Urgent Measures Required to Curb Soaring Decent Work Deficit in Somalia for Lasting Stability

On 7 October, the Federation of Somali Trade Unions (FESTU) observes the World Day for Decent Work, expressing deep concern over the continuous and alarming inflation affecting all regions of Somalia. This rise in prices significantly impacts working people and their families, exacerbating their already challenging living conditions and socio-economic struggles.

Workers in almost every region in the country have long faced a deficit in decent work, marked by inadequate wages, unsafe working conditions, and a lack of social protection measures, making it increasingly difficult for them to meet their basic needs. Swift action is urgently required to address these issues and improve the overall well-being of workers.

To combat the detrimental effects of inflation, FESTU vigorously advocates for a pay rise, underlining its crucial importance for both the public and private sectors. Increasing wages is essential to alleviate inflationary pressures and uplift the living standards of working people. It is disheartening to witness workers continue to receive the same salary despite the mounting profits and revenue accumulation by both companies and the government through fiscal policies and annual budgetary increases.

As a proud member of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), FESTU joins the global campaign for fair wages to ensure that workers are not left behind. Collaboration with other nations and stakeholders is imperative to address the challenges faced by the working poor and foster the creation of a more equitable society.

A historic milestone was reached on June 10, 2023, as FESTU, together with the Federal Government of Somalia and the Somali Chamber of Commerce and Industry, signed the ground-breaking Decent Work Country Program with the International Labour Organization (ILO) during the International Labour Conference (ILC 2023) in Geneva. This program seeks to tackle the lack of decent work opportunities and provides a comprehensive framework for enhancing the lives of working individuals in Somalia.

On this significant day, FESTU underscores the importance of swift and resolute measures to accomplish the objectives outlined in the Decent Work Country Program signed by the ILO and Somalia’s tripartite partners. Successful implementation requires collective commitment and immediate action, as it is crucial for improving the lives of workers, promoting social justice, and contributing to the stabilization of Somalia.

Furthermore, the pursuit of decent work goes beyond economic and social development — it acts as a vital tool in countering violent extremism and ensuring stability. By providing meaningful employment opportunities, decent work dissuades individuals, particularly young adults, from engaging in criminal activities or becoming vulnerable to the manipulation of extremist groups.

Addressing economic disparities and social marginalization through decent work empowers individuals, fosters social cohesion, and secures a prosperous future. Therefore, the successful implementation of the Decent Work Country Program plays a vital role in comprehensive stabilization efforts, serving as a countermeasure against destabilizing forces at play in Somalia.

FESTU reiterates its call for a pay rise for workers in both the public and private sectors on this remarkable occasion. Addressing the pressing issues of inflation and deteriorating living conditions is vital for ensuring the well-being of workers, and can only be addressed through the Decent Work Country Program which provides a framework for positive change, and the federation urges all stakeholders to collaborate and take prompt measures to ensure its effective implementation, paving the way for a brighter future that upholds the rights and dignity of all workers in Somalia.

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