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Council of Global Unions urges govts. & employers to prioritise workers’ health & rights in response to COVID-19

“COVID-19: Urgent Economic Stimulus and Workplace Measures Required”, 12 March 2020

The…spread of…COVID-19…require[s]…[g]overnments and employers…[to] act to protect workers and tackle transmission. The global economy needs economic stimulus that…prioritizes employment, livelihoods and communities. Income support for all workers, including for part-time, migrant, non-resident,…‘gig’ and informal workers, is essential [and]...[s]pecial provision must be made to immediately extend [and improve] paid sick-leave entitlements...

[H]ealth and care workers…will bear the immediate brunt. [D]ialogue between unions, employers and government and collective bargaining are vitally important in protecting workers’ health and…rights The Council of Global Unions (CGU), representing 200 million workers [globally], calls upon governments to: extend paid sick leave entitlements;...extend social protections to all workers;…enact stimulus packages, aim[ing] to sustain jobs,…wages, the welfare of workers, and small- and medium-sized businesses…

[The] CGU calls upon employers to: recognize and bargain with trade unions; exercise their duty of care for all workers in their business and supply chains and maintain contracts with suppliers; prioritizing the rights and welfare of these workers in their response; involve workers’ representatives in [mitigation] processes...; ensure health protections and plans are in place…; protect wages and…pay…; establish compensation funds…; offer customized and responsible workplace and working arrangements...

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