tv Labor Secretary Acosta at Center for Strategic and Intl Studies CSPAN April 22, 2019 5:30pm-7:21pm EDT
rally. watch saturday on c-span at 8:00 p.m. eastern. and watch live coverage of the correspondence dinner with featured speaker ron chernow. attorney general william bar wrpg will testify before both and house and senate judiciary committees on the mueller report live wednesday and thursday on may 2nd on c-span 3, c-span.org or listen with the free c-span radio app. and now labor secretary alex acosta takes part in a conversation regarding labor laws. after the conversation a group of labor experts talk about the future of the international work force. 2019 marked the 20th anniversary which the united states joined in 1934. this is just under two hours.
>> okay, i'm guessing this is because i don't know if my lapel mic is working or not. it is working? okay, use this. one of the things i want to first start with is first of all let's remember what was 1919, right after the soviet revolution and right after world war i. and i think the leaders of that time came together and said, whoa, this was a major -- multiple cataclysms happening at one. capitalism as we knew it, we probably needed to look at it. there's been sort of the rise of labor unions saying we have completely unbridled capitalism where people were treated terribly or abused was bad or if people were mistreated there could be a rise up and create revolutions like in the soviet union, and there'd also been a major global clash, and so there
was a major questioning of capitalism. there was a major questioning of the system, and so i suspect they say we need to collectively solve the problem to save it. we've got some challenges, we're going to come together to do this. i think it's interesting the first meeting was here in washington, but it took us a while. it takes us a while to the get it right and all said that, the americans will do the right thing after trying and we did the right thing of joining after trying everything else. but i think it's really important to have a leader like francis perkins in the roosevelt administration to say, come on,
folks, it's been almost more than 15 years since the founding of this institution. we need to be a part of this. we either need to be at the table or we might be on the menu. so i suspect that's what it was. am i right in kind of framing this the right way? is that the right way to think about it? >> you got it right. >> once in a while i do. >> you got it right this time. i think the founders had two things on their mind. they had this horrific experience of the first world war, this notion if you're going to avoid instability, war, you've really got to do somethings about the conditions of labor. and i think the other thing they had on their mind, let's be honest, was events in what became the soviet union. >> it scared the hell out of them. >> it was the reformist alternative heading off to the revolutionary option as it were. very, very clear. now, why didn't the u.s. get
onboard? there was no country that did more than the united states for the creation of the thrt national labor organization. so there's a certain irony in the fact it took them until 1934 for the u.s. to come onboard. i think the record shows it was not antipathy or suspicion of the ilo but a certain concern about the broader idea of the league of nations, it it's forerunner of the united nations. >> he had a stroke. he tried to make the case and he blew a gasket basically in the process and he wasn't able to finish the job. that's in essence what happened. >> when francis perkins, one of the predecessors actually put the thing back on the political agenda in the 1930s, it went through the senate almost like that. he said consult widely and they got it through the senate practically unanimously. but making the kis tinction the international labor
organization, we'll go there but not the league of nations. not everybody else was of the ilo. the soviet union hated it. >> i love that. that's great. i just think let's just for our television audience but also for our friends here, i think most people know what the international labor organization is, but let's just explain briefly what is the ilo and how is it made up and what do you guys do because i think that's important in having the larger conversation. made >> made of not just of governments but employers and works. today 187 member states, what do we do? but above all else we set international labor standards, we negotiate and supervise them. fundamental rights at work and much else, which i think is one of it most positive alignments
of what the ilo does with u.s. interest. >> so putting on my team america hat and procapitalism hat, is it in essence a fair form of capitalism? i don't want to paint you into a corn -- >> the creation of humane conditions of labor but it also i think today looks very much like a level playing field. by establishing those rules of the game i think we are setting that level playing field in which our international economy can function fairly and well. >> i just really like this part of the conversation. so the soviet never joined the iol? >> they came in just around the same time as the united states. >> so they took their sweet time, too. but are you in essence helping governments? who do you help? when you help a country, what
does that look like? >> it depends on the country. i would say it was really just after the first 50 years of the ilos existence we got the nobel peace prize in '69, by the way. >> that's not well-known. >> and it was a u.s. director general who received that prize. our life changed greatly because that period of decolonization is when our member. went universally. and then we took on a new responsibility which was building the capacities of newly independent countries from a low starting place, the capacities to run their labor markets and do the things which might seem a little bit like second nature to more industrialized countries. so that was an added dimension. >> so secretary accost, so your predecessor francis perkins got the united states into the ilo, but there are a number of reasons we stayed in and we
