OVERVIEW: Workers’ Rights as Human Rights: 1802 -2013 The Struggle for Worker’s is as old as the Struggle for Human Rights; Whether you are a slave, a serf or “free” laborer, you are living and toiling under conditions not of your own making; The Struggle for Rights is a Struggle to Control your Destiny; Rights Human Rights cannot flourish where Workers’ Rights are not enforced. What are “Labor Standards”? ◦ Most basic: minimum requirements of working conditions prescribed through legislation, regulation, and laws (relating to monetary and welfare benefits). Modern Era: English Factory Legislation (1802) marks the onset of the modern story of Labor Standards and Workers’ Rights. ◦ Local to Global: Driven by the Workers Rights and Standards movements: Industrialization and the “Labor Problem: the British Factory System and “The Health and Morals of Apprentices Act (1802). Neoliberal Globalization and the “Labor Problem”: Global Justice Movement (1999); the Worker’s Rights Consortium (2000) WRC ; Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights (aka National Labor Committee; 1981) The Institute ◦ International Labour Organization (1919) created the possibility for general international standards: Philadelphia Conference (1944): Labor Rights as Human Rights; Fundamental Declaration of Rights at Work (1998): Consolidated workers’ rights as human rights. ◦ Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948). ◦ Ideological Framing: ◦ From Narrow: Health and Males ◦ To Broad: Working Conditions and All Workers: Liberalism Vs. Social Democracy: Workers’ Rights Debate in the 19th and 20th Centuries were framed by Liberal (individual rights) and Social Democratic (Collective Rights). 21st Century: Human Rights paradigm (which implies moral and ethical arguments; individual and collective); that Workers’ Rights are Human Rights that form the basis for Human Development. Convention 87* (1) Freedom of Association: Workers and Employers have a right to form and to join an organization of their choosing. (2) Right to Collective Bargaining: All workers have the right to collective bargaining Convention 98* (1) Right to Organize: Workers shall enjoy adequate protection against acts of anti-union discrimination in respect of their employment. Convention No. 181* (1) Private Employment Agencies can be used as a tool to ensure that all workers, including those outsourced by agencies have the same rights, including the right to organize. *(standard reference points—but not the only ones) Article 23* (1) Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favorable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment. (2) Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work. (3) Everyone who works has the right to just and favorable remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity, and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection. (4) Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests. *(standard reference point—but not the only one) We all have the right to a job of our choice that is safe, pays well enough to live, and does not infringe on our civil rights. We have a right to join an organization of our choice. Specific violations include: Minimum wage jobs that deny workers a living wage and health care. Injuries and deaths resulting from unsafe or unhealthy working conditions. Work requirements under welfare reform that force recipients to take any job offered. Being fired or demoted for trying to form a union or for complaining about working conditions. Mis-classification of employment status. Born out of Crisis Rooted in the Real Economy The International Labour Organization (1919) predates the United Nations and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The ILO’s Mission sets the standard for Workers; Rights: ◦ To promote opportunities for men and women to obtain decent and productive work, in conditions of freedom, equity, security and human dignity, which is summed up by the expression: “Decent work as a global goal” “WHEREAS UNIVERSAL AND LASTING PEACE CAN BE ESTABLISHED ONLY IF IT IS BASED UPON SOCIAL JUSTICE…” Preamble Specialized agency of the UN 182 member States 40 field offices throughout the world • Devoted to advancing opportunities for women and men to obtain decent and productive work in conditions of freedom, equity, security and human dignity • Placing employment at the heart of development policy The only tripartite organization in the UN. ◦ Employers’ and workers’ representatives have an equal voice with that of governments Operates with practical, concrete and specific contributions from its tripartite constituents ◦ Promote labor standards ◦ Create greater opportunities for decent employment ◦ Enhance coverage and effectiveness of social protection – Strengthen tripartism and social dialogue to advance these goals. In its first year, the ILO adopted 6 conventions, including those covering… ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ Hours of Work Unemployment Insurance Maternity Protection Minimum Age Night work for Women and Youth. At the end of Second World War, the ILO adopted the Declaration of Philadelphia to broaden its aims and purposes. – The Declaration was adopted by the ILO in 1944 and is the equivalent of what an organization commonly refers to as its mission. – In 1946, the ILO became the first specialized agency associated