Tokyo 2020 and the ILO agree unique partnership to promote Decent Work

The Organizing Committee and the UN Agency for the world of work will sign an agreement to promote socially responsible labour practices among the delivery partners of the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020.

Guy Ryder, Director-General of the ILO (L), with Toshiro Muto, Tokyo 2020 CEO (/ Uta MUKUO)

TOKYO (ILO News) – The International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee (Tokyo 2020) will sign a unique partnership agreement aimed at advancing “decent work” through socially responsible labour practices amongst the Games’ delivery partners.

The milestone partnership, announced during a visit to Japan by Guy Ryder, the ILO’s Director-General, will be formalized by a Memorandum of Understanding.

This constitutes Tokyo 2020’s first partnership with a UN organization, and the first time that the ILO officially partners with an Olympic and Paralympic Organizing Committee. The partnership will encourage enterprises to play a positive role in promoting decent work through Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).

Socially responsible labour practices will be promoted in all delivery partners of the Games, taking guidance from the ILO Tripartite Declaration of Principles covering multinational enterprises and social policy and will include technical seminars and symposiums on CSR practices.

Promoting jobs and enterprise development, guaranteeing rights at work, extending social protection and promoting social dialogue are the four pillars of the ILO’s Decent Work Agenda , a key driver of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development .

“This agreement is much to the credit of the Organizing Committee, who reached out to the ILO. On this occasion, Tokyo 2020, we have the chance to move from ad hoc informal relationships to a formal and systemic cooperation, and this marks a qualitative step forward. It parallels the on-going dialogue that the ILO has with the International Olympic Committee. This agreement can set the standards for future practices in the Olympic Movement,” Guy Ryder said.

“Since 2014, the ILO has been supportive of Tokyo 2020, providing insights and technical assistance, and we are delighted to further deepen our collaboration through this unique partnership, which reinforces Tokyo 2020’s commitment to sustainability,” Tokyo 2020 CEO, Toshiro Muto said.

The IOC Sustainability Strategy focuses particularly on the “workforce” – the protection of employees, volunteers and contractors engaged by the Olympic Movement. Its provisions require Organising Committees to ensure that working environments are safe and healthy, and to take all necessary measures to ensure that working conditions on all projects carried out in conjunction with the organization of the Olympic Games comply with internationally-recognized standards and with all international agreements, laws and regulations applicable in the host country.

Source:  ILO-ACTRAV

Link:http://www.ilo.org/global/about-the-ilo/newsroom/news/WCMS_553633/lang–en/index.htm

World Day for Safety & Health at Work

Far Right, FTUC Assistant National Secretary, Mr Rouhit Karan Singh

April 28 marks a historical and a day of significance for all the workers throughout the world and FTUC is proud to be associated with this year’s celebrations to mark World Day for Safety and Health at Work. Being one of the tripartite partners bestowed with the responsibility of ensuring and promoting safe work practices and standards, it has become very important to work towards achieving this year’s theme.

The theme is “Optimize the Collection and Use of OSH Data”.

The ILO’s campaign for the 2017 World Day for Safety and Health at Work focuses on the critical need for countries to improve their capacity to collect and utilize reliable occupational safety and health (OSH) data.

The United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development adopted on September 25, 2015 encompasses a global plan of action with specific targets to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all. With its adoption, the capacity to collect and utilize reliable OSH data has also become indispensable for countries to fulfill their commitment to implement and report on some of the agenda’s 17 sustainable
Development goals and its targets
.
Every year there are more than 330 million work-related accidents worldwide, even counting just those resulting in an absence of more than 4 days. A total of 2.4 million people die every year as a result of unsafe or unhealthy workplace conditions. Worldwide, this causes a loss of 4 per cent of global GDP. In the last four years, Fiji recorded five- thousand six- hundred and seventy- four work related injuries and thirty workplace related deaths.

With these global and local trends on work-related diseases and its impact and as such the subject cannot be dealt in isolation but needs genuine commitment of the Government, Employers and the Workers.

Speech by FTUC Assistant National Secretary, Mr Rouhit Karan Singh

Sustainable Development Goal 8, in particular, provides for the promotion of “inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all” and it focuses on the “protection of labour rights and promotion of safe and secure working environments for all workers, including migrant workers, in particular women migrants, and those in precarious (dangerous) employment.”

Occupational safety and health (OSH) is a cross-disciplinary area concerned with protecting the safety, health and welfare of people engaged in work or employment. The goals of occupational safety and health programs include fostering a safe and healthy work environment. OSH may also protect co-workers, family members, employers, customers, and many others who might be affected by the workplace environment.

It’s time for us to strategize and take urgent steps collectively to reinforce our actions and redouble our efforts to and healthy workplaces for all workers.

