Ilony Siewiery

Mr Chairman,
Mr Director General,
Ladies & Gentlemen,

1.It is an honour and a privilege for me to address this 99th Session of the International Labour Conference in my own name and on behalf of the Associations` of Polish Employers Organizations. I would like to express my satisfaction, that this Conference is focusing its activity on the wide spectrum of important issues in various key fields, both an action against child labour, social justice for a fair globalization, decent work for domestic workers, as well as HIV/AIDS problems in the work place. Nevertheless, we paid great attention to the particularly important Report of the Director General – “ILO Programme Implementation 2008-2009” addressed to the delegates - all actors of the real economy - of the ILO`s 99th International Labour Conference.

2. The report is detailed, provides an analytic context and contains extensive information on ILO involvement in implementing and achieving strategic targets set by the Organization for 2008–09. We welcome the comments of the Director General on challenges and implication for the future and we reiterate the importance of the ILO as the only international organization with a mandate that focuses on the world of work and on tripartism as the best way of seeking fair solutions and social agreements. We fully share the concerns expressed and the conclusions and recommendations placed in the Director General Report, related to the results of implementation of ILO objectives in member States, which are contained in fundamental documents - Decent Work Agenda, Declaration on Social Justice for a Fair Globalization adopted in 2008 and Global Jobs Pact adopted in 2009.

3. The report also deals with challenges and strategies related to the continuation of the Decent Work Program in the face of the international financial crisis which poses certain problems as regards positive aspects of globalization, that is "creating new possibilities in scope of economic growth through technologies, investments and commerce".

4. In the context of these events I am glad to say that Poland copes with economy rise very well in relation to others European countries. It is confirmed by 1,8 per cent growth of GDP in last year and over 3 per cent growth in first quarter of this year. These results reflect a great resistance of Poland to world crisis effects. In April 2010, the Polish Employment Offices noted down the record - the biggest decrease by over hundred thousand unemployed people in one month. Unemployment fell down to nearly 12 per cent. Furthermore, a lot of employers put a declaration to increase an employment in nearest time.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

5. Polish employer`s confederations and the biggest trade unions thanks to reliable autonomous dialogue found measures to alleviate the impact of the crisis on economy and employment. The Tripartite Commission with the Government participation reached in previous year an agreement on important supporting issues, among other things; remuneration and social benefits pointed towards poorest people; introduction permanent mechanism for minimum wages increase; subsidy for employment, support for vocational trainings as an alternative to temporary production stoppages and mass dismissals, as well as others important solutions.

6. Social partners in Poland have further challenges. First of all we have to consider, which solutions of the anti-crisis pack, obliging till the end of 2011, should become a permanent part of the Polish legal system. Employers express the opinion that we should constantly have legal solutions allowing to support them during another crisis. Many entrepreneurs complained that the instruments introduced, although necessary, appeared too late. To avoid such delays in the future we would like to have permanent solutions in our system, which would be activated only in exceptional situations. But at first, we have to start a tripartite dialogue measures with the Government help to restore a lot of jobs in destroyed enterprises due to huge flood in last four weeks in Poland. Another challenge for social partners are remunerations, which level in Poland is still lower than in EU countries. This generates big temptations among labor unions to exert pressure on rapid wage increase. This is a very dangerous occurrence if the labor costs increase more rapidly than productivity. We must remember that average productivity in Poland is continuously lower than in the West. We have to constantly convince our labor union partners, that the remuneration increase might be conducted only through productivity increase and not through administration decisions, namely radically increasing the minimum wage. Failing it, our economy will stop being a green island on Europe’s map and a scenario similar to Greece might appear.

7. To conclude, I would like to underline that despite the difficult worldwide economic situation, we believe, that ILO's wise vision, based on 90 years` experience can create favorable condition to foster sustainable development and achieve compromises in the face of economy risk and the change – related crisis. Polish employers support these values and will take part in social dialogue at the international, national and sectoral levels. We hope that both the recommendation from the Report of Director General, as well as, discussions and decisions of this session will benefit all the delegations by contributing substantially to overcoming challenges of slow-dawn in the economy and job crisis.

Thank you for your attention.