A just transition

Making Just Transition Work through Stronger Workers’ Organizations in Chemical and Pharmaceutical Industries

The project aims to improve the technical knowledge, managerial capacity and policy influence of workers’ organizations in Malaysia and Viet Nam.

Working in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries. © Shutterstock

Background

Chemical and pharmaceutical industry has a relatively high environmental footprint, through its use of natural resources, the emission of greenhouse gases and the generation of contaminants, in particular through waste water. Acknowledging the adverse impact on the quality of working and living conditions and the unsustainable level of emissions, the industry has begun making efforts to reduce emissions and control pollution, whilst at the same time securing workers’ health and improving its overall contribution to the quality of the environment.

Objectives

This project aims to improve the technical knowledge, managerial capacity and policy influence of workers’ organizations in Malaysia and Viet Nam in order to help in organizing workers to initiate and sustain social dialogue, to strengthen a network with community-based organizations for joint advocacy and campaign and to manage successful collective bargaining for a Just Transition, at enterprise and sector level.

Thematic priorities

  • Workers’ organizations adopt ILO Just Transition Guidelines and use new knowledge to formulate strategies to promote decent work in the green just transition of the chemical and pharmaceutical sectors;
  • Workers’ organizations engage with employers in social dialogue and have negotiation and agreements in support of a Just Transition at targeted enterprises; and
  • Workers’ organizations cooperate with Community-based Organizations to monitor the environmental impacts and to secure sustainable, safe and healthy environment, workplaces and society.
The project adopts the following approach:

Knowledge and communication
  • A Just Transition mini-Toolkit for the chemical sector, including recommended guiding principles and best practices for a Just Transition;
  • Impact assessment of the working conditions, review of the environmental challenges of the industry (with a focus on neighbouring areas), regulatory and compliance gaps, and market forces driving the industry towards sustainable business practices; and
  • Advocacy for workers in workplaces and in the sector as well as at communities on a Just Transition to secure sustainable, safe and healthy environment, workplaces and society.
Institutional and capacity building mechanism of workers’ organizations to:
  • engage in social dialogue at enterprise/factory level;
  • take joint actions with communities to promote cleaner and safer industry operations; and
  • collect best practice through documentation of the joint actions.
Outreach to non-unionized workplaces through a variety of activities by
  • information-sharing, advocacy, training, and bilateral dialogue.
Through its implementation strategy, the project will develop an intervention model for a Just Transition based on the principles of social dialogue. Thus, at the end of the project, stakeholders will share lessons learned and endorse a validated approach for a Just Transition that will be disseminated for scaling-up and replication in other enterprises, sectors and countries.

The project is funded by the Japanese Government under the ILO-Japan Partnership Programme.

For further information please contact:

Pong-Sul Ahn
Regional Specialist in Workers' Education
ILO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific
Email: ahn@ilo.org

Cristina Martinez
Senior Specialist on Environment and Decent Work
ILO Decent Work Technical Support Team for East and South-East Asia and the Pacific
Email: martinezc@ilo.org