Tag Archives: #iwmd20

Global: ITUC action round-up on Covid-19

ITUC action round-up on Covid-19, 7 April 2020

Prepared by Raquel Gonzalez, Director, ITUC Geneva Office.
Secretary, ILO Workers’ Group

ITUC Global Covid-19 Survey

ITUC is regularly surveying its affiliates on Covid-19. The first survey covered the period 17- 23 March 2020. In total, 109 trade unions from 86 countries took part in the survey.

Six questions were asked to monitor government responses, review economic and social policies used to respond to the pandemic, identify workers and sectors worst affected by the crisis and assess how governments and employers are responding to the crisis. The responses will be used by the ITUC and its affiliates in support of international and national advocacy and campaigning.

The second survey was published on 7 April. It covered 116 trade unions in 94 countries. The gap between regions is exposed in this second survey in terms of the responses to the pandemic. While G20 governments have committed to a record stimulus of $5 trillion, the survey shows it risks excluding emerging and developing countries. The latter are also the countries with weaker health systems and inequalities putting the health and life of millions of workers at risk.

The survey shows that the vast majority of governments (72%) are providing wage protection and income support but there are big regional differences. 41% of countries say this is not enough to cover essential costs – this is most strongly felt in the Asia-Pacific (64%) region followed by the Americas (45%).

This is why the ITUC is calling for support for a Global Fund for Universal Social Protection for the poorest countries to support health care and income support.

OSH as a fundamental right

The current pandemic shows once again the importance of OSH. This is why the ITUC will continue to campaign for including safe and healthy working conditions in the ILO’s framework of fundamental principles and rights at work (FPRWs). We will discuss this important issue at the November 2020 ILO Governing Body. At this stage I wish to recall that the Centenary Declaration we adopted in June 2019 on a tripartite basis declared that safe and healthy working conditions are fundamental to decent work. The resolution requested the Governing Boy to: “consider, as soon as possible, proposals for including safe and healthy working conditions in the ILO’s framework of FPRWs.” We strongly believe that the current pandemic shows the urgency to make this a reality and we expect a strong tripartite consensus later this year around including safe and healthy working conditions as part of FPRWs.

A new ILO instrument on biological hazards

At the November 2020 Governing Body we will also be discussing future agenda items to be placed on the Conference agenda. Four areas of OSH standards have been identified (further to the work of the Standard Review Mechanism Tripartite Working Group). We believe that in light of the current pandemic, priority should be given to the development of a Convention complemented by a Recommendation on protection against biological hazards which would be a key contribution that the ILO could make in the current pandemic context based on its rights-based mandate and tripartite structure.

ITUC/IOE Joint Statement on Covid-19

On 23 March, the International Organsation of Employers (IOE) and the ITUC issued a joint statement on Covid-19.

Both organizations called for urgent action in the following areas:

  • Business continuity, income security and solidarity
  • Social dialogue and role of the social partners in the control of and response to the virus
  • Policy coordination and coherence at international level with the UN/WHO taking into account the need to protect employment and income through strengthening of social protection
  • Strong and functioning health systems to combat the pandemic


28 April: ITUC Global Covid-19 Survey: Regional differences exposed in government responses to the pandemic

ITUC Global Covid-19 Survey: Regional differences exposed in government responses to the Covid-19 pandemic – millions of workers in Africa, Asia-Pacific and the Americas at risk of economic devastation

The impact of Covid-19 on jobs and employment has increased as more countries are responding to the pandemic with national lockdown measures including the closure of schools and non-essential business. While wage protection and income support are provided in many G20 and OECD countries, working people in Africa, Asia-Pacific and the Americas have lost jobs and incomes and could face widespread famine unless there is urgent global co-ordination and fiscal stimulus measures. Read more

28 April: United Kingdom: Workers’ Memorial Day | TUC

Every year more people are killed at work than in wars. Most don’t die of mystery ailments, or in tragic “accidents”. They die because an employer decided their safety just wasn’t that important a priority. Workers’ Memorial Day (WMD) commemorates those workers.

