Metalworkers Union Urges ILO to ACT on Precarious Work

Unions from around the world, including the International Metalworkers Federation (IMF) affiliates, recently participated in the ILO Workers Symposium on Policies and Regulations to Combat Precarious Employment. The Symposium produced a set of recommendations on measures that the ILO should take to reduce precarious work and improve conditions for precarious workers.
According to information from the IMF, while trade unions have recognized for a long time the threat that the rapid expansion of precarious work throughout the world poses to workers rights, concerns have been raised that the ILO is not doing enough to protect the rights of precarious workers to join a union and participate in meaningful collective bargaining. In order to put the issue firmly at the center of the ILO's standard setting and enforcement agenda, ACTRAV, the Workers Bureau of the ILO, organized a Worker's Symposium which brought together union representatives from both developing and industrialized countries, the public and the private sector. (WCxKit)
During three days, unions shared information on how worldwide, unimaginable numbers of workers are suffering from precarious, insecure, uncertain and unpredictable working conditions. They discussed how global forces are driving the rapid expansion of precarious work in all countries and in all sectors of the economy and the urgent need for regulatory and policy responses to prevent this.
The aims of the Symposium included determining how existing standards can be better promoted in order to protect the rights of precarious workers as well as identifying gaps in existing international labor protections that could be filled by the development of new standards.
At the conclusion of the Symposium, union representatives called on the ILO to conduct a comprehensive report on the obstacles that prevent precarious workers from being able to bargain collectively with their employer, with a particular focus on the barriers to workers in triangular relationships bargaining with the employer controlling their conditions of work. (WCxKit)
Lastly, they called for ILO action to promote key conventions and recommendations that can improve conditions for precarious workers and pointed to the need for further regulation, particularly to limit temporary employment other than in cases of legitimate need.
Author Robert Elliott, executive vice president, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. has worked successfully for 20 years with many industries to reduce Workers Compensation costs, including airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality and manufacturing. He is a contributor to the #1 selling book on cost containment, Manage Your Workers Compensation: Reduce Costs 20-50%   See for more information. Contact:


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