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ILO 105th International Labour Conference

Speech of the Head of Workers Delegate from Argentina

  • ILO 105th International Labour Conference

Mr. Gerardo Martínez

Mr. President,

As workers believe that the universalization of social justice transcends the political times and requires the commitment of everybody.
The problems of migrants and their rights, the lack of decent work in the global supply chains and the employment for the transition to peace, are relevant in the face of the challenges of the future of work agenda.

Today we can see an attack on social labour rights and a growing inequality in the world that requires an ILO active role and a greater inclusion in the powerful stage of the global economy.
As workers we cannot accept an ILO that accepts a model of inequality consented through tripartism.
We have to find solutions to put an end to poverty, unemployment, especially of young people, to modern-day slavery and the worst forms of child labour.

As the Pope Francis says "we are witnessing the growth of poverty all around the world and the gap between the rich and the poor will continue to grow, , poor who are impoverished by others, excluded and marginalized, while we see with horror vast regions of the world where poverty means hunger and death".

For the trade union movement, decent work is the only effective tool to achieve sustainable development, especially taking care of the environment.
Workers cannot accept a world where inequalities are deepened, increases the concentration of wealth and where the only answer is the precariousness of working conditions.
In Latin America we see with concern there is a tendency to criminalize social protest by trying to restrict the right to strike, among others.
In the region, having achieved democracy is not enough. There is violence and death, anti-union behaviour, lack of effective social dialogue, freedom of Association and collective bargaining.
The trade union movement in the region reaffirms the validity of the fundamental rights and their enjoyment.
At the recent Trade Union Confederation Congress of the Americas, we identify the deficits showing our continent which shows the greatest contrasts of structural inequality.
In several countries, adjustment policies are being implemented which respond to the new international financial architecture and do not to the needs of the people.
Governments should give priority to policy values, with decent work and sustainable development with social inclusion.
What kind of political strength do we have as workers to be able to bring about a fairer world?

From the region we demand that in the political agendas include the needs of workers, because only in this way, giving response to unemployment and poverty can be guaranteed social peace.
In our country, the economic measures that have been implemented which involve excessive increases in essential services which have meant a major drop in the purchasing power of our salaries, and the cascade of dismissals in the public and private sector, Argentine workers demonstrate that we are not willing to take "one single step backwards" with the massive mobilization of 29 April expressing specific unit in the action of all trade unions.
The mobilization was in response to policies away from the interests of workers which want to be imposed in the framework of an international framework that puts the work in the center of adjustment policies.

We demand that economic measures being applied by the new Government must be hand in hand with measures in the social labour and productive dimension as well.
We have been saying that inflation causes the drop of the purchasing power of salaries and a strong transfer of income.
For this reason, it is important to achieve economic stability that defends the real salaries of workers and allows the productive development of the country.
We need a State with a leading role, to encourage a total development of structural and productive economy and recreating the internal market in defense of the national industry.
We need companies that can be focused on the individual and committed to building up a country which is fairer and more equitable.
We insist on the need for a Council for economic and social development as an institutional tool for the discussion of public policies to put an end to the informality and structural poverty.
I want to stress that in October 2017 Argentina will host the IV World Conference against child labour.
The Trade Union Movement reaffirms its commitment to achieve progress and develop guidelines for the prevention and eradication of child labour all around the world.
The trade union movement must be united and strengthened in order to defend their rights and bring about a fairer world with social justice for everybody.
Thank you.-

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