ITUC Calls for Greater Transparency, Decent Work in Supply Chains
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The global supply chains of 50 large companies rely on an employment model that "hides" the majority of its workforce, so they cannot advocate for better pay or working conditions, according to a publication by the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC).

The report argues that this situation undermines progress towards decent work and employment for all, and presents recommendations on how the companies could act to "change the model of global trade.”

frontines_scandal18 January 2016: The global supply chains of 50 large companies rely on an employment model that “hides” the majority of its workforce, so they cannot advocate for better pay or working conditions, according to a publication by the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC). The report argues that this situation undermines progress towards decent work and employment for all, and presents recommendations on how the companies could act to “change the model of global trade.”

ITUC released the report, titled ‘Scandal: Inside the global supply chains of 50 top companies,’ at the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) 46th Annual Meeting, which convened from 20-23 January 2016, in Davos, Switzerland.

According to the report, global corporations only employ six percent of their workers through direct employment, while 94% of the workforce, or 116 million people, is employed through less formal relationships. This model may allow for exploitation and abuse of human rights, ITUC argues.

Sharan Burrow, ITUC General Secretary, said global businesses should pay a minimum wage on which workers can live with dignity. She explained that the companies described in the report increase their profits by paying low wages, evading taxes or polluting. She elaborated that “60% of global trade in the real economy is dependent on the supply chains of our major corporations,” and that they use a “business model” based on exploitation and abuse of human rights.

The report calls on global companies to commit to: transparency in supply chains; minimum living wages on which people can live with dignity; secure work and ending short-term contracts; collective bargaining for decent wages, working conditions and wage share; and safe work, including recognizing workers’ rights to safety committees. It also recommends that companies commit to the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 8 calls to “Promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all.” [ITUC Press Release] [Publication: Scandal: Inside the Global Supply Chains of 50 Top Companies] [IISD RS Story on WEF] [SDG 8]


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