Symposium on Trade Unions in Times of COVID-19

This international symposium aims to provide an opportunity for trade union leaders, experts, academics and ILO officials to exchange on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the world of work. Participants will discuss about strategies on how can trade unions shape the policy responses to the COVID-19 and contribute to the implementation of the ILO Global Call to Action for a human-centred recovery from the COVID-19 crisis that is inclusive, sustainable and resilient.

Wednesday 17 November

13:00-13:30 Opening session

  • Opening remarks by Maria Helena André, Director, Bureau for Workers’ Activities (ACTRAV)
  • Remarks by Guy Ryder, Director-General, International Labour Office (ILO)
  • Remarks by Sharan Burrow, General Secretary, International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC)
  • Watch the full video the opening session here...

13:40-16:00 Session 1: Towards a job-rich and equitable future of work: what is needed for a truly inclusive path to recovery and full employment that increases the resilience of societies.

  • Haroon Bhorat, University of Cape Town, South Africa
  • Jennifer Bair, University of Virginia, United States
  • Juan Arancibia, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), Mexico
Trade Unions Respondents:
  • Nina Kuzmina, Federation of Independent Trade Unions of Russia (FNPR), Russia
  • Arezki Mezhoud, Organization of African Trade Unions Unity (OATUU)
  • Rosane Bertotti, Central Única dos Trabalhadores (CUT), Brazil
  • Abdelqader Shahabi, General Federation of Bahrain Trade Unions (GFBTU), Bahrain
  • Amarjeet Kaur, All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC), India
Facilitator: Michael Watt, Bureau for Workers’ Activities (ACTRAV)

Watch the full video of Session 1 here...

Thursday 18 November

13:00-14:25 Session 2: Time for a new social contract?

  • Navid Hanif, UN DESA Financing for Sustainable Development Office
  • Christina Colclough, The Why Not Lab, Denmark
  • Dung Pam Sha, National Institute for Policy and Strategic studies, Nigeria
Trade Unions Respondents:
  • Thorben Albrecht, Industrial Union of Metalworkers (IG Metall), Germany
  • Michael Annisette, National Trade Union Centre (NATUC), Trinidad and Tobago
  • Joanna Berenice Coronacion, SENTRO, Philippines
  • Riefdah Ajam, Federation of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA), South Africa
Facilitator: Mohammed Mwamadzingo, Bureau for Workers’ Activities (ACTRAV)

Watch the full video of Session 2 here...

14:35-16:00 Session 3: Social dialogue in a changing world of work

  • Michele Ford, University of Sydney, Australia
  • Denis Gregory, Ruskin College, Oxford, United Kingdom
  • Maarten van Klaveren, Wage Indicator Foundation (WIF), Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • Owidhi George Otieno, University of Nairobi, Kenya
Trade Unions Respondents:
  • Kaira Reece, Convergencia Sindical (CS), Panama
  • Moussa Diop, Union Démocratique des Travailleurs du Sénegal (UDTS), Senegal
  • Naimah Hammami, Union générale tunisienne du travail (UGTT), Tunisia
  • Bishnu Rimal, General Federation of Nepalese Trade Union (GEFONT), Nepal
  • Magnus Gissler, Council of Nordic Trade Unions (NFS)
Facilitator: Ariel Castro, Bureau for Workers’ Activities (ACTRAV)

Watch the full video of Session 3 here...

Friday 19 November

13:00-15:00 Session 4: Trade unions in transformation: what are the lessons learned so far?

Keynote Speaker: Jelle Visser, Professor Emeritus University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Trade Union Respondents:
  • Luca Visentini, European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC-CES)
  • Eric Manzi, African Regional Organisation of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC Africa)
  • Barbara Figueroa, Trade Union Confederation of the Americas (CSA-TUCA)
  • Hind Benammar, Arab Trade Union Confederation (ATUC
  • Shoya Yoshida, International Trade Union Confederation – Asia/Pacific (ITUC-AP)
Facilitator:Maria Helena André, Director, Bureau for Workers’ Activities (ACTRAV)

Watch the full video of Session 4 here...

15.10-15:40 Closing session

  • Catelene Passchier, Spokesperson Workers’ Group of the Governing Body of the ILO
  • Maria Helena André, Director, Bureau for Workers’ Activities (ACTRAV)
Watch the full video of the Closing session here...