The workers in Fiji are blessed especially those who are employed in the formal sector. The Health and Safety at Work 1996 protects all the workers.

To comply, FTUC urges all the workplace in Fiji to create safe and healthy environment with other enabling and supportive structures so that all stakeholders are at ease whilst performing their duties which has provisions, roles and responsibilities of all tripartite partners to fulfill. The law recognizes trade union movement’s to represent their members. This is the entry point for us to protect our workers’ rights.

Having said that, there are Regulations made to effectively comply with the governing laws. This Regulation gives regulatory requirements for the establishment of Health and Safety Committee where an employer has more than 20 workers.

1. OHSF 1-Workplace Injury and Disease Notification Form
This OHSF1 Form is a simple designed form which notifies the Ministry of Employment of any accident which occurs at workplace with Employer and workers detail along with the details of injury or disease.[Section 26]

2. OHSF 2- Record of Accident and Other Matters
This OHSF-2 Form is kept by the Employer which records the personal data of injurd person and the details of the accident and disease.[Section 28]

The trade unions worry is those workers who are in informal economy such as fishing, diving, agriculture, self-employed; women’s and those who are least represented and are vulnerable. The question is that whether we have enough coverage and mechanisms to collect data on OSH injuries and accidents from these sectors!!!

Fiji being one of ILO convention ratifying member States has to establish mechanisms to collect and utilize reliable OSH data for prevention purposes. The coverage and scope of collection is to see that all workers fall under one system of reporting and data is received by the Ministry.

At this juncture I on behalf of FTUC welcome the move by the Government to carryout audit in mining as the workers are at risk which has led to accidents AND EVEN DEATH RECENTLY.

These ILO instruments recognize that the collection and utilization of reliable OSH data are indispensable for the detection of new hazards and emerging risks, the identification of hazardous sectors, the development of preventive measures, as well as the implementation of policies, systems and programmes at international, national and enterprise levels.

OSH data provide the basis for setting priorities and measuring progress.

WHY OPTIMIZE THE COLLECTION AND USE OF DATA?

1. All over the world it is widely accepted that there is a huge economic benefit to be gained from improved safety and health in the workplace and a reduction in occupational accidents and diseases. In order to achieve this benefit, there is a need for a better knowledge of the true situation of safety and health in the workplace at the enterprise, industry and national levels in order to take the right decisions. Effective risk assessment and control at the workplace require accurate and reliable accident and disease data.

2. In many countries-national systems for reporting, data collection and analysis are often very poor and do not reflect the real safety and health situation in the country because accidents and diseases are reported more or less by chance.

In addition, we urge that the Ministry of Employment and Industrial Relations to effectively and efficiently implement the provisions of legislations such as ERP 2007, Health and Safety Act 1996 and subsidiary legislations, Workman Compensation Act for betterment of all workers in Fiji.

We workers of Fiji have lot of faith and trust in the Ministry as it is the focal point to record accidents, collect data and rightly utilize it. A cost benefit analysis will show why data collection is important.

Today whilst we discuss this important subject, I hope that progress is made on a joint approach towards an appropriate and applicable OHS management system that changes the mindset of all tripartite partners in realizing the importance of “optimizing the collection and use of OSH data” and how to manage with it.

But how can we improve this situation? Prevention is the key. Effective prevention driven by all stakeholders reduces occupational accidents and diseases, improves product quality and the economic performance of enterprises and national economies. Effective prevention makes companies more successful and saves lives. This is why, all over the world, prevention is becoming more of a focus for governments, political decision makers, economic leaders and managers, social partners and all stakeholders of society.

Being on NOHSAB gives me satisfaction to contribute for the betterment of the workers in Fiji. The trade union calls on governments, employers, workers and their organizations to collaborate in the development and implementation of national policies and effective strategies aimed at optimizing the collection and use of OSH data.

Finally, I wish to emphasize again that proper implementation and monitoring of workplace standards is crucial. The Labour Inspectors are to be visible. Your inspection once 3 months’ in a workplace with little advice on improvements will make a lot of difference and save many workers from health and safety hazards.

Effective control is the best way to ensure effective implementation. This is the only way forward.

I wish all of you a fruitful OHS Day and hope you will execute your roles and responsibilities with due diligence to help us optimizing the collection and Use of OSH Data and ensure better and higher productivity. We need a collaborative approach and I’m very optimistic that together we can make our workplace a healthier and safer one. I urge you to achieve the maximum through the day’s participation and take back the knowledge as advocates to protect your fellow workers and the organization for productive and safe Fiji.

