The IYCW Echoes the Workers’ Voice in ILO Conference: Act for Social Justice and Respect Everyone’s Dignity

Ana Salazar statement ILC 2021

Brussels (IYCW News) – In the midst of the cries and screams of millions of contract workers who have lost their jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the IYCW continues to speak out to the world at the International Labour Conference which has been taking place virtually at the ILO headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.

Ana Cecilia Salazar, a leader of the YCW Americas Team, took the floor at the labour conference bringing her lament about the fate of a contract worker from Peru who lost her job due to the pandemic. "I had a temporary contract. When the lockdown was decreed, the company suspended the work. The contract will end and there will be 50 of us young people jobless," Ana read aloud as she shared the testimony of the Peruvian contract worker.

Contract workers are the most vulnerable workers and the first to be fired when the company has to terminate the employment relationship. In her statement, which was read from Peru, Ana emphasized that the phenomenon of easy layoffs for contract workers occurs in almost all countries and has affected millions of contract workers worldwide. This form of work, as well as all forms of precarious and informal work related to online platforms, is increasing even more in the aftermath of the pandemic.

To respond to this global phenomenon, Ana firmly echoed the voice of the oppressed workers about the importance and urgency of action to achieve social justice and respect everyone’s dignity.

“Strong and global social protection must cover everyone, including migrants and informal workers. Social protection implies decent working conditions for those who work in services, as well as ensuring a safety net for all,” said Ana stressing the importance of social protection for all.

According to her, apart from social protection, ILO members must also realize the value of care work. This valorisation needs to be expressed by decent working conditions and representation rights for care workers. 

“It is a global reality and multilateralism is therefore crucial. Work must be dignified; occupational health and safety must be guaranteed everywhere. Everyone needs a dignified income. Working rights need to be updated to our digital reality, including more equality and more opportunities to access internet and electricity,” said Ana.

Ana particularly highlighted young people’s need for real options and dignified working conditions. This means fighting youth unemployment, but also more rights and better conditions for young people at their workplaces.

Ana also underlined the importance of acting for gender equality, including promoting women's leadership. 

Ana concluded her statement by saying, “It is not only about reacting to any sudden situation. It is about addressing the causes of these very inequalities. We talk a lot about vulnerabilities. But there are also actors who benefitted from that economically. They must contribute to the common good accordingly. Do not miss this unique opportunity to bring us all closer to a just world and dignified work for all!”


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