Each year on April 28th, all around the world the trade union movement unites to mark International Workers’ Memorial Day (#IWMD20). We remember those who have lost their lives at work, or from work-related injury and diseases. We renew our efforts to organise collectively to prevent more deaths, injuries and disease as a result of work.

Workers Memorial Day is commemorated throughout the world and is officially recognised by the UK Government.

Theme for 2020: Coronavirus

This year we are all working in unique circumstances, as the coronavirus pandemic affects every worker regardless of sector or locality. Hundreds have lost their lives to the virus while working on the frontline, acting to protect the public and to keep society running. Workers are risking their lives every day, while many are still attending work ill-equipped and without necessary safety measures in place. We could not have a starker reminder of the important role of trade union health and safety reps in saving and protecting workers’ lives.

We remember those we have lost. We organise in their memory.

While we may not be able to attend the memorial events which usually take place on IWMD, as public gatherings around the world are not advised or allowed; there are many ways trade union members can take part in our collective day of remembrance and solidarity.

How you can take part…

Light a candle

Join others across the world by lighting a candle on the evening of Tuesday 28th April. It may be for a loved one, a worker, a group of workers or for all those who have lost their lives from work. Take a photo of your candle, and with a caption about who you’re remembering, post it on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram using #IWMD20.

Register for our video call

The TUC Education team will be hosting a video call at 2pm on the day, where you will be able to hear from speakers and submit questions and contributions in advance. Put the time in your diary and registration will be available via soon.

Coming Soon – downloadable #IWMD posters, social media graphics and video. 


28 April: ITF Global – Covid19 map launched to support global seafarers

The ITF has launched a map showing the effect of Covid-19 restrictions on countries and ports around the globe.

ITUC/Hazards coronavirus workplace health resource hub

It wasn’t an infection that caused the shutdown of entire nations. The coronavirus pandemic could persist because public health was a low priority and workers do not have the sick pay and job protection necessary to survive.

ITUC/Hazards coronavirus workplace health resource hub

Global: Joint Statement on COVID-19 by IOE and ITUC

Joint Statement on COVID-19 by International Organisation of Employers and International Trade Union Confederation 

COVID-19 is threatening the health and the livelihoods of workers and employers globally. It is not a local but a worldwide challenge, requiring a global response. Urgent action is essential from
international organisations. The time has come to see the United Nations reform in action. Enhanced cooperation and coordination are required among all actors in the multilateral system. The
International Labour Organization and the World Health Organization (WHO) are at the heart of the international guidance to manage this pandemic and identify short, medium and long-term sustainable solutions for individuals, communities, nations and regions.

Joint statement 

28 April: Los sindicatos mundiales se organizan para un mundo pospandémico – Equal Times

Desde que la pandemia de COVID-19 paralizara la actividad en varios países europeos, las personas confinadas en sus casas salen a sus ventanas y balcones cada noche para vitorear y aplaudir a los trabajadores sanitarios que luchan contra el virus.

Los médicos, los enfermeros y otros profesionales sanitarios se encuentran en primera línea de la lucha contra una pandemia que ya se ha cobrado más de 62.000 vidas en todo el mundo (en el momento de la presente publicación). Y estos trabajadores pagan un precio muy alto. En Italia, donde se ha registrado el mayor número de muertes por coronavirus hasta la fecha, más de 40 trabajadores sanitarios han fallecido desde el inicio del brote, mientras que en todo el mundo decenas de miles se han contagiado y han tenido que ponerse en cuarentena, lo cual ha supuesto una presión increíble para muchos sistemas de atención de salud.

Sin embargo, la contribución de muchas otras categorías de trabajadores también es esencial en la lucha mundial contra el virus. Se trata de trabajadores que no pueden desempeñar su trabajo con un ordenador portátil desde su salón y ahora realizan su trabajo diario con la preocupación añadida de contraer una enfermedad potencialmente mortal.

