six workers as there are no grounds for holding the accused in pre-trial custody, given that all six workers work in governmental agencies and have a known address and do not constitute a danger to society. Furthermore, the accusations against them are null and void since striking is an act that is not criminalised and is a right guaranteed in the constitution. You can read the full version of their news bulletin here.
 
The International Labour Rights Forum (ILRF) has published a press release in which they call on Abercrombie & Fitch (A&F) to immediately ensure the necessary renovations are made in their factory in Bangladesh, to prevent nightmares like the Rana Plaza disaster from happening again. Although A&F has signed a legal commitment to improve the workplace and working conditions, they haven’t taken any action thus far. Here you can find more information on the ILRF’s call for action called ‘Abercombie & Flames’.

 
UPCOMING EVENTS
Europe and the Mediterranean. Places of peace and rights: for all or for the few?
8-9 October 2016 | Perugia, Italy
International Conference organised by SOLIDAR and CGIL in the framework of the  Peace March Perugia-Assisi
Programme
European Civic Academy in La Rochelle
7-9 October 2016 | La Rochelle, France
More information





 
Young Europeans Awards
20 September | Brussels, Belgium
Organised by Allianz Cultural Foundation
Registration and programme


 
Book launch event ‘From Europe to Local: Migrating solidarity’
Organised by SOLIDAR and FEPS
10 October 2016 | Brussels, Belgium
Public event
Registration
Roundtable debate 'CSOs providing social services in the Western Balkans: Challenges & opportunities'
Organised by SOLIDAR, IRIS Network and ASB SEE
11 October 2016 | Brussels, Belgium
Registration

 
SDG Watch Europe Launch
13 - 14 October 2016 | Brussels, Belgium
Public event
Registration and programme




 
EVBB international annual conference on 'New global challenges for VET in a more inclusive Europe: migration, cooperation and excellence in VET'
19 - 22 October 2016 | Brussels, Belgium
Registration and more information




 
Lunch time discussion on the 'Impact of the economic crisis on youth - the Youth Guarantee a new approach to tackling youth unemployment'
Organised by SOLIDAR Foundation and NOVA-Norwegian Social Research in the framework of the NEGOTIATE research project
16 November 2016 | Brussels, Belgium
Registration
This publication has been produced with the financial support of the European Commission. The information contained in this publication does not necessarily reflect the position or opinion of the European Commission.
 
Copyright © 2016 SOLIDAR, All rights reserved.


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