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World - No consensus reached with unions at ILO meeting on agency staff

26 October 2011

At the International Labour Organisation (ILO) tripartite Global Dialogue Forum on private employment agencies that took place in Geneva on 18 and 19 October 2011, the International Confederation of Private Employment Agencies (Ciett) called for appropriate regulation to be adopted worldwide for the sector using ILO Convention 181 as guidelines, for a constructive social dialogue to be further developed with trade unions and for cooperation in fighting against rogue providers that damage the image of the reputable part of the industry.

This position was consistent with the points of consensus of the previous ILO meeting on private employment agencies adopted in 2009.
The role played by the industry in better functioning labour markets was presented by Ciett, supported by research, including the new Adapting to Change report published on 17 October.

Job creation, reduction of illegal work, facilitation of transitions, decent work and adaptation to change: all these points were demonstrated during the debates, using extensive data and case studies from many countries around the world.

This positive role was recognised by most of the governments' representatives attending the session. It was, however, impossible to reach points of consensus at the end of the meeting as the trade unions did not recognise that agency work is a sector on its own having the freedom to negotiate collective agreements related to the employment and working conditions on agency workers.

Ciett will continue to work within the framework of the ILO to promote Convention No 181 as a good instrument to ensure that appropriate regulation on private employment agencies is adopted all around the world. Ciett will also continue to engage with trade unions at national, European and global levels to develop a better understanding of the reality of the agency work sector and to gain recognition for the positive role played by private employment agencies in securing better labour markets and delivering decent work.


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Kevin Dee26/10/2011 1:28 pm

It is unfortunate that the unions continue to employ 19th century thinking, this deep into the 21st century. The world of work has changed and if the unions spent more time figuring out how to help job creation and work with the companies that employ their members they would be much further ahead.
The temporary worker brings huge value to companies in every economy and leads to more full-time jobs, increased skills etc. To not recognise our industry is asinine!

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