Role of social dialogue in supporting employment and advancing towards economic recovery

On 13 July, the ILO Moscow concluded a series of five webinars “From the immediate crisis response to COVID pandemic towards economic recovery, with decent work in focus” by con-ducting the fifth webinar dedicated to the role of social dialogue in supporting employment and advancing towards economic recovery, including sharing of international experience of Scandi-navian countries and the Russian Federation.

News | 13 July 2020
The webinar was attended by about 70 representa-tives of Labour Ministries, workers and employers’ organizations, public employment services, research community and UN agencies from 10 countries served by the ILO Moscow Office.

Ms. Olga Koulaeva, ILO Moscow Director, in her webinar opening speech stressed the im-portance of social dialogue as part of countries’ response to the COVID-19 pandemic. She said that during the ILO Virtual Global Summit on COVID-19 and the World of Work, conducted on 1-9 July 2020, several governments reported that they have involved the social partners from the very outset in the design of measures to address the crisis and its consequences. She said that especially in times of heightened social tension and a lack of trust in institutions, strengthened respect for, and reliance on mechanisms of social dialogue created stronger basis for employers' and workers’ organizations joint action with governments.

Mr. Fedor Prokopov, expert from Russia, presented the Russian model of social partnership, including its legal framework, and how it is organized at different territorial levels, including federal, regional and local bodies. He said that these bodies are diverse, ranging from formal institutions, such as economic and social councils, national councils for social dialogue, labour advisory councils to ad hoc initiatives. Tripartite partners at federal level, namely government, employers’ and workers’ organizations, were actively involved in discussions for drafting new laws and regulations addressing the economic crisis triggered by COVID-19, as it was recently the case for remote work or tele-work.

Mr. Leonid Andreev, international expert from Norway, presented the impact of social dialogue on economic growth. He recognised that the COVID-19 crisis creates new challenges for social dialogue, especially within a context of excess of labor supply or declining labor demand. Based in the Scandinavian experiences, he said that building compromises through effective and trans-parent negotiations and consultations with employers and workers organizations facilitated stra-tegic decisions, for instance, on the right policies and programs for job retentions and business supports, wage setting and worktime negotiations, or maintaining the appropriate quarantine se-curity levels. He concluded that “without social dialogue it is impossible to exchange infor-mation and build consensuses on what is important and what could be subject of negotiation/ bargaining”.

The ILO Moscow Senior Employment Specialist Mikhail Pouchkin, the Senior Specialist for Workers’ Activities Gocha Aleksandria and the Senior Specialist for Employers’ Activities Vla-dimir Curovic introduced the ILO approach to strengthening the capacity and resilience of em-ployers’ and workers’ organizations for improving employment policies and labor market insti-tutions and facilitating enterprise level dialogue. They agreed that the main challenge is to en-hance social partners organizations’ representativeness, reaching out enterprises and workers in the informal economy, and delivering the right support and protection schemes to the increasing share of own-account workers or self-employed people.

The event was organized in the framework of the project “Partnerships for Youth Employment in the CIS” being implemented in partnership with the Russian company LUKOIL.