108th session of the International Labour Conference

Statement by Ms Cinzia Del Rio, Italian Workers’ delegate to the 108th session of the ILC

Statement | 17 June 2019
Chair, delegates, guests

I bring this contribution on behalf of the three Italian confederations, CGIL CISL and UIL.

We are here not only to celebrate the ILO Centenary but above all to try to build a new agenda of the Organisation for the coming years, so to address the changes and global transformations in the world of work and their impact on workers, business models and societies in general. We need to update the social contract to which the ILO constituents committed hundred years ago and again in 1944.

We appreciate the analyses and proposals which come from the Report of the Global Commission and which the DG is presenting to this ILC. It sets the lines of this new social contract we need to work on and implement. It indicates the areas where investments should be channelled maintaining the human-and labour-rights-centred approach also dealing with automatization and digitalization.  It sets forth measures that would modernise labour law and prevent exclusion and precarization of work, when taking into account, in particular, the impact of rapid innovation and technology, and the transitions to green production processes in a globalized world. A new agenda for the work of the future.

Social justice is still a key tool to ensure lasting peace but also to ensure democracy in our societies. Social injustice and growing inequalities encourage populism, as the results of the European elections show in some countries. This  is why the central ILO role of setting, promoting and implementing Conventions should be reaffirmed and a stronger supervisory mechanism with a sanction-approach when violating fundamental conventions, including the right to strike, should be supported.

A labour market environment characterized by a high degree of uncertainty, fast and unpredictable changes create disparities in employment opportunities, income distribution and social inclusion. We need new tools, new policies and a renewed shared responsibility between Governments and social partners who should put more efforts into forecasting, planning and strategy in a long-term perspective and not driven by short-term interests.

The ILO has a key role in the multilateral system and a key role to play in guiding the definition of policies and new international instruments and standards in the areas where we need a common approach, such as the impact of the new forms of non-standard work in the definition and concept of the employment relationship and the right to collective representation and bargaining; how we address a labour mobility that in the digital world is no more physical, but virtual and across countries; or how we address labour conditions and collective bargaining processes in the multinationals and supply chains. Areas where a debate is going on at different international levels, on the necessary measures to be adopted to guarantee fair competition, such as an international instrument ruling the due diligence in enterprises. The ILO has a key leading role to play in this area in the framework of its mandate.

The ILO needs our confidence, but this is not enough if there is no political will to progress together, but a stronger commitment by all stakeholders is needed.

We share and support: a labour guarantee for all workers, regardless of their employment status, in order to ensure labour and social protection and the recognition of labour rights; we support the inclusion of Health and safety among the fundamental ILO conventions, because workers’ health, safety and protection have to be recognised a human right.

The recognition of the right to life-long learning is fundamental.  A joint work of the ILO with the EU and the OECD would contribute to set a clear framework to ensure this entitlement for all working people.

We are here to adopt the Convention of the Centenary ending violence and harassment in the world of work, but the convinced commitment of all stakeholders is needed now to adopt a strong standard.

Allow me a last remark on social dialogue. The ILO is the house of international social dialogue, where the three constituents discuss, negotiate and find compromises. But we cannot accept vetoes, we should not threaten vetoes. We need confidence, believes in common goals and mutual trust, because we need to move together, perhaps today we move too slowly, but together.

I thank you.