UNI Global Union General Secretary Philip Jennings named member of influential ILO Commission on Future World of Work
In the presence of the Prime Minister of Sweden and the President of Mauritius, the ILO has launched a high-level international body to address the challenges of the rapidly transforming world of work.
UNI Global Union General Secretary Philip Jennings has been appointed one of the Commission’s 28 members, including the co-chairs themselves and its four ex-officio members - ILO Director-General Guy Ryder and the Officers of the ILO Governing Body.
Jennings said, “The challenges we face are profound and the choices to be made call for a collective effort. The ILO has the opportunity to put policies in place that guarantee humanity comes first.
“We must ensure a just transition for working people into this Brave New World of Work. Trade unions are showing that they are innovators and facing up to the challenges of the digital revolution. It’s vital that unions are given a seat at the table because in the end workers and the creation of decent jobs will determine whether or not the Future World of Work is a success or a failure."
The global body is expected to undertake an in-depth examination of the future of work that can provide the analytical basis for the delivery of social justice in the 21st century. The Commission will focus in particular on the relationship between work and society, the challenge of creating decent jobs for all, the organization of work and production, and the governance of work.
Speaking at the launch, ILO Director-General Guy Ryder reminded the audience that these were key issues of our time which increasingly occupy political life and define hopes, and sometimes fears, of families across the world.
“It is fundamentally important that we confront these challenges from the conviction that the future of work is not decided for us in advance. It is a future that we must make according to the values and preferences that we choose and through policies that we design and implement,” he said.
The ceremony was attended by two serving heads of state or government co-chairing the Commission: Ameenah Gurib-Fakim, President of Mauritius, and Stefan Löfven, Prime Minister of Sweden.
In her address at the launch, the President of Mauritius strongly encouraged “all countries and stakeholders to come up with comprehensive recommendations and novel ideas on how to address the opportunities and challenges of the future of work. We can accomplish this by ‘putting people first’, by recognising that labour is more than simply a commodity in the labour market in the spirit of the ILO Constitution, or even just a factor of production.”
Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven said, “We cannot stop development, nor should we. What we need to do is come together: to harness innovation to improve the daily lives of millions, to use new technology to build cleaner and more sustainable societies, and at the same time create new jobs with better conditions for everyone. These objectives lie at the heart of this Commission."
The Commission was set up under the ILO’s Future of Work Centenary Initiative launched by the ILO Director-General in 2013. The members of the Commission will produce an independent report that will be submitted to the Centenary Conference of the ILO in 2019.
Over the past 18 months, the ILO’s tripartite constituents - governments, employer and worker organizations - have held national dialogues in over 110 countries in the run-up to the launch of the Global Commission. The outcome of these dialogues will feed into the report of the Commission.