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Korean Workers Launch Major Wave of Strikes, Winning International Support

Korean workers have embarked on a major wave of strikes “to protest against government ‘reform proposals that would make it easier for employers to fire workers, weaken seniority protections won through collective bargaining and privatise some state-owned industries.” Tim Shorrock reports in In These Times that “the ITF and Public Services International (PSI), the global federation of public sector workers, have asked the International Labor Organization (ILO) to intervene to ensure that the Park government respects the rights of workers in South Korea to freedom of association. The strikes in South Korea, the ITF’s Cotton said in an email, ‘have been triggered by the government ignoring its own laws by imposing drastic new labour practices in the public sector. It is no secret that this is a precursor to the introduction of widespread privatisation.’ Yet, despite labour’s objections, ‘every attempt by the unions to seek talks with the government has been rejected.’”

No to privatization of occupational health and safety!

Public Services International says “no to the privatization of occupational health and safety!” PSI welcomes the rejection of a draft standard by member organizations of the International Standards Organization (ISO). PSI has consistently held the view that the proposed standard elaborated by ISO tramples on the ILO’s mandate, and for that reason it should be set aside. This would have been a de facto outsourcing and privatization of a standard on matters which should be agreed on by social partners and regulated and enforced by governments

Source: www.world-psi.org

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COVID-19 and public emergency services

This ILO policy brief addresses issues relating to public sector workers who perform frontline duties in confronting the COVID-19 crisis in the name of the State, often described as essential services. The brief discusses their role in dealing with the crisis, the measures that governments have taken to support their work and the ILO principles and tools, including international labour standards, that protect them. The brief further explains how organisations like PSI - which has launched a global campaign on its PeopleOverProfit platform, called “Safe Workers Save Lives” - are demanding that governments across the world take urgent COVID-related measures to protect workers.