Worker’s associations and disability

Workers’ organisations have an essential role to play in the inclusion of people with disabilities in the labour market. Because of their commitment to equality, solidarity and social justice, trade unions are well positioned to promote equal employment opportunities for persons with disabilities.


Trade unions are working all over the world on disability issues. Trade unions are taking a wide range of steps to achieve decent work for persons with disabilities – both through targeted activities as well as inclusion in mainstream initiatives and policies. Beyond this, trade unions make their organizations more inclusive of persons with disabilities and thereby contribute to their mission of achieving social justice.

Trade unions are acting on disability in developed, emerging and developing countries, including those in- or post-crisis. Even in countries where disability services are not developed, or where disabled people face severe social and economic exclusion, trade unions are able to make meaningful contributions. Each union takes a different path into work on disability. However, as trade unions engage people with disabilities in dialogue – as they do with other workers – their activities evolve to a deeper inclusion.