The UITBB Executive Committee Meeting, held in Kerala, India on 11-12 December 2016, after taking into account the conditions the workers in the construction sector are facing concerning the multifaceted issue of social security, underlines the following:
As a result of struggles conducted by the trade unions, the governments of several capitalist countries were compelled to take some social security measures, while various labour laws were voted at different stages of the development of the industry. The workers had to fight for these statutory benefits at every stage and ensure their implementation in various countries.
Today, in the face of such an intense economic crisis, the ruling classes and the conservative governments have already taken up offensive measures to reduce different social security benefits. These attacks come in different forms, but they all, indirectly or directly, negatively affect the workers’ standards of living, while they endanger their health and their lives.
– Workers pension funds are being invested in Stock Markets, which leads to huge losses of money in many countries like India.
– The privatization of healthcare is a new phenomenon in all the countries nowadays. The workers and their families are being denied quality healthcare for affordable cost. Governments in various countries avoid their responsibility from providing good healthcare systems, and hand them over to private monopolies.
– In many countries, health and safety in the workplace and the protection of environment are not something the employers are concerned with.
– Astonishingly the governments of many countries remain silent even when it comes to implementing existing provisions of Labour Laws regarding workers compensations for accidents, safety and healthcare.
– What is more, governments sponsor and subsidise housing schemes for the workers, handing over such responsibilities in various countries to multinational companies.
What is more, in what direct attacks on workers:
– Pensions are being reduced in many countries, while the retirement age is being raised, which result in people working for longer periods of time, with less money.
– Even today, in the 21st century, various governments do not even bother providing minimum maternity benefits to working women.
– Moreover, when the period for which unemployment benefits are given ends, workers are led to poverty and despair.
It is within such circumstances, that the Executive Committee of UITBB demands:
- Full-time employment for all
- Social Security benefits like pensions for retired workers to ensure dignified living.
- The linking of minimum wage to the prices index.
- Public and free medical care for all.
- Safe, quality and modern housing for all.
- The extension of unemployment benefits.
- The setting of the retirement age to 60 years for men and 55 years for women.
- The coverage of all workers by Social Security Schemes in all countries.