Post-Pandemic World and Just Transition Measures

Excerpt from Sharan Burrow, March 2020

The post-pandemic world will need Just Transition measures if people are to have hope and to trust governments can manage a future with:

  • secure pensions
  • income support and skills training in the face of jobs transition or displacement
  • prevailing wage rates in new jobs
  • investment and renewal in affected communities to secure vital jobs.

These measures will be trusted where governments involve workers through their unions in social dialogue. Every workplace will be on the front lines of the climate emergency. Energy and technological transitions and health and safety measures are vital to reducing emissions to keep workers and communities safe.

On 24 June, workers and employers can join forces for a face to face or virtual conversation on how to CEPOW — Climate and Employment Proof Our Workplaces! What will it take? Workers in workplaces around the world will invite their employers to share a conversation to discuss the plans for resilience and sustainable business — safety, jobs, emissions, a secure pathway for the future. That’s the strength of leadership needed from all of us, and it will take a new social contract.

A new social contact is vital to set the world back on a sustainable and just path. The terms of this contract must — in addition to vital public services and environmental and safety measures — include a labor protection floor for all workers with:

  • protection of fundamental labor rights
  • adequate minimum wage
  • maximum working hours. and
  • health and safety

In a post-pandemic world, we can repair the environment with a more sustainable economic and social model for all. Doing so will require determined leadership, funding and collaboration. We must seize this opportunity to make the world safer, more resilient and more secure and sustainable.

Just Transition for climate and employment ambition will prepare us for a future that leaves no one behind.

Sharan Burrow General Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation. Representing the world’s working people.