December 2009

  1. Turning crisis into an opportunity: The role of social security in response and recovery

    01 December 2009

    Even before the current economic crisis, national social security systems were under intense political and economic strain. In industrialized countries, the cost was considered too high, while in many developing countries they were simply considered unaffordable. Now, the economic and social crisis has changed perceptions. Social security systems are seen more and more as useful economic stabilizers in crisis times. Michael Cichon, Director of the ILO’s Social Security Department, looks at social security in times of crisis and the possible dawn of a new development paradigm.

  2. Social security: Responding to the crisis

    01 December 2009

    The financial and economic crisis that began in 2007 has delivered a tumultuous two years for the financial world, sending many financial institutions into a tailspin and putting governments in difficulty. As one might expect with such an extensive crisis, social security systems have also been affected, and social security funds have suffered. A large number of these schemes witnessed a sharp contraction of their asset portfolio values in 2008, affecting their long-term sustainability. Nevertheless, social security systems have responded effectively to the test by softening the impact of the crisis. The challenge for social security now is to continue to cope with rising unemployment and the burden of future debt. Ian Orton, working for the International Social Security Association’s (ISSA) Social Security Observatory, looks at the impact of the crisis on social security.

August 2009

  1. International Labour Conference 2009: World leaders support ILO “Global Jobs Pact”

    01 August 2009

    The Pact received strong support from heads of State and government, vice-presidents, ministers of labour, workers and employers and other economic and labour leaders participating in an ILO Jobs Summit on 15–17 June. The summit provided a first-of-its-kind opportunity to discuss policies that are being implemented at national and international levels to address the global jobs crisis.

  2. From the right to “combine” to the right to organize

    01 August 2009

    From about 1750 onwards, workers had started to organize in Europe. Governments and employers reacted quickly, and laws and regulations were adopted to restrict such activities.

  3. The crisis in the construction industry

    01 August 2009

    The construction industry has been severely hit by the economic crisis. The ILO calculates that at least 5 million construction workers lost their jobs during 2008.

  4. The crisis and the future of the automobile industry: Putting the spark back into the automobile industry

    01 August 2009

    Few of the delegates at the ILO’s tripartite meeting on the auto manufacturing sector four years ago could have imagined the depth of the crisis which would be engulfing the industry today, as the global recession takes its toll on consumer demand for autos. Andrew Bibby looks at the last few months which have seen venerable names in great difficulties as well as unprecedented government intervention in the sector.

  5. Stemming the crisis: World leaders forge “Global Jobs Pact”

    01 August 2009

    Faced with the prospect of a prolonged global increase in unemployment, poverty and inequality and continued duress for enterprises, in June 2009 the ILO adopted a historic Global Jobs Pact designed to guide national and international policies aimed at stimulating economic recovery, generating jobs and providing protection to working people and their families.

April 2009

  1. Financial crisis: The gender dimension

    01 April 2009

    While the sectors that initially bore the brunt of the global financial crisis were those dominated by male workers – finance, insurance and real estate, construction and manufacturing – the crisis is now hitting service-orientated sectors and wholesale retail trade, which in many industrialized economies are dominated by females. There is also concern for women in the developing world who have no social protection. This issue of Planet Work looks at what the press is saying about the effect of the crisis on the gender gap.

  2. Workplace solutions for childcare

    01 April 2009

    Many parents cannot rely on family support networks to look after children while they work. Care by persons from outside the family takes many forms, from live-in nannies to community childcare centres. As most of these arrangements involve a payment, parents in both developing and industrialized countries who work or would like to work are struggling to find childcare that is affordable, convenient and of a reliable quality.

  3. Women at work, past and present: Like night and day

    01 April 2009

    As the ILO marks its 90th anniversary, a year-long campaign on gender equality at the heart of decent work culminates with a discussion at the International Labour Conference. The ILO has always been in the forefront of promoting gender equality at work, and women’s rights, and this year’s campaign and discussion will be a milestone in the Organization’s efforts to shine new light on the status of women in the world of work.