Need to promote decent, sustainable work in automotive industry: International Labour Organization

The COVID-19 crisis has placed massive economic strains on the industry and its workers.

Published: 27th February 2021 07:06 PM  |   Last Updated: 27th February 2021 07:06 PM   |  A+A-

In this April 8, 2020, photo, employees work on a car assembly line at the Dongfeng Honda Automobile Co., Ltd factory in Wuhan in central China's Hubei province. Chinese leaders have reopened factories and shops in an effort to revive the economy, but the consumers whose spending propels most of China's growth have been slow to return to shopping malls and auto dealerships.

For representational purpose. (Photo | AP)


GENEVA: Governments and organisation of workers and employers from around the world have agreed that there is an urgent need to invest in education, training and life-long learning for all in the automotive industry.

"The industry is going through an unprecedented change amid great challenges," said Chairperson of a virtual ILO meeting Erika Gabriela Martinez Lievano.

"Our industry can contribute to green growth and decent work opportunities for more women and men, through a just transition in which we create an enabling environment for sustainable enterprises to grow and we promote and protect workers' rights," she said.

The COVID-19 crisis has placed massive economic strains on the industry and its workers. It has compounded existing challenges like supply chain disruption, factory closures and a collapse in demand. "The automotive industry has been severely disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, putting at risk the survival of enterprises. It will take years for the industry to return to pre-crisis levels of production and sales. There is an urgent need to build back an enabling business environment, stimulate aggregate demand and prepare to meet future skills needs of the industry going forward," said the Employer vice-chairperson Sawsen Ayari Pouliquen.

The ILO's centenary Declaration for the Future of Work (2019) and its human-centred approach provides a roadmap for shaping a future that works for all in the automotive industry and ensure that no one is left behind. "Freedom of association and collective bargaining are more important than ever," said the Worker Vice-chairperson Ben Mathew Norman.

"These rights enable the effective social dialogue that is needed to face an increasingly uncertain future in the automotive industry and to assure that transformations in the industry are socially and environmentally just," he said.

The meeting adopted conclusions that give governments, workers and employers a strong mandate to invest in people's capabilities and a just transition to decent and sustainable work. "The adoption of these ambitious conclusions is timely and propitious," said the Government Vice-chairperson Therese Boutsen.

"They clearly reflect that governments, employers and workers refuse to be passive victims of circumstances or megatrends and that they are ready to jointly shape a brighter future of work for more women and men in the automotive industry," he added.


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