The trade union wants to achieve that “Every worker has the right to return from work unharmed every day…”

FTUC Assistant National Secretary:  Rouhit Karan Singh

Tokyo 2020 and the ILO agree unique partnership to promote Decent Work

The Organizing Committee and the UN Agency for the world of work will sign an agreement to promote socially responsible labour practices among the delivery partners of the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020.

Guy Ryder, Director-General of the ILO (L), with Toshiro Muto, Tokyo 2020 CEO (/ Uta MUKUO)

TOKYO, 12 May 2017 – The International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee (Tokyo 2020) will sign a unique partnership agreement aimed at advancing “decent work” through socially responsible labour practices amongst the Games’ delivery partners.

The milestone partnership, announced during a visit to Japan by Guy Ryder, the ILO’s Director-General, will be formalized by a Memorandum of Understanding.

This constitutes Tokyo 2020’s first partnership with a UN organization, and the first time that the ILO officially partners with an Olympic and Paralympic Organizing Committee.
The partnership will encourage enterprises to play a positive role in promoting decent work through Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).

Socially responsible labour practices will be promoted in all delivery partners of the Games, taking guidance from the ILO Tripartite Declaration of Principles covering multinational enterprises and social policy  and will include technical seminars and symposiums on CSR practices.

Promoting jobs and enterprise development, guaranteeing rights at work, extending social protection and promoting social dialogue are the four pillars of the ILO’s Decent Work Agenda , a key driver of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development .

“This agreement is much to the credit of the Organizing Committee, who reached out to the ILO. On this occasion, Tokyo 2020, we have the chance to move from ad hoc informal relationships to a formal and systemic cooperation, and this marks a qualitative step forward. It parallels the on-going dialogue that the ILO has with the International Olympic Committee. This agreement can set the standards for future practices in the Olympic Movement,” Guy Ryder said.

“Since 2014, the ILO has been supportive of Tokyo 2020, providing insights and technical assistance, and we are delighted to further deepen our collaboration through this unique partnership, which reinforces Tokyo 2020’s commitment to sustainability,” Tokyo 2020 CEO, Toshiro Muto said.

The IOC Sustainability Strategy  focuses particularly on the “workforce” – the protection of employees, volunteers and contractors engaged by the Olympic Movement. Its provisions require Organising Committees to ensure that working environments are safe and healthy, and to take all necessary measures to ensure that working conditions on all projects carried out in conjunction with the organization of the Olympic Games comply with internationally-recognized standards and with all international agreements, laws and regulations applicable in the host country.

Source:  ILO-ACTRAV

Link: http://www.ilo.org/global/about-the-ilo/newsroom/news/WCMS_553633/lang–en/index.htm

Bill On Parliamentary Powers and Privileges

Submissions by the Fiji Public Service Association

1.0  PREAMBLE

1.1  This submission is made by the Fiji Public Service Association (FPSA), a registered Trade Union, established in 1943, and operating in the Fiji Public Sector for eight decades.   Our membership consists of the bulk of permanent serving staff in the general, administrative, medical, accounting and technical sector cadres, including support staff, of the Public Service including statutory authorities and other government entities. The contents herein reflect their views and legitimate expectations on issues of freedom of expression and human rights.  It is their sincere desire to ensure and uphold freedom of expression or write and express whatever they want within the confines of the Bill of Rights.  It is also noted that Bill of Rights already have derogations and the current Bill will worsen the situation.

1.2  Response to Parliament: Our submission is in response to a Call by Parliament inviting interested parties to submit their considered thoughts on the contents of the Bill.  As an inherently involved social partner in the industrial and economic fields of the nation, we are qualified to aspire to make our submissions to the Standing Committee. It is the Association’s view that the contents of Bill No.28 of 2016 covers several fundamental and core issues of freedom of speech and human rights and issues, such as: violations relating to rights to express views and opinion freely including on parliament and elected members of parliament who cannot be above criticism as they are put there by the people including our members

2.0  GENERAL RESTRICTIONS

2.1   The initiation of the above Bill in Parliament strikes at the very heart of our freedom of speech (whatever is left of it) or expression and the provisions of the Media Industry Decree which is an anathema on freedom of speech.  This Bill removes the rights and freedom of expression of all citizens of this Country specified in Section 24-1 of the Bill. Section 24 restricts people’s rights to freedom of speech, expression & publication.  Every citizen has the right to make critical analysis of their elected representatives and demand accountability, transparency and good governance.  To put simply this Bill is proposed to create a law to silence the very people that puts MPs in Parliament and above all, as taxpers, pay for their salary and perks.  It is nothing more than intimidating people and denying them their basic right to “check and balance’ the performance of their representatives who are elected to represent them.  This is the basic principles of good governance.  It is clear that the very reason for the Bill is that Parliamentarians once elected will be “untouchable” and they would be free from any criticism.  People will now start thinking why bother going to the polls to elect an official who will not be accountable to the very people who put them there.  Furthermore, and ironically, the elected parliamentarians will have the power to sue citizens to whom they are supposed to be accountable.  If the law will remove our freedom and rights than we need to know what is the intention of this proposed Bill?  One would not be wrong in thinking that the inevitable consequences of such wide powers contained in the Bill would be the derogation from the jurisdiction and authority of Courts.  We seriously consider that it is necessary to strengthen the capacity for democratization and the accountability of the government.  These are important in themselves, but are also necessary to give a sense of security and confidence in the fairness of the system to each individual. Democracy is not merely majority rule.  Contemporary study of democracy shows that it is connected with social justice, impartial governance, human rights and the rule of law.

