Do Trade Unions matter in the Covid-19 recovery?

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Well, according to the new edition of the International Journal of Labour Research, “trade unions matter and play an important role in combating the pandemic and ensuring a human-centered recovery.”

The journal emphasized that despite the devastating impact of the crisis on workers and their families, the surge in violations of trade union rights, the loss of members, and the hostile environment towards trade unions in some countries; trade unions have stood their ground and helped to better protect workers and their jobs around the world.Also outlined in the journal was the urgent need for unions to develop new strategies that addresses the challenges of achieving: a job-rich recovery, a strengthened occupational safety and health system, social protection for all, gender equality, digitalization and a just transition to environmentally sustainable economies. The journal outlined that tackling such issues; the COVID-19 pandemic could become an opportunity for trade union revitalization.

This year’s International Journal of Labour Research highlighted the importance of social dialogue as a vehicle to increase union membership and contribute to the effective design and implementation of a robust and inclusive recovery strategy.

According to the journal, data in the journal show that social dialogue, used to achieve consensus between workers and employers, contributed to a 26 per cent increase in trade union membership overall. Globally, 83 per cent of unions have adopted social dialogue in response to the pandemic, with about 89 per cent engaging in tripartite consultations. Workers’ organizations must engage further with governments and employers’ organizations at every stage in the formulation and implementation of policy responses to COVID-19, the journal says.

Reporter: Melissa Goodman