with the newly formed United Nations, following the dissolution of the League of Nations – On its 50th anniversary in 1969, the ILO was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize “The General Conference of the International Labour Organisation, meeting in its Twenty-sixth Session in Philadelphia, hereby adopts, this tenth day of May in the year nineteen hundred and forty-four, the present Declaration of the aims and purposes of the International Labour Organisation and of the principles which should inspire the policy of its Members. The Conference reaffirms the fundamental principles on which the Organisation is based and, in particular, that: labour is not a commodity; freedom of expression and of association are essential to sustained progress; poverty anywhere constitutes a danger to prosperity everywhere; the war against want requires to be carried on with unrelenting vigour within each nation…with a view to the promotion of the common welfare.” The ILO seeks to promote social justice and internationally recognized human and labor rights. The ILO formulates international labour standards. These standards take the form of Conventions and Recommendations, which set minimum standards in the field of fundamental labor rights: freedom of association, the right to organize, the right to collective bargaining, the abolition of forced labor, equality of opportunity and treatment, as well as other standards addressing conditions spanning across the entire spectrum of workrelated issues. Subjects addressed by the ILO’s ILS International labour standards respond to a growing number of needs and challenges experienced by workers and employers in the globalized economy. The following subjects are covered by international labour standards: Freedom of association Collective bargaining Forced labour Child labour Equality of opportunity and treatment Tripartite consultation Labour administration Labour inspection Employment policy Employment promotion Vocational guidance and training Employment security Wages Working time Occupational safety and health Social security Maternity protection Social policy Migrant workers Seafarers Fishers Dock workers Indigenous and tribal peoples Other specific categories of workers International labour standards are legal instruments drawn up by the ILO’s constituents (governments, employers and workers) which set out basic principles and rights at work. ILS are divided into: CONVENTIONS These are legally binding international treaties that are subject to ratification by member States. RECOMMENDATIONS These serve as non-binding guidelines. They can also be autonomous, i.e., not linked a Convention. In many cases, a Convention lays down the basic principles to be implemented by ratifying countries, while a related Recommendation supplements the Convention by providing more detailed guidelines on its implementation. Binding means mandatory as soon as a country has ratified a Convention and integrated it into national law. Today, the ILO’s Governing Body has identified eight “fundamental” Conventions. These principles are also covered by the ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work (1998) In 1995, the ILO launched a campaign for the universal ratification of these eight Conventions. These cover subjects considered to be fundamental principles and rights at work: Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise Convention, 1948 (No. 87) Right to Organise and Collective Bargaining Convention, 1949 (No. 98) Forced Labour Convention, 1930 (No. 29) Abolition of Forced Labour Convention, 1957 (No. 105) Minimum Age Convention, 1973 (No. 138) Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention, 1999 (No. 182) Equal Remuneration Convention, 1951 (No. 100) Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Convention, 1958 (No. 111) The ILO’s Governing Body has also designated another four Conventions as “priority” instruments, thereby encouraging member States to ratify them because of their importance for the functioning of the international labour standards system. (In addition, there are more than 150 Technical Conventions. Labour Inspection Convention, 1947 (No. 81) Labour Inspection (Agriculture) Convention, 1969 (No. 129) Tripartite Consultation (International Labour Standards) Convention, 1976 (No. 144) Employment Policy Convention, 1964 (No. 122) Work is central to people’s well being Creating decent work should be at the heart of development policy Make globalization more inclusive and fair Centered on the ILO’s key strategic objectives… ◦ Employment The principal route out of poverty is work ◦ Rights People in poverty need representation, participation and voice ◦ Protection Earning power is suppressed by marginalization and lack support systems ◦ Dialogue The only way to solve problems peacefully of Headquarters • • The ILO headquarters is in Geneva, Switzerland The Office employs some 1,900 officials of more than one hundred nationalities at its Geneva headquarters and in forty offices throughout the world. In addition, some 600 experts carry out missions under the technical cooperation program. Director-General • Guy Ryder was elected as the 10th GD by the Governing Body in May 2012 and took office on 1 October, 2012. • He studied Social and Political Sciences at the University of Cambridge and Latin American Studies at the University of Liverpool.