Austerity Without End

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A Socialist Project e-bulletin ... No. 1875 ... August 15, 2019

Austerity Without End

Carlo Fanelli and Stephanie Luce

In 2019, the now 187-member International Labour Organization celebrated its 100th anniversary. As one of the oldest agencies of the United Nations, the ILO used the occasion to renew calls for improved opportunities and working conditions, social protections and collective bargaining rights. The ILO’s Global Commission on the Future of Work proposed a "human-centred agenda for the future of work that strengthens the social contract by placing people and the work they do at the centre of economic and social policy and business practice."

Because the world of work begins at home, this included calls for new investments that more evenly distribute unpaid care work, from parental leave to public care services, thereby genuinely increasing opportunities in the workplace; universal entitlements to lifelong learning via active labour market policies that provide opportunities for re/upskilling; proactive universal social protections that support people’s needs over the life cycle; new investments in the institutions of work, from regulations and employment contracts to collective bargaining and labour inspection systems; expanded... "time sovereignty," that is, the right to disconnect from work and greater autonomy over working time; and harnessing technology -- artificial intelligence, automation and robotics -- in a manner that prioritizes human well-being, regulates data use and algorithmic accountability in the world of work.

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