Address to the 102nd Session of the International Labour Conference
Mr. Jacek Dubiński, workers delegate of Poland
First of all I want to congratulate You – Mr President – on Your election. The current, 102nd Session of the International Labour Conference should remind everybody, including governments and employers ABOUT minimum standards that should be kept to make the difference between slaves of the market and workers employed in – hopefully – free democratic world.
It’s necessary to remind two things:
1. Only less than 50 percent of people are covered by ILO Conventions no 87 and 98.
2. The advices given us now by International Monetary Fund, World or European Bank, Rating Agencies etc., as the medicine against crisis fever, force us to cross very thin border between decent work and slavery labour.
Third subject which should be recalled, especially during this session is, so the important role of the social dialogue as a fundamental instrument of shaping the balanced socio-economic policy, during the time of crisis in particular.
Polish Workers strongly confirm that the ILO definition of the Social Dialog should be kept and not changed. According to the DG Report: there are two main tasks of ILO: standard setting and supervisory system, which shows how the standards are applied.
Therefore, Polish workers strongly oppose any attempt to undermine the ILO supervisory system, because weakening this system may lead to the destruction of the ILO. We urge the governments and employers not to weaken the ILO, but to strengthen the standard settings, especially supervisory system. Regrettably, Polish Workers once again are forced to inform this assembly that in our country Social Dialog does not exist. Despite the fact that Poland has ratified both Conventions No 87 and 98 and that we have National Tripartite Commission on Economic and Social Issues as well as a number of other tripartite bodies and procedures there is real shortage of the Social Dialog.
Let me to indicate some examples. Polish government changed the pension system against trade union opinions without any negotiations. Similarly, government put to the Parliament bill on working time neglecting agreement reached by national workers and employer’s organizations. Additionally, government continues these bad practices through arbitrarily prepared changes in the Labour Code.
Just yesterday the Polish Parliament has adopted this bill despite the union protests.
We read in DG Report so: TRIPARTISM BUILT ON TRUST IS THE KEY! But what can I say about tripartite dialogue, when members of government – including prime minister – are less trustworthy than Pinocchio! What can I say about TRUST, when members of government make serious offences against national and UE law, for example they don’t allow elected worker’s representatives fulfilling their duties in Councils of State Holdings like Polish Copper Miners Company – KGHM!
I’m really tired trying to work as the actor in government “tripartite theatre”. Every day, the same scenario, same decoration and same result: NOTHING, NICHTS, NIC!!! Two years of work done by tripartite group of experts on draft of Parliament Bill, prepared accordingly to MLC – 2006 and UE law requirements / reached complete agreement between shipowners and unions and representatives of government/ had been withdrawn by decision Ministry of the Finance.
And another serious breach of confidence, when the deputy minister of my government, declares – during sea transport tripartite session – that ILO convention is not binding Poland. It was ratified five months ago!
What I can say, when in my REBORN DEMOCRATIC COUNTRY, more than 30 percent of Young People have no any employment contracts – they are pressed to establish their own enterprise. THAT ENTERPRISE HAS NO HUMAN RIGHTS! NO SOCIAL SECURITY AT ALL AND NO ANY COVER OF ILO INSTRUMENTS! IT’S ONLY ENTERPRISES NOT HUMAN! Because of those facts, Polish workers require, that the ILO (all its structures and all members ILO, will be going to make the Conventions nr 87 and 98 function as effectively as it is possible. Those Conventions are condicio sine qua non of authentic Social Dialogue and adequate measure to resolve the global crisis. It is obvious, that fulfilling formal requirements is not enough. There is no Social Dialogue without an atmosphere of goodwill between all three sides. Unfortunately, I must say, that despite ratification of the Conventions nr 87 and 98 and activity of plenty of tripartite institutions, polish workers are still waiting for the Social Dialogue.
Thank You for Your attention