Not noted for its radical views the Economist this week acknowledges that the Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) mechanisms, that unions and civil society have campaigned against for so long, is being abused by multinational corporations. Noting the scandalous conflicts of interest in the private dispute courts it questions whether the clauses are even effective in attracting foreign investment citing the case of Brazil “which continues to receive lots of foreign investment, despite its long-standing refusal to sign any treaty with an ISDS mechanism.
On 7 October we celebrate the World Day for Decent Work.
Public Services International (PSI) joins the international trade union movement in demanding decent work for all. We want jobs that provide decent salaries and social security with safe working conditions.
PSI is highly concerned about the growing civil unrest in Hong Kong. The use of force to suppress the democratic movement is reaching dangerous proportions and will disrupt the lives of millions of citizens.
“Trade matters to everyone because the rules affecting services intrude into every area of our life.” said Daniel Bertossa, PSI Director of Policy & Governance at the WTO Public Forum in Geneva, on Wednesday 1st October 2014. “The Trade in Services Agreement will deregulate financial services, liberalise the public sector and restrict democracy in our countries", continues Bertossa.
This article, published in India Together, outlines some of the key areas that need to be focused on, in order to make the country's energy sector genuinely healthy and inclusive. In particular, it identifies areas that need improvement and special attention beyond attracting private investment, namely energy access, environmental management and governance.
The State Enterprise Workers' Relation Confederation of Thailand (SERC) and Migrant Workers Right Network (MWRN) recognise the significant contribution of international migrants in Thailand and have organised joint activities to campaign for protection of migrants' rights and to develop migrant quality of life to the same level as Thai workers.
Public Services International joins the international community in commemorating the millions of migrant workers and their families all over the world and re-affirming our commitment to uphold their dignity and human rights.
Universal quality public services and decent work are goals of economic development, to which international trade is but a means. Trade treaty rules should not force privatisation, nor interfere with the restoration or expansion of public services, where experiments with private provision fail or are rejected by democratically-elected governments. Trade treaties must not close policy space or inhibit innovation in public service provision.
In the wake of the on-going economic crisis brought on in no small measure by the same de-regulatory forces that champion trade liberalisation, there is a real opportunity for the global community to re-think existing trade rules and arrangements. World Trade Organisation’s (WTO) accords have adversely impacted farmers and workers and they have reduced policy and regulatory space needed to actively promote decent jobs and quality public services.
The results of decades of corporate-led globalisation are clear for the majority of the world. Unemployment continues to afflict millions and is especially acute for the world’s youth. Inequality is growing and quality public services and labour rights are being undermined. Liberalisation of and financial speculation in commodities markets has produced ruinous price fluctuations for food and shortages that create untold harm and avoidable loss of life. The global economic crisis caused by the reckless and unregulated actions of the private financial markets has created untold suffering for workers and is now being used as the reason to implement punitive and misguided austerity programmes.
Angered by the continuing attacks on public services and the workers who provide these services, distressed by the rising inequality across the world and the failure of the current economic system to provide jobs, particularly for young people, the Steering Committee reiterated its commitments to the 2013-2017 Programme of Action “Social Justice through Quality Public Services” and endorsed priority actions for 2014.
Statistical measurement of violence at the workplace has been neglected, states a new ILO report presented at the 19th International Conference of Labour Statisticians, held in Geneva, 2-11 October 2013.
PSI calls on all its affiliate members, men and women, to make a pledge to end violence against women and girls, at each of their workplaces around the globe. Use these posters available in eight languages