The International Labor Organization’s (ILO) Bureau for Worker Activities’ Senior Technical Specialist, Madam Inviolata Chinyangarara, has recommended workers’ organizations collaborate with governments and employers to create an environment that is conducive to social discourse.
Working with governments and employers, according to Madam Chinyangarara, would ensure that there was a genuine social conversation that was built on trust and respect for their rights and independence.
She guided a message of goodwill at a two-day capacity-building workshop on the subject of “Innovative Strategies for Organizing Workers in the New World of Work” that was held in Tema with funding from the ILO.
According to her, unions must continue to exert leadership, show relevance, and offer top-notch services to both present and potential members if they are to help create stronger, more sustainable, and equal economies and societies.
She pointed out that having an organizational socio-economic vision and a tactical plan for dealing with societal and economic changes was a requirement for any trade union’s success.
The decline of manufacturing jobs, the rise of non-standard and flexible work, the persistence and expansion of the informal economy, changes in employment laws, and restrictions on and violations of trade union rights have all contributed to a decline in unionization rates in the majority of countries around the world, according to Madam Chinyangarara.
She cited falling solidarity with vulnerable worker groups including immigrants and those employed in the informal sector as some of the difficulties that needed to be addressed in collaboration with stakeholders. She also mentioned an increase in precarious work and other non-standard employment.
She observed that the social divide between workers with stable, well-paying jobs and those with unstable, low-compensated, or precarious positions, or no job at all, as well as how the digital economy was reshaping jobs and employment relationships had an impact on trade unionization.
She noted that the COVID-19 pandemic had heightened the urgency with which workers’ organizations must address changes in the workplace brought about by globalization, as well as by demographic, environmental, and technological changes, and to play a critical role in crisis mitigation, response, and recovery.
She applauded the GFL for creating a strategic plan for 2023–2026 that would act as a roadmap for addressing these and other issues that employees and their organizations were facing in the new workplace.
According to her, the ILO was working with the GFL and its affiliates in this situation to build the GFL’s institutional capacity to create futuristic solutions to maintain and enhance operations.
She added that it aims to improve policy advocacy and impact while renewing membership strategies, service provision and delivery systems, and membership leadership and advocacy responsibilities.
According to Madam Chinyangarara, the ILO’s priorities for the biennium 2022–2023 were to support organizations like the GFL in their efforts to improve their capacity to assess and comprehend the changing nature of the workplace.
Additionally, they must improve their internal institutional and organizational procedures and implement creative organizing and member-serving initiatives, particularly in light of the altered circumstances brought on by the crisis.
She claimed that the ILO ACTRAV prepared materials addressing the trade union difficulties, opportunities, and possibilities for staying relevant, effective, and influential organizations in the future to further debates on trade union renewal and revitalization.
“The labor movement had a responsibility to press the government to do the necessary to establish a friendly business environment for industries to survive, be able to retain personnel, and be able to develop,” stated Mr. Abraham Koomson, Secretary-General of the GFL.
He claimed that as a result of poor government economic policies and a lack of commitment to fostering the expansion of local industry, businesses were subject to obvious and pressing dangers on both a national and international level.