"Working for a Promising Future", IYCW Intervention at the ILO Centenary, ILC 2019



Dear Director-General, distinguished delegates, thank you for giving us the floor.

We thank and congratulate the commission for this very interesting document. It is indeed crucial to discuss the future of work in this centenial year. It is not far off: new forms of work and the challenges of tomorrow are already here, and we, young workers, are the first to experience them. Just one example from today's young workers’ reality:

"My name is Ana, I live in Nicaragua. I have a university degree. I have now been working from home for 4 years for a US-based customs company. My work schedule is 8 hours a day and the only contact with my co-workers is by email or phone.

That technology allows easy access to information for customers and helps the company to increase its sales, but not all my workers’ rights are respected. As far as social protection coverage is concerned, the company does not offer social insurance, the right to medical care and the payment of pensions, which is a deep concern when thinking about the future. I have no employment contract, which affects me as a worker - it should be the basis of an employment relationship.  The difficulty of verifying the existence of my work and my salary means that I do not get a loan for a house or a credit in general.  This means that the lack of contract affects me as a worker, but also my whole life.

As for the work environment, the lack of personal contact with anyone during my 8-hour working day has made me an unsociable person who has lost interest in interpersonal relations. On the other hand, it limits the right to freedom of association, to organize, to act together on common interests and to be part of a union.”

As we see in this testimony, the global commission’s recommendation to develop international governance systems for digital labour platforms to guarantee the respect and protection of workers must be followed up.

Young workers expierence insecurity. Or work is precarious or informal, we face youth unemployment and inequalities based on our gender and national background. Stress and pressure grows, workers are always reachable. Our earth is destroyed. Inequalities in terms of wealth and power grow while social protection decreases. Seeing all this, many young workers’ loose trust in institutions.

After all, the connection of trade, fiscal, economic and social policies which is mentioned by the global commission is evident. We demand security and dignity for young workers and an equal distribution of wealth for all. In  this light, we strongly support the commission’s recommendations towards a human-centered economic model.

In general, we join the call for a human-centered agenda.

It is especially crucial:

  • to implement a transformative and measurable agenda for gender equality.
  • to provide universal social protection from birth to old age.
  • to establish a Universal Labor Guarantee.
  • to expand sovereignty over time.
  • to channel and manage technology for decent work.
  • to provide incentives to promote investments in key areas such as the care economy, the green economy or the rural economy
  • to remodel business incentive structures for long-term investment strategies and explore additional indicators of human development and well-being.

Our approaches must be concrete, yet approach the different challenges, including climate change, robotization, inequality, precariousness and informality.

For youth organizations like ours, the challenge remains to raise awareness among young workers and inform them of their workers' rights. We see our responsibility and we assume it. In the same vein, we call on the ILO, the heads of state and the social partners to develop very  concrete measures to follow up on the recommendations mentioned in the report.

There is no time left to wait until action: The future is already here.




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