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Decent Work in SDG's - Letter to Irish Times

23 Sep 2015

Sir,

Sorcha Pollak took us on a whistle-stop tour (Making poverty and inequality history? Sat 19 Sep) of some of the issues covered in the new Sustainable Development Goals to be launched in New York this Friday.  It is indeed an ambitious, integrated and universal agenda which Ireland, and most other countries, have a long way to go to meet our obligations

One of the areas not mentioned in the article is in Goal 8 on Decent Work and inclusive economic development. The current Government has made steps in the promotion of decent work by introducing long awaited collective bargaining legislation and reinstating wage setting mechanisms such as JLCs.  However, lack of collective bargaining rights for freelance and atypical workers, and the scourge of low and zero hour contracts and precarious work practices remain for many. These are precisely the problems that Congress is attempting to deal with here by way of our Charter for Fair Conditions at Work campaign. 

Globally, the ILO estimate we need to create around 40 million jobs per year and to radically improve conditions for the some 780 million women and men who are working but not earning enough to lift themselves and their families out of USD 2 a-day poverty. 

Ireland can play a significant role in the attainment of Goal 8 both at home, and abroad through the promotion of decent work in our aid programme and in our economic relations. 

I suggest not doing so will result in abject failure “to end poverty in all its forms everywhere”. 

Yours etc..

David Joyce

More on Global Goals, trade unions and decent work here