Camioneros de todo el mundo han publicado fotos de sí mismos en las redes sociales con el pie de foto: “No me puedo quedar en casa, soy camionero”. En Italia, un empleado de supermercado murió tras contraer el virus; en Sudáfrica, periodistas han dado positivo en las pruebas del coronavirus; trabajadores de la economía de plataforma en los Estados Unidos, que carecen de red de seguridad, continúan llevando a pasajeros y entregando comida y paquetes, aunque una sola interacción con un portador de coronavirus puede ser fatídica. Y en Bélgica, barrenderos como Ahmet Sener hacen su trabajo con una bufanda como único equipo de protección.

Equal Times.

28 April: Les syndicats mondiaux s’organisent pour un monde postpandémique – Equal Times

Depuis que la pandémie du COVID-19 a paralysé un grand nombre de pays européens, les personnes confinées chez elles se pressent tous les soirs aux fenêtres et aux balcons pour saluer et applaudir les professionnels de la santé engagés dans la lutte contre le virus.

Médecins, personnels infirmiers et autres professionnels de la santé sont en première ligne dans la lutte contre une pandémie qui (au moment de la publication) a déjà fait plus de 62.000 morts dans le monde entier. Et ils en paient le prix fort. En Italie, où le coronavirus a fait, jusqu’à présent, le plus grand nombre de victimes, plus de 40 professionnels de la santé sont morts depuis le début de la pandémie, tandis qu’à l’échelle mondiale, des dizaines de milliers d’autres ont été infectés et contraints à l’auto-isolement, mettant à rude épreuve la plupart des systèmes de santé.

Il existe, cependant, de nombreuses autres catégories de travailleurs dont la contribution à la lutte mondiale contre le virus est essentielle. Il s’agit de travailleurs qui, ne pouvant tout simplement pas exercer leur activité normale à domicile au moyen d’un ordinateur, doivent continuer à se rendre au travail comme d’habitude avec, de surcroît, l’angoisse du risque constant d’une contamination mortelle.

De par le monde, des camionneurs ont publié sur les réseaux sociaux leur photo accompagnée de la légende : « Je ne peux pas rester chez moi, je suis un routier. » En Italie, une employée de supermarché est morte du virus ; en Afrique du Sud, des journalistes ont été testés positifs au COVID-19 ; aux États-Unis, les travailleurs des plateformes, totalement dépourvus de protection sociale, continuent à conduire des passagers et à livrer des repas et des colis, alors qu’une seule interaction avec un porteur du coronavirus peut leur être fatale. Et en Belgique, des éboueurs comme Ahmet Sener effectuent leur travail sans autre équipement de protection qu’une simple écharpe….

Equal Times.

28 April: Global labour unions organise for a post-pandemic world – Equal Times

Every night, since the COVID-19 pandemic brought several European countries to a standstill, people confined to their homes have taken to their windows and balconies to cheer and applaud the health workers battling against the virus.

Doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals are on the frontlines of the fight against a pandemic that has already claimed more than 64,000 lives (at the time of publication) worldwide. And they pay a heavy price. In Italy, which so far has the biggest death toll from coronavirus, close to 90 health workers have died since the beginning of the outbreak (at the time of publication), while across the world, tens of thousands more have been infected and forced into self-isolation, putting many healthcare systems under incredible strain.

But there are many other categories of workers whose contribution to the global fight against the virus is essential. Workers who simply cannot perform their job with a laptop from their living room and now carry out their daily work with the added anxiety of deadly contamination.

Truck drivers worldwide have posted pictures of themselves on social media with the caption: “I can’t stay home, I’m a truck driver.” In Italy, a supermarket clerk died of the virus; in South Africa, journalists have tested positive for COVID-19; gig economy workers in the US, with no safety net to fall back on, continue to drive passengers and deliver food and packages, even though just one interaction with a coronavirus carrier could be fatal. And in Belgium, street cleaners like Ahmet Sener perform their work with no protective equipment other than a winter scarf.

More in Equal Times.

28 April: ITUC – ¿Cuál es la peor compañía de la semana?