Appeal by the General Confederation of Trade Unions
in connection with the forthcoming World Day for Decent Work
7 October 2008

8 July 2008

On the initiative of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), the largest trade union body in the world, trade unions will be organizing a World Day for Decent Work 7 October 2008. This Day is expected to be an important manifestation of international solidarity by trade unions in the struggles they wage for workers rights, the eradication of poverty, higher living standards for all people on this planet, and against any forms of inequality, social exclusion or discrimination.

The actions to be organized on this Day by the world trade union movement will make a tangible contribution to the promotion of the Decent Work Agenda for All which the International Labour Organisation has proclaimed to be a cornerstone of its policy in the decades to come. This initiative, highly acclaimed by the world public, has received strong support from the United Nations, its specialized agencies, and practically all nongovernmental organisations.

Together with the ILO, trade unions urge the world community to find the necessary material and political resources to provide, in the foreseeable future, every working person with a quality job, fair wages, an adequate degree of social protection, and the possibility of full enjoyment of their rights in the sphere of labour relations and social policy. This aim can hardly be attained without further development of social dialogue, real measures to protect the environment, including the natural environment, exercise of the union rights to collective bargaining and protection of workers interests by other means.

The International Trade Union Confederation has highlighted three major themes for this years World Day for Decent Work, and they are rights at work, solidarity and ending poverty. The GCTU believes this set of concerns to be of high priority to the countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States, as well as to their workers and trade unions. The issues are in the spotlight of the GCTU affiliates as they work, each in their own country or industrial sector, towards an efficient realization of the decent work agenda in a globalising economy.

The General Confederation of Trade Unions believes it necessary for its affiliates to support the ITUC initiative and organize actions under the common slogan Decent Work Basis for Decent Life! It is essential that the unions insist on the implementation of full and productive employment policies, substantial pay rises, and a curb on agency and contract labour, and oppose the spread of the pool pay system. The actions to be held must also help advance the GCTU-initiated solidarity campaign by CIS trade unions to get the minimum wages set up at a level above the subsistence minimum, with subsequent increases to make them equal to the minimum consumer goods basket.

The GCTU calls on its affiliated organisations to join in the events of the World Day for Decent Work, and, based on their real possibilities, specify the forms and frameworks of their involvement. The main slogans and demands of the forthcoming actions may be linked to the concrete situation prevailing in each separate country, to the present-day problems of trade union activity.

Let us support the idea of Decent Work for All with concrete actions!

General Confederation of Trade Unions