Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Trade unions discuss income inequality at ILO meeting

The ILO Bureau for Workers’ Activities is organising an international symposium on Income Inequality, Labour Market Institutions and Workers’ Power on December 10-13 at the ILO’s headquarters in Geneva.
Trade Unions leaders, ILO experts and outside scholars will discuss ideas, experiences and strategies to move towards more equitable and inclusive societies.
"According to the background report we prepared for the meeting, high levels of inequality have a consistently negative impact on key welfare indicators, such as life expectancy, literacy, infant mortality, homicides, mental illness and social mobility of workers,” said director of the Bureau Maria Helena Andre. “The purpose of this year’s symposium is to reflect on the root causes of these growing inequalities and on what can be done to overcome them.”
The report, 'The Challenge of Inequality: Time for Change' also shows also that the labour movement faces an enormous challenge to translate public calls for more equality into real political pressure. It proposes the creation of an alliance of the bottom 40 per cent low-income and 50 per cent middle-income earners against the top 10 per cent income group, which has increased its income share in nearly all societies.
“We will discuss the role of the global trade union movement in creating such an alliance and making the changes that are needed," Andre said, adding that they will also see how trade unions can use better the ILO for effectively combating inequality, and what new avenues the ILO needs to explore in order to tackle this big challenge ahead of us.
The discussions during the symposium will contribute to the elaboration of an action plan that will include the three dimensions of inequality addressed: Drivers of inequality and its impact on society; policy areas and trade union strategies to combat inequality; and the role and potential of the ILO to support trade unions in their efforts to reduce inequality.

No comments: