CSP stewards celebrate 100 years of the International Labour Organization

CSP regional stewards celebrated the work, history and impact of the International Labour Organization (ILO) today, to mark 100 years of the organisation.

Members of CSP's national group of regional stewards with ILO UK representative Amanda Brown (fourth from left on the front row)

The ILO 100th anniversary celebrations took place at a meeting of the national group of regional stewards, held at Quorn Grange in Leicestershire.

Amanda Brown, deputy general secretary of the National Education Union and the UK‘s representative on the ILO governing body, attended the event and delivered a session to the gathered stewards.

She outlined the role of the ILO, highlighted some of the organisation’s successes over the last 100 years, and explained how trade unions can use the organisation’s mechanisms to protect labour and trade union rights, both in the UK and globally. 

Stewards heard that the ILO is a United Nations agency, with 187 member states, which works to advance social justice and promote good working conditions, by setting international labour standards.

Ms Brown told Frontline: ‘I was delighted to come to speak to the CSP regional stewards to mark our centenary. The ILO is currently discussing the future of work, including what decent work in the public sector looks like - so it’s important for unions, including the CSP to have a say in the direction and work of the ILO.’

Claire Sullivan, CSP director of employment relations and union services, added that: ‘Many workers around the world are still denied rights, decent standards and a voice at work.

‘We live and work in an increasingly global world so the role of the ILO in setting standards and exposing exploitation has never been more important and I’m delighted that CSP regional stewards were able to mark the centenary by hearing from Amanda.’

A global impact on workers' rights

The ILO was founded in 1919, as part of the Treaty of Versailles, to pursue a vision based on the premise that universal, lasting peace can only be established if it is based on social justice. 

The international agency brings together governments, employers and workers from all of its member states, to set labour standards, develop policies and devise programmes promoting decent work.

Its main aims are to

  • promote rights at work
  • encourage decent employment opportunities
  • enhance social protection
  • strengthen dialogue on work-related issues

Since its creation, the ILO has helped to ensure that workers across the globe, including the UK have rights around working hours, unemployment, the living wage, sickness and injury support, provision for old age, equal pay, and maternity rights. 

The conventions and recommendations set out by the ILO have influenced the laws and regulations of many of its member states, including the UK.

In addition, trade unions use ILO standards to support arguments in bargaining and in promoting legislation, and governments frequently consult the ILO, both formally and informally, about the compatibility of proposed texts with international labour standards.  

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