ITUC-Africa Statement on the Occasion of World Day for Decent Work 2021: Putting decent work at the heart of Africa’s social and economic development policies

The African Regional Organisation of the International Trade Union Confederation
(ITUC-Africa strongly affirms that decent work sums up the
aspirations of people in their working lives. It involves opportunities for work that is
productive and delivers a fair income, security in the workplace and social protection for
families, better prospects for personal development and social integration, freedom for
people to express their concerns, organize and participate in the decisions that affect
their lives and equality of opportunity and treatment for all women and men.

With decent work, everyone wins – workers, businesses and the economy. Evidence
shows that decent work is the only sustainable way to accelerate the growth of
production and employment to increase the pace of poverty reduction and to build
genuine democracy and social cohesion.

The World Day for Decent Work is a day where workers, their unions and their
supporters around the world are mobilizing for decent jobs for all and respect for the
rights of workers. As African workers, we are joining the rest of the world today in
commemorating the World Day for Decent Work (WDDW) and we would like to
recognize the sacrifice of millions of workers who lost their lives in the COVID-19
pandemic due to the lack of decent working conditions at the time and inadequate
provision of necessary Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

Before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, almost half of the population in Africa
lived below the poverty line and more than 140 million people were low-income workers
who did not have the means to sustainably meet the needs of their families. These
situations have worsened and the hardship of workers and their families continues
The COVID-19 crisis has uncovered the huge decent work deficits that still prevail in 2021

In particular, the crisis highlights the vulnerability of millions of working people
and the lack of social protection coverage. Women and informal economy workers are
more adversely exposed to the harsh and hard socio-economic effects that this global
health crisis has thrown up.
The ITUC-Africa wants to restate the need and urgency for the continent to consciously
and systematically work towards the development of a robust and inclusive social

As always, African organized labor resolves to continue to organize, mobilize and take
collective action to ensure that our people are enjoying jobs that are -productive and
deliver on a fair income; secured and dignified; premised on social protection for
families; and based on better prospects for personal development and social
integration. Equally important is for such jobs and working conditions to be founded on
the principles of freedom for people to express their concerns, organize and participate
in the decisions that affect their lives; and expected to accord equal opportunities and
treatment to working women and men.

As ITUC-Africa, we will continue to work towards the promotion and attainment of the
decent work agenda through strategies and actions that will foster the involvement of
trade unions in national economic and social policies, combined with strong
autonomous social dialogue and effective collective bargaining arrangements.

Signed: Kwasi Adu-Amankwah
General Secretary