Globalisation of the economy
Multinationals companies which are protected by continental and international treaties that operate at a global level, are now more powerful than ever before in the history. They not only control the markets but are also influence economic conditions for the majority of countries and at international level.
That is why, in many countries, it is possible for government ministers to adopt – in organisations like the International Labour Organization ILO – protective standards for working men and women at the same time as promoting – in the World Trade Organisation (WTO) – laws preventing the application of these very same protective standards.
In this context, priority is always giving to economic rules which are considered as a part of humans rights. The world economy is more and more forcing governments to be at its service. Today we are witnessing the collective sharing of losses in social benefits, supported by the whole population and by the privatisation of profits for the benefit of a minority.
Public services are being attacked on all fronts. There is a great risk for it to be privatise, even education and health. Corruption is also becoming more widespread. Such evolution leads to extreme poverty for an increasing number of people. Consequently, over two thousand million people have to live on less than US$ 1 a day. According to figures obtained by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP: "Human Development Report 2002"), the richest percentage (1%) of the human race enjoy an income equivalent to that of 57% of the world's poorest. The richest 1% of the world’s people receive as much income each year as the poorest 57%. The income of the richest population of the United States (10%) corresponds to that of the world's poor (43%), in other words, the income of 25 million US inhabitants equals that of two thousand million of the poorest people in the world.
Decent Work for All
Decent Work is about Full Employment, it’s about Respect for Workers Rights, it’s about Social Protection including decent pensions for old age, and it’s about Equality between women and men, and it is about access to good quality public services.
So when the World Movement of Christian Workers calls for ‘Decent Work in a New Society’ it is calling for Decent Work to be at the Heart of social and economic policy so that it may become the cornerstone for a just, democratic and participatory society. It’s about Social Justice.
A new society in the making
In this context, solidarity among and between workers in the north and south is indispensable for the creation and the promotion of decent work so that all workers and their families may have access to a decent and dignified life.