In many countries, skilled health and social care workers feel they must leave their families behind and work abroad to earn a decent income. They often face exploitation and discrimination. And their departure weakens health and social services in their home community.
Geneva (18 Dec. 2014) — Public Services International (PSI) marks December 18th, International Migrants Day, with continued vigour and commitment to fight for decent work and social protection for migrant workers. The National Union is a member of PSI, a global union federation.
Many public services workers seek better life in another country
Many workers involved in the delivery of public services such as health and social care, municipal services and public administration, among others, are facing hardship and loss of jobs as a result of austerity cuts, unfair trade, repressive regimes and attacks on labour rights. With unemployment on the rise, along with a reduction of public services, workers are often forced to leave their home countries in search of a ‘’better life” elsewhere.
Unfortunately, many of them end up risking their lives in crossing borders and, even when they succeed, they might face situations of exploitation, abuse and precarious work.
“PSI and the trade union movement stand in solidarity with all migrant workers everywhere,” says Rosa Pavanelli, PSI General Secretary.
Decent work and social protections for all!
Throughout 2014, PSI has worked with its affiliates worldwide in defending quality public services for all, and promoting decent work and social protections for migrant workers. In collaboration with the International Labour Organization’s (ILO) “Decent Work Across Borders Project” for health workers, there have been developed various migrant information kits, which are powerful tools for information, outreach and organising of migrant workers. Amongst other initiatives, in partnership with global unions and civil society organizations, the PSI has lobbied for rights-based labour migration policies at the Global Forum on Migration and Development and at various global and regional events.
In 2015, PSI will continue with these initiatives, as it looks at enhancing efforts in organizing migrant workers, developing the PSI Passport Card, which is an organizing tool, reforming the labour recruitment industry and lobbying for rights-based global and regional governance of labour migration.
“As public service workers, we continue to defend quality public services, which are the foundation for decent working and living, and for social justice. Public services fight poverty, promote equality and ensure that no member of society is left in precarious conditions.
“Quality public services are key to maintaining solidarity and cohesion in society,” stresses Pavanelli.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE