ILC Radio Round-up

Day 4: ILC plenary sessions begin

ILC plenary discusses Director-General’s Future of Work report, workers' side event on the challenges of globalization to trade unions.

Audio | 04 June 2015
Plenary sittings kicked off day four of the International Labour Conference with delegates weighing in on the heady issues of the world of work.

This year’s report from Director-General Guy Ryder focused on the Future of Work initiative.

The proposed initiative would include a high-level commission on the future of work be set up to prepare a report to the ILO’s centenary Conference in 2019. The initiative would include work and society, decent jobs, and the governance of work.

Referring to the initiative at today’s plenary session, Jørgen Rønnest, speaking on behalf of the Employers Group, agreed with the report’s point that the world of work is being transformed by changes of unprecedented speed and scale. He raised the crucial issue of the skills mismatch between jobs and workers:

Managing and adapting to change is a key driver to success. In this regards, employers agree with the Director-General highlighting the lack of effective action on a scale necessary to meet the skills mismatch and employability criteria of the future.

The Future of Work report discusses the rise of inequality, which also concerns Luc Cortebeeck, speaking for the Workers Group.

We live in a world with much higher levels of GDP than in 1919. Yet inequality is at historic levels. We need to use the future of work initiative to show that an alternative model of development is possible and that the world of work can be the place that will drive more inclusive and fair societies.

This theme of inequality also came up at a book launch event today at the ILC. The book, called Struggle in a Time of Crisis, brings together essays by an array of global contributors devoted to working with labour movements to stimulate debate about the challenges facing labour groups and activists amid increasing globalization.

The book launch was hosted by ACTRAV, the ILO’s Bureau for Workers' Activities, which acts as the link between the International Labour Office and the trade union movement.

Maria Helena André, Director of ACTRAV, pointed out a common theme between the articles in the book:

We need more jobs. But we also need better jobs. The link between quantity and quality is very well flagged up in some of these articles. And also the need to reduce inequalities, which we see not just at the labour market level but in all realms of society.

Tomorrow at the ILC, we’ll visit a special side event on the crisis in migration.

Reporting for the ILO at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, this is Carla Drysdale.