3.0  BREACH OF INTERNATIONAL COVENTIONS AND 2013 FIJI CONSTITUTION

3.1  The Amnesty International (AI) has pointed out that the Bill is about the curtailment of the rights and freedom of expression which would give power to Parliament and politicians to place them above the law and make them unaccountable for their actions and what they say.

3.2  The AI states that “the right to freedom of expression includes the right to critique government and challenge government policies.  Citizens should be allowed to raise important issues in the public interest and hold their representatives accountable.”

3.3  The Citizens Constitution Forum (CCF) has called for the removal of section 24 of the Bill.  It told the Parliamentary Standing Committee that it breached core international conventions on International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights  and Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and is inconsistent with other provisions of the 2013 Constitution including Sections 18, 72 and 73 and infringed on people’s right to freedom of speech, expression or publication and freedom of assembly as guaranteed under the Bill of Rights.

4.0      DEMOCRACY AND RIGHTS

4.1   The concept and contents of rights has helped to establish the relationship between democracy and rights.  Some rights are sine quo non for the operation of democracy viz the right to vote, to stand for elections and to form political parties etc.  Rights also demonstrate to us the substance of democracy.  They remind us that democracy is more than the rule of the majority of parliamentarians.  Democracy is meaningless unless it is underpinned by the protection against arbitrariness, oppression and the denial of equality.  In this country we have been too long concerned with the procedural  aspects of democracy to the exclusion of the values that underlie it.  It is a fallacy to suppose that all rights are based on individual selfishness.  Even the more individual oriented rights are meant to guard the dignity of the person.

4.2  Fiji is a free society according to the Fiji Constitution and the FPSA vigorously protests that the Bill No.28 will impose serious restrictions on freedom of expression and as such the provisions which impinge on the freedom of speech should not be allowed to see the light of the day.

5.0      FIJI’S OBLIGATION AS A MEMBER OF THE UNITED NATIONS

5.1     Universal Obligations: Fiji Government is a member of the United Nations Organisation and many other specialized international agencies. Our nation has ratified numerous conventions and protocols to observe the universal and uniform standards in many areas of human endeavour.  As such, the Govt has an outright obligation to ensure that its undertakings are in support and conformity with international practices of human rights.

5.2     Parliamentary Oversight:  In light of the principles discussed above, it is incumbent on the Fiji authorities to always ensure that the international protocols and standards are applied, implemented and upheld in the Fiji national scene.  There are existing laws on defamation which is sufficient to address the issues raised in the Bill regarding criticism of members of Parliament or laws to deal with defaming and demeaning the sanctity of parliament.  The Association’s view is that Bill No.28 of 2016 is totally unwarranted and there is no need to make freedom of speech a criminal offence.  Defamation is primarily a matter of civil law between private parties or individuals.  This being so, it makes perfect sense to stay clear of criminal remedies or sanctions particularly where individual rights are at stake.  International experience suggests that attempts to use criminal sanctions on issues of human rights and freedom of expression ultimately brings both the law and the judicial system into disrepute and this would be the last thing that any government with conscience would contemplate risking to demean their standing in the international arena.

6.0    CONCLUSION

6.1  The foregoing submission comprises our views, comments and suggestions to the Standing Committee for the purposes of making our position known to the Parliament of Fiji.  It is obvious that there have been serious, and at times disastrous, shortcomings when a Bill or any legislation is brought by the government to stifle the voice of the people of this country.

6.2   The government has an obligation to propose laws that must be consistent with the international obligations and conventions and in this area the trade unions know that the government has a dismal record in observing ILO Core Conventions to which the government is a signatory.

The Association strongly condemns Bill No.28 of 2016 particularly the section that proposes to gag the voices of the citizens of this country and their rights to freedom of speech.  The Bill, in fact, flies in the face of functioning of a parliamentary democracy.  It also notes that Fiji does not have a liberal democracy and the current Bill No.28 will further take the country towards anarchy and shutting out any opposing views which would strike at the very heart of freedom of speech.