Amritsar, March 20
Two joint statements — one calling for portability of social security among G20 nations as a first step towards universalisation of social security, and another for plugging the gender gap in the global workforce by up-skilling women as per tech-intensive industry in the member-countries — were adopted at the concluding session of the two-day Labour20 (L20) engagement group’s inception meet held in Amritsar, as part of India’s G20 presidency.
In a virtual message, Union Minister for Labour and Employment Bhupender Yadav advocated that universal social security and its portability across the world is an important issue to focus on. He was of the view that particularly the informal sector must be brought under the ambit of social security.
In line with the vision of ‘Nari Shakti’ or ‘women power’, Yadav said women’s participation in labour force has to be enhanced for creation of equitable, inclusive and developed society.
Over the years, the G20 and L20 meetings have attempted to address labour market challenges through a variety of policy initiatives that have been widely agreed upon.
Hiranmay Pandya, L20 Chair and national president of Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS), said that the feed collected from the two-day meeting would be tabled during the final summits scheduled in June-July and September.
“On the issue of universal social security portability, the delegates impressed that the G20 nations should chalk out a plan to achieve universalisation of social security funds covering the last worker by 2030. Their financial benefits should be transferred to the place where they further migrate to, within the G20 nations,” he said.
India has entered into agreement with 19 countries in this regard, yet it still lags behind when it comes to getting portability of social security funds. “Some countries have fixed a minimum of eight years stay bar. We are all fighting to make it viable,” he said.
Similarly, on women and future of work, the delegates zeroed in on the fact that generally, women are often concentrated in undervalued and low-paid jobs having limited bargaining and decision-making power. “It was observed that over a period of three years, women’s participation has increased from 20 per cent to 33 per cent. The governments and employers would have to shoulder the responsibility for recalibrating how women in the informal sector, and in family-raising roles, contribute to global economy. We asked for valuing that contribution,” he said.
Representatives from Russia, India, Australia, Nepal and Bangladeh shared their national experiences on wages and its various dimensions, particularly the impact on livelihoods.
The speakers included Natalia Klimova from the Federation of Independent Trade Unions of Russia (FNPR); Abhishek from Dattopant Thengadi National Board for Workers Education of India; Anis Chowdhary from Western Sydney University of Australia; Govind Paudel from National Labour Union of Nepal; Pragana Parande, advisor at VV Giri National Labour Institute; Dewan Quedou, president of Mauritius Trade Union Congress and Kanak Kumar Barman of Jaitya Shramik Jote of Bangladesh.
In the session on women workers and the future of work, the speakers were Aditi N Paswan from Delhi University; Vani Manoraj, managing director of Chetana Conscience of Women from India; Elina Samantary from VV Giri National Labour Institute of India; Alakh N Sharma, Director of Institute for Human Development (IHD); Shyamati Ranaraja from the University of Peradeniya of Sri Lanka; Evgeny Makarov from FNPR of Russia and Jian Zhang from the All-China Federation of Trade Unions (ACFTU) of China.
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