Trade Union Virtual Meeting on Impact of COVID-19 Crisis on Informal Workers in Lower Tiers of Supply Chains (Garment and Metal), Domestic Work and Agriculture

A trade union consultative virtual meeting was organized by ILO to look at a few key sectors, which have faced a severe dent due to the ongoing crisis such as Informal economy workers and Home-based workers in lower tiers of the global and domestic supply chains, Domestic workers and Agricultural workers (more specifically those working in cotton production, including migrants).

The outbreak of COVID-19 followed by the countrywide lockdown has plunged informal workers across the country into an unprecedented humanitarian, social and economic crisis. Declining incomes and loss of livelihood has led to a scarcity of basic-necessities threatening the survival of millions of workers and their families.

In the context of the crisis as trade unions are forming individual and joint positions and consolidating their advocacy agenda, it is critical that the voices of these workers in the lower tiers of supply chains, domestic work and agriculture be integrated and their rights defended. This meeting marked a step forward in this direction.

The key objectives of this meeting were:
  1. To facilitate a common understanding among trade unions on the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on informal workers, in particular those engaged in lower tiers of supply chains, domestic work and agricultural work, in the light of violation of fundamental principles and rights at work, access to decent work, social protection, migration etc.
  2. To support trade unions to formulate a consolidated official position on these sectoral concerns
  3. To integrate the concerns of the informal workers (especially those mentioned above) in the common position paper jointly developed by the unions
  4. To strengthen their ongoing joint and individual advocacy agendas by integrating the common positions on the sectoral workers.
The meeting had participation from the Central Trade Unions (with sectoral representation) and highlighted some of the critical issues and points for further interventions. It focussed on “human centred approach” and working collaboratively in order to combat the COVID-19 Crisis.