Guy Ryder, Director-General of the International Labour Organization
Could a robot replace your job? Fears about technology’s impact on the labour market are nothing new. Way back before the International Labour Organization (ILO) came into being in 1919, the Luddites were one group of early-19th century English workers who destroyed the labour-saving textile machines which were replacing their jobs.
The anxiety that machines could kill millions of jobs in our globalized workplaces is real – and it comes at a time when the world economy is already facing a major employment crisis. The jobs gap in G20 countries stands at about 54 million and could expand to over 60 million by 2018 unless current growth trends improve.
Margherita Licata and Kofi Amekudzi, Technical Specialists ILOAIDS
The more we learn about the challenges of responding to the Ebola Virus Disease in West Africa, the easier it becomes to discern parallels to the HIV epidemic — another health crisis , which we’ve been battling for over 30 years now. The HIV response has some valuable lessons for the way we confront the disease in general, particularly in the workplace. Here’s an example.
About four years ago, we were working in southern Malawi with the ILO Programme for HIV/AIDS on a project targeting workers at the Lujeri Tea Estate. Though the rate of new infections has slowed, Malawi still has some of the highest HIV infection rates in the world, affecting one in every four people who lives there.
Kuanruthai Siripatthanakol, National Project Coordinator (Thailand), GMS TRIANGLE Project
In an icy cold room in the fishing port of Samut Sakhon, a labour inspector reads over the payroll ledger of a small shrimp peeling shed. Most of the workers are from Myanmar and some of them appear to be very young. They are hesitant to discuss their situation with the inspectors, especially as their employer looks on. The ledger reveals discrepancies in the number of hours worked and payment of the daily minimum wage of 300THB (about US$ 9.15).
I’m here as part of a five-day training course for labour inspectors from the coastal provinces of Thailand.