COVID-19 and Workers'Organizations

COVID-19 in the Americas: Strengthening social dialogue, collective bargaining and mechanisms in labour relations

The Covid-19 pandemic does not justify any restriction on the fundamental rights at work enshrined in international labour standards, and full respect for these rights is a precondition for effective social dialogue. Strengthening social dialogue and respect for labour rights is therefore essential. However, in order to implement it, the strengthening of each of the actors is a priority, paying special attention to the workers' sector not only in their capacity to negotiate, but also in deepening the arguments for agreements in the new phase, recognising that in the post-pandemic period the world will be left with a high level of unemployment, inequality, poverty, debt and political frustration.

General objective

To debate the existing conditions of social dialogue in the stage before the covid-19 pandemic, the relevant role that it would play during the time that it remains and especially for the phase of building back better, strengthening the trade union sector in light of the guidelines of the ILO Centenary Declaration.

Specific objectives

a) To analyse the social dialogue scenarios prior to the crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and the responsiveness that constituents have had in the current crisis.

b) To reflect on the relevant priorities of the social dialogue to be assumed by actors in the world of work, in particular trade unions, in the post-pandemic phase and the role of strengthening their capacities and social dialogue mechanisms.

c) To provide guidance on technical criteria to be taken into account in the development of trade union proposals, vis-à-vis other actors, in order to make social dialogue effective, which takes into consideration, amongst other elements, the guidelines of the real syndicalism of the Americas as well as the ILO Centenary Declaration.


  • 17h-17h05: Welcome and introduction by Moderator Ms Amanda Villatoro, Desk Officer for Latin America and the Caribbean, ILO ACTRAV
  • 17h05-17h15: Opening remarks by Ms Maria Helena André, Director of ILO ACTRAV
  • 17h15-17h20: Remarks by Mr Vinicios Pinheiro, ILO Regional Director, Latin America and the Caribbean
  • 17h20-17h35: Mr Humberto Villasmil Prieto, Specialist in Social Dialogue and International Labour Standards and Labour Relations, Office for ILO Santiago de Chile
  • 17h35-17h50: Dr Enrique de la Garza Toledo, Professor Researcher, Universidad Autonoma Metropolitana (UAM) Mexico
  • 17h50-18h05: Mr Andre Lewis, President of the Caribbean Congress of Labour (CCL).
  • 18h05-18h20: Mr Rafael Freire, General Secretary of the Trade Union Confederation of the Americas (CSA_TUCA)
  • 18h20-18h35: Questions and comments (Q&A)
  • 18h35-18h50: Final comments and closure.

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