7 October 2022 is World Day for Decent Work (WDDW), a day workers across the world stand up for decent work as they seek to build secure workplaces, improve their working conditions and secure better livelihoods.
Trade unions under the banner of the International Trade Unions Confederation (ITUC) are commemorating the day under the theme “Stop Wage Suppression” to ensure wage justice for all workers and their families.
A lot of work has been put in place by social partners worldwide towards the realization of a decent work agenda across the world but as the world commemorates the WDDW, Somali workers are mourning the death of that dream. The precarious nature of employment for both public and private sector workers is a mockery to decent work.
The employers are progressively dismantling the four pillars of decent work agenda condemning virtually all workers into poverty wages and their hope conducive working conditions is fast fading under the clouds of exploitation, mis-governance and lack of rule of law.
The Federation of Somali Trade Unions (FESTU) notes that existing decent work deficits are deepening and the small progress that had been achieved over the past decade is being destroyed. Labour rights are further relegated to the periphery and massive arbitrary dismissals have been rolled in recent months.
Somalia needs a new social contract that would be central to charting the path to a decent work agenda as defined by the ILO as well as to building an economy of shared prosperity and sustainability.
President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud announced that his government will pursue a massive youth employment creation programme to tackle abject poverty as well as address unemployment and underemployment. This political will needs to be acted upon by creating decent jobs through the implementation of the long-awaited Decent Work Country Programme (DWCP).
FESTU’s key message to workers in Somalia is that the federation would continue to push and demand for the realization of decent work standards, including decent wages, for workers despite the unprecedented assaults directed at it. Organised labour’s demands for living wages will remain FESTU’s prime demand.
FESTU salutes all working women and men of Somalia who are fighting for decent wages despite all the threats directed at them. Its time workers rally around decent work and chart a new beginning that secures a pro-poor people centred future.