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For a universal, solidarity-based, public, inclusive, comprehensive and redistributive social security system

Report of the second pre-congress workshop of the 4th Trade Union Confederation of the Americas Congress

Real World Radio interviewed Francisca Jiménez, Deputy Chair at TUCA, in charge of closing the second pre-congress workshop of the 4th Trade Union Confederation of the Americas (TUCA) Congress.

The activity titled “The trade union strategy related to the reforms of social protection systems in light of the ‘Future of Work’” was supported by the Bureau for Workers´ Activities (ACTRAV) of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and Regional Trade Union FES.

Jiménez highlighted that in order to achieve rights equality it is necessary to have discussions and demand a universal and inclusive social protection system for all. Moreover, she made clear that “the TUCA rejects that the cost of this crisis (caused by COVID-19) falls on workers.” This cost should be addressed by “economic and social policy actions by States.”

For the Deputy Chair of TUCA, social and solidarity-based economy has been a great contribution to current challenges, and the crisis has exposed that “public health is a human right and a common good.” She also highlighted that “a policy that reconciles work, personal and family life should be included as an integral part of social security systems.”

Four panelists participated in the workshop. Owen Tudor, Deputy Secretary General at the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), considers labour security is a fundamental right. He said that 2,7 million people died out of work injuries and that those deaths are preventable. “It is about labour rights, protection equipment, also about equality for black people,” he added.

Armando de Negri, member of the World Social Forum on Health and Social Security said: “You can´t replace the universal health coverage system with transfers for more consumption. The centre of the social policy debate should be the production, distribution and redistribution of wealth.”

Moreover, Ursula Kulke, of ACTRAV-ILO made reference to how the different countries have aimed to expand social security coverage to informal workers, taking into account the challenges of the “new normal.”

Gijs Justaert, from We Social Movements (WSM), introduced Red Inspir, a Latin American network that coordinates common actions for the right to social protection, aiming to change the structures of social inequality and ensure the access of informal and domestic workers.

In this workshop, which was opened by Secretary General Rafael Freire and facilitated by Social Policy Secretary of TUCA, Cícero Pereira, the TUCA reaffirmed its commitment with the defence of universal, public and high-quality social protection systems for workers , regardless of  their contractual relationship.