never left. we've never left the ilo -- >> we did briefly. >> then, why'd we leave them? okay, but we stayed in ilo most of the time for 85 years except for a little asterisk. you must have a sense why the united states -- what does the united states get out of being in the ilo. >> we're one of the main supporters of the ilo and we've worked in the department of labor on an international level worked to establish and maintain labor standards. and the ilo was one of our main partners. for example, i can think right off the top of my head some nations and the middle east where they've got major events coming up, it's an opportunity to improve labor standards and
the ilos been a major partner in that effort. at so many conferences around the world whether g-7 or g-20 labor conferences and something we have a high interest in is as you said a level playing field. you know, just this week we had great news where mexico, you know, the chamber of deputies has now reformed their labor laws. and that is persupt to the upcoming trade agreement. and for the first time the usmca includes a labor provision. and it is the strongest labor provision in any trade agreement. and so you're seeing mexico change their labor laws as a result. and why does that matter? that matters because to have
trade you need to start off with a level playing field. the nations need to have similar labor laws so the trade is not just free but fair. and so we have a keen interest in supporting efforts to have that level playing field, supporting efforts to make sure that certain labor standards are met. let me add a second dimension that is as important. you mentioned humane, and from, you know, the laws in the u.s. have changed so much since 1919. we have several levels of protections for workers. we have an interest from a human rights perspective in seeing other nations have those levels of protection. and so if you're talking about forced labor, if you're talking abuse of immigrant labor. you know, if you're talking trafficking, if you're talking so many issues, we have a high
interest, a keen interest in seeing other nations improve, and often it's better to have a group like ilo come in and work with those nations than to have the u.s. do it directly. and so it's great to have guy a partner with these efforts. they work closely with our international division, and i really thank you for your work. >> like i said on this exact point one of the things i should say is the department of labor not only comes to the ilo and represents u.s. interests, you provide a lot of financing support for the work we do around the world. >> are we the largest donor to the ilo? >> you have been. i think there are some ahead at the moment, but you're up there. >> we're pretty close, right? >> historically in the time i've
been around the ilo it's been the u.s. that's been in the lead in the fight against child labor and there's still 152 million kids working, 152 million too many. but at the beginning of the century there was one third more. in the fight against forced labor, it's the same story. so a level playing field and doing the right thing has a happy tendency to coincide. >> i think i'm pro-capitalist, but i'm against having people be enslaved or trafficked to, you know, eat chocolate that i like or get clothing that -- i like cheap clothing i'm not sure i want to have -- i don't want a tie that's been made with child labor. i think most people 99.9% would
probably agree with that. it's not only a level playing field but humanities and values and fairness. guy, just spend a minute on the progress because there's still a lot of challenges in the world and i'm in the development business and we're always talking about the problems and all the difficulties we've had, and i think what you said earlier, just double click about the progress. and i think a lot of it has to do with the partnership you have with the department of labor where you're working with them on a technical basis, so financing the department labor provides, but you as the ilo as a trusted partner and convener are able to make the kind of progress and talk about how the levels of child labor have dropped. how has that happened, because it's way too many, unacceptable, morally wrong. but it's come down. that's amazing. and we don't talk enough about the progress that happens in the world. >> and good news there is i
think the ilo has been a lead in that reduction thank tuesday the support we've received from the u.s. overall. >> you're welcome. dm but because we have now learned what works. there were a certain feeling that child labor is the common of child labor and poverty. we know what works, we know what we have to do. forced labor, you mentioned forced labor. our first instrument against forced labor was adopted in 1930. >> really? >> in 2014 we had to adopt a protocol to that convention because there was not a linear disappearance of forced labor in the world. forced labor -- i liken it to an unpleasant virus which has the capacity tomitate and reappear in many forms. trafficking for all sorts of
rather vile purposes is with us. one great example and again the u.s. has been close to us on this, the elimination of forced labor in the cotton industry -- >> this is a great story. >> it's a great story. and i was there recently to see what we're up to. basically while i can say the problem has not disappeared, but through monitoring on the ground, serious engagement from the authorities in uzbekistan we've eliminated child labor, gotten rid of systemic child labor and basically mopping up the problem. >> you mentioned you wouldn't want to buy clothing that was the result of forced labor and i think almost all the oddsiance would join you in that. one of the challenges is the supply chain today is so complex that you may not know just
because -- >> it says nike or -- >> nike or made in america, you may not know where the material came from, where the cotton came from. and so the department of labor international division has made great strides in identifying the supply chain and really having resources available absent others to tell individuals about those supply chain issues. but ultimately we need international assistance to monitor that because that supply chain changes constantly, and you can't simply monitor it from a domestic perspective. you need to be monitoring where the goods are produced and manufacturered and being sent to third party nations. >> it's a great theme. we all remember that great tragedy in bangladesh.
