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‘Strengthen our internationalism’

Unite’s Taj Salam on defending ILO standards in the workplace
Hajera Blagg, Wednesday, September 11th, 2019

On the final day of the TUC conference on Wednesday (September 11), Unite delegate Taj Salam spoke in support of a motion on International Labour Organisation (ILO) campaigning.



He highlighted how Unite campaigned with the global trade union movement to secure landmark ILO standards on tackling violence and harassment in workplaces.



“That means recognition in the convention of the risks of violence and harassment faced by public-facing workers – from transport workers like me, to hospitality and health workers,” he said. “That means recognition of racial abuse against black workers, against migrant workers.


“That means recognition of gender-based violence – violence and harassment against women and girls, and the impact of domestic abuse and violence at work,” Taj added. “ And that means recognition of homophobic, Bi-phobic and tran-sphobic hate crimes.”



Taj went on to note that “we live in turbulent and dangerous times” as he pointed out the rise of the far-right and its aim to dismantle the international rules-based system.



“As borders return and division is sowed between us we need to nurture and strengthen our internationalism,” he said.



He said that as working people mark the centenary of the ILO, it was important to note that international standards are needed now more than ever — an including an end to child labour, forced labour, discrimination and violence and harassment.



“These are the core labour standards that protect us all,” he said. “It is an outrage that the UK government continues to undermine these basic labour standards. And we demand that this new violence and harassment convention is ratified.”



Calling for a Jeremy Corbyn-led Labour government, which would guarantee these ILO rights, he called on Congress to support the motion.



The motion was carried.


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