Rio? “Time is running out”, says ETUC
With only a few days until the UN finalises its Rio+20 blueprint for a sustainable future, European trade unions have intensified demands for concrete action on jobs, investment and social protection. The ETUC is calling for a Just Transition to a sustainable future. Unions have criticised a draft declaration from the conference’s Brazilian hosts, with the ETUC arguing that “more ambition is needed to create The Future We Want (the theme of the Rio conference), through concrete action plans.”
Meanwhile, the ITUC has submitted a raft of demands. Samples: on jobs:
“workers should have access to education, skills, healthcare, social security, fundamental rights at work, social and legal protections, including occupational safety and health, and opportunities [and] Just Transition strategies and programmes to help workers adjust to changing labour market conditions.”
On union rights:
“the importance of the participation of workers and trade unions to the promotion of sustainable development. As the representatives of working people, trade unions are important partners in facilitating the achievement of sustainable development.”
The ETUC’s demands have been supported through two studies published this week by one of the ETUC’s affiliates, the Swedish Confederation of Professional Employees (TCO), which analyses global sustainable development since the last Rio Summit 1992-2008. These reports support the European trade union demands and give evidence of a real need for improvement in sustainable development policy at the global level.
“Time is running out! Investment in sustainable development offers an alternative to the spiralling crisis in which we find ourselves. The Rio+20 Conference represents a crucial opportunity to kickstart fundamental changes in our production and consumption model. We simply must not miss it” said Judith Kirton-Darling, ETUC Confederal Secretary.