• Announcement
01. May 2023

May 1 is Labor Day. Reason for us to underline the importance of Article 23 of the UN Charter of Human Rights: Decent working conditions and a wage that enables a life in dignity are an unrestricted human right. But trade unions are still marginalized, which is why the German Retailers Working Group wants to strengthen them.

Although Article 23 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that "everyone has the right to work, to free choice of occupation, to fair and satisfactory working conditions and to protection from unemployment", many people around the world work in precarious conditions. They are often not fairly paid, work under inhumane working conditions or do not receive any occupational health and safety. In many places, unionized people are discriminated against and trade unions are hindered or even persecuted in their work.

Milestone 7: Working group strengthens employee representation

For this reason, the German Retailers Working Group on Living Incomes and Living Wages, coordinated by the INA, has set itself the goal of creating conditions in its agricultural supply chains under which workers receive fair wages and smallholder farmers can lead a dignified life through their income. After all, the responsibility for compliance with human rights lies at the beginning of global supply chains, especially for companies in consumer countries, as underlined by the Due Diligence Act in Germany. In a first joint project, the retail initiative is working towards living wages and fair working conditions in the banana sector. The working group considers the role of employee representatives to be essential and has therefore stipulated in Milestone 7 of the "Roadmap" that they want to strengthen employee representatives through their work. Only together can workers achieve their rights to a fair wage and decent working conditions.

First joint activities in partner country Ecuador

The group is making a first joint contribution by supporting the Banana Link organization. In the partner country Ecuador, Banana Link strengthens the SINUTRABE employee representation in its ability to negotiate on the topics of "good work", including living wages. Furthermore, Banana Link promotes the development of SINUTRABE's communication structures in order to present its work transparently to the outside world and thus work towards greater recognition and broad impact.

There is still a long way to go before workers around the world will work under humane conditions across the board and freedom of association will become a common good. It is therefore important to continue to hold up the flag on 1 May for the human right to good working conditions and living incomes and wages.