Domestic violence is widespread and has increased during the COVID-19 pandemic. The IUF is today launching Breaking the silence, a guide on why domestic violence is a trade union issue and how unions should deal with it. It draws strongly on materials developed by IUF affiliates.
Repercussions of domestic violence in the world of work include:
workers' health, safety and lives are at risk; workers suffering from domestic violence cannot leave their physical and psychological pain at home and can face disciplinary action and dismissal because of 'poor performance'; domestic violence can exacerbate gender inequalities and undermine solidarity among union members.
Welcoming the guide, Patricia Alonso, chair of the IUF Women's Committee commented, "The unions' role is to protect the members' health and safety at work, defend them before employers, and fight against discrimination and gender inequalities. Unions also have a critical role to play in raising awareness around domestic violence prevention and ending a culture of gender inequalities at work and in society".
Violence and harassment in the world of work can happen everywhere – online, in the physical workplace, during the commute, where workers rest, eat or attend to their health and sanitation needs, as well as at social gatherings.
WE CAN MAKE IT STOP!
In June 2019, the International Labour Conference said STOP to violence and harassment in the world of work by adopting a ground-breaking international tool, Convention 190 (C190) and a Recommendation 206 (R206). This new Convention protects all workers irrespective of their contractual status; interns, apprentices, people in training, workers whose employment has been terminated, volunteers and jobseekers.
The COVID-19 pandemic highlights the frailty of our food system, at the heart of which lies the absence of decent work for the vast majority of those around the world working in agriculture. Border closures and emergency containment measures threaten the incomes and livelihoods of agricultural workers, their health and safety and those of their family members. Workers living and working on plantations, on farms of all sizes, in orchards, greenhouses and packing stations risk exclusion from necessary public health and social security measures. Migrant workers are at high risk. Trade union rights are often restricted or repressed; few agricultural workers are covered by collective bargaining agreements. Only 5% of workers in agriculture have any access to a labour inspection system or legal protection of their health and safety rights.
The United Nations’ International Labour Organization (ILO) has developed international standards (see below) to protect the rights, the livelihoods and the health and safety of agricultural workers.
This document provides a set of trade union demands for protecting agricultural workers and saving lives in the fight to contain the spread of COVID-19