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ILO hinges equality, inclusion on collective bargaining

By Gloria Nwafor
16 August 2022   |   4:07 am
A report by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) has shown that collective bargaining can advance equality and foster inclusion.

Guy Ryder. Photo: TWITTER/GUYRYDER

A report by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) has shown that collective bargaining can advance equality and foster inclusion.

The report, ‘Social Dialogue Report 2022: Collective Bargaining for an Inclusive, Sustainable and Resilient recovery,’ said while collective bargaining played a crucial role during the pandemic, it also provided an effective means for employers and workers to tackle new challenges at the workplace.

The study highlighted the need for democratic principles and rights that give employers and all workers a voice in the governance of work.

This, it said, could be achieved through freedom of association and effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining, which was essential for a formidable workers’ and employers’ organisations, as well as a recovery that is inclusive, sustainable and resilient.

While reinforcing the resilience of enterprises and labour markets by supporting the continuity of economic activity, it said that the higher the coverage of employees by collective agreements, the lower the wage differences are.

According to the report, collective bargaining can also contribute to narrowing the gender pay gap.

It said over 59 per cent of the collective agreements reviewed by the study, reflected a joint commitment by employers and workers’ organisations, particularly trade unions.

This, it explained was to address gender inequality by ensuring equal pay for work of equal value, providing for parental and family leave and addressing gender-based violence at work.

Director-General of the ILO, Guy Ryder, said collective bargaining has played a crucial role during the pandemic in forging resilience by protecting workers and enterprises; securing business continuity and saving jobs and earnings.

He said an essential tool to achieve a human-centred recovery collective bargaining would be an essential tool to face the fundamental changes that are shaking up the world of work.

In revitalising employers’ and workers’ organisations, the report 6canvassed for a human-centred recovery, which implies that employers and workers have a voice in decisions and policies affecting them.

In promoting an inclusive, sustainable and resilient recovery, the report stated that collective bargaining needs to address inequality and exclusion; ensure economic security, facilitate just transitions, achieve working-time flexibility and improve work-life balance, as well as pursue a transformative agenda for gender equality and promote sustainable enterprises.

The Guardian gathered that in supporting the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the role of employers’ and workers’ organsations is critical to attain Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Goal 8 (on decent work and economic growth) and can also support other SDGs.

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