Decent Work Day – 7 October

Global call to local governments

StreetNet International calls on street vendors and informal traders to join the workers of the world in celebration of Decent Work Day on Sunday 7th October – and to engage in social dialogue with their local governments to take urgent responsibility for the promotion of Decent Work.

What is Decent Work?

The concept of Decent Work, comprised of the following four pillars, has been developed by the International Labour Organisation over the last decade:

1. Labour rights (freedom of association, right not to be discriminated against, equal opportunities, etc.)
2. Employment and income security (including security of workplace)
3. Access to social protection (including maternity protection and health cover)
4. Right to representation in social dialogue and collective negotiations.

Local Government responsibility for promotion of Decent Work

The work of many informal and precarious workers is constantly affected by decisions taken at local government level more than through labour market policy at national government level, through terminating temporary contracts of precarious workers, evicting informal traders from the public space which constitutes their workplace without proper consultation regarding viable alternatives, in misguided attempts to attract infrastructure investment by selling off public assets to private property developers and non-inclusive urban policies in relation to issues such as solid waste management and regulation of the uses of public space.

The following work sectors are most affected by local government actions:

  • Contract workers temporarily engaged by municipalities;
  • Home based workers in informal settlements;
  • Street vendors & informal traders;
  • Subsistence fisherpeople;
  • Urban farmers (market gardeners)
  • Waste collectors & recycling workers;

Migrants/refugees in all the above sectors.

In line with the ILO Declaration on Social Justice for Fair Globalisation, the Strategic Policy Framework 2010 – 15 and the ILO`s Global Jobs Pact, StreetNet urges local governments to:

(1) adopt Local Economic Development strategies promoting retention of employment and existing livelihoods, and promoting innovative local social protection schemes;

(2) sensitise themselves about the negative long and medium term consequences of any short term measure which has the effect (albeit unintentional) of destroying livelihoods, especially of the most vulnerable workers;

(3) engage in extensive and effective social dialogue with objective of:

  • being fully accountable to their civil society constituents;
  • improving levels of transparency about development decisions involving public assets;
  • engaging the participation of the most vulnerable workers in the solutions at local government level contributing to national economic recovery plans.

Such social dialogue should complement other levels of collective bargaining and social dialogue (i.e. bipartite, tripartite, multi-partite, national and international) with all social partners, including organized informal economy workers.

Issued by Pat Horn
StreetNet International Co* ordinator
www.streetnet.org.za

Tel. 031 307 4038 (w)
031 201 3528 (h)
076 706 5282 (cel)

e- mail: coordinator@streetnet.org.za (w)
phaps@netactive.co.za (h)