International Decent Work Day 2018

Today, October 7, is International Decent Work Day. It is a day during which the principles laid down in the UN’s International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) should be brought to the front line of our agendas.

As established in Article 7 ICESCR, just and favorable work conditions for everyone should ensure:

• remuneration which provides all workers, as a minimum, with fair wages and equal remuneration for work of equal value without distinction of any kind, in particular women being guaranteed conditions of work not inferior to those enjoyed by men, with equal pay for equal work, and with a decent living for themselves and their families in accordance with the provisions of the present Covenant;
• safe and healthy working conditions;
• equal opportunity for everyone to be promoted in his employment to an appropriate higher level, subject to no considerations other than those of seniority and competence;
• rest, leisure and reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay, as well as remuneration for public holidays.

Of course, many of these principles are also inherent in national constitutions as well as in the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights (Fourth Chapter on Solidarity), the Community Charter of the Fundamental Social Rights of Workers and the European Social Charter.

But in the light of the 20 principles of the European Pillar of Social Rights, solemnly proclaimed by the Council of the EU, the European Parliament and the Commission on November 17 2017, the need to ‘deliver’ “fair working conditions” is more urgent than ever.

CESI has continuously and consequently ‘seized’ these principles – through a plethora or advocacy initiatives, projects and conferences on core labour rights, adequate social protection and effective interest representation for all workers. According to CESI all workers count, and in the EU’s common market a basic level-playing field in employment and social affairs is essential to prevent competition and race-to-the-bottoms between Member States at the expense of workers. European minimum standards should apply for everyone, be it on information and consultation rights, posting conditions, paternity leave rights or working time.

This ‘seizure’ is part of our daily work. Not only today. Because decent work is a human right.

Picture: Decent work, a human right © CESI 2018