1,100 workers died in the collapse of the factory. that's led to an entirely new energy and folks s on supply chain management -- 146 died there, but it's the same principles and it requires the same type of reaction from us. and thank tuesday the international cooperation we're getting we're getting to that task. >> i want to stay a little longer on the trafficking situation. a lot of the response to the trafficking especially in the labor context is something that falls to the department of labors traffic division but also ilo. can you talk about how your organizations deal with this because this is something -- my mother who often is a little skeptical of international development -- i don't want to put her on the spot, but i don't think she's alone.
i get a hard time at thanksgiving about what do you do and what is this stuff, i think if i say we're helping stop human trafficking she'd say i'm all for that. can you talk about trafficking in persons? >> so our international division works not only with the ilo but with international partners in the nations where this really begins. and we fund third parties, we fund ngos that work on the ground because the u.s. cannot enforce outside our borders. but we can work with the nations to enforce those laws and to support those ngos that are working to prevent this. now within our borders the department of justice has, you know, a trafficking persons task force. there are strong laws to prosecute. you know, you're seeing right now in the border just south of here a major issue where individuals are being trafficked
in. you know, i was talking to officials from dhs that said what they're seeing the same child being brought in again and again and again. they're sent back and coming in with other individuals because of the issues that are now happening at the border, a humanitarian crisis. it is a croesus that needs to be addressed. so whether it's at the border, whether domestically through law enforcement, whether at an international level working with ngos this is something that is being addressed and needs to continue to be addressed and is not just a humanitarian issue but a national security issue. >> trafficking. i wish your mother-in-law was in the audience because we could probably have a conversation. my own country adopted a modsern slavery act in the u.k. recognizing and it's a wakeup call there's an estimated 13,000 slaves in the united kingdom.
it makes you think, doesn't it? this is complicated. it's totally immoral. a lot of this -- a lot of this entails trafficking, movement of people a lot of this entails trafficking, movement of people internationally across frontiers but a lot of it is just taking place in one place at one time. you have a great variety of equally unpleasant phenomenon, but, there is certainly a policing aspect to this. there is an immigration aspect to this. but also labor policy to false labor eradication as well. i do think in addition to the alliance with ngos and local actors, we need to across government approach and this needs to be replicated at the international level. working with the other systems to make sure that we work hand- in-hand. on extremely complex issues.
>> i talked about the progress that there has been significant progress. can we think 10 years ahead, or both of you optimistic? a great organizations, do you imagine it going from hundred and 50 million two, a much lower level and let me start with you and then the secretary. >> we know what works. because properties with us is wrong. it is about physical will and about funding and resource mobilization. >> that is what has happened in pakistan? >> right. if we look forward a few years, i think we are seeing a few trends that will move the ball forward on this issue on reducing child labor. first we are seeing technology
make us more aware of this. and so, increasingly not just where you purchased, but what material was used, where it was manufactured, or the cotton comes from, and hold the supply chain accountable because technology allows us to trace the supply chain. nursing corporations say, if the supply chain includes, we are not going to purchase from that particular nation. and so, the market is going to move their. secondly, you are seeing an increase resources and awareness at an international level through groups like the ilo that are very focused and, thirdly what you are seeing with the trade discussions that are now taking place is a focus on a level playing field.
fair trade needs to include fair trade. and that means, certain level of labor standards that are enforced across the board that are maintained and that should be prerequisites and to the extent that we have more trade and global economy, you can have that global economy if you don't have certain understandings. about what is the main labor and what is fair standards for the workforce. >> and i add engaging the private sector he. it has been critical. >> and businesses want to get it right >> because the reputational damage of being called out unwittingly. >> this is the point where, the public now has access to the technology to know the entire supply chain, that empowers the public to hold businesses
accountable >> there is an increasing amount of transparency in the global system because of the internet and, i heard a speaker say, memorably, if you're going to be naked, you better be buff. that was pretty good. in the context of this, given these sorts of things, you better have your health in order. let me ask about this issue, about a level playing field. talk a little bit about how you helped mexico with its labor rules. >> leading into that, i think it is expected, with the world trade organization decided that labor standards and handed that part of the story to the, between 75 and 80% the trade agreements negotiated reasonably had labor courses
and then. so there are several interesting things taking place. we should be clear we have no mandates to encourage or discourage such labor clauses but, with the parties to agreement decide to insert them we are available to help out on these with the fashioning of such agreements. mexico has been an interesting story and my recent visit to mexico, i talked to the secretary across for me at times about this leaves me optimistic about what is taking place but if you look at the chapter in the new trade agreement, it is the most comprehensive labor chapter that i have seen and of course, it cites ilo's standards from the first to the last. there are global reference points of what is acceptable international behavior. goes back to the origins of what we do. being a mexico, the labor is moving and what is important is
that the current government in mexico has assumed responsibilities for the labor of form, recognize the convention on collective bargaining and the text a government determination to make the changes that need to be made. this goes into some detailed issues of labor justice, getting transparency and trade union practices, getting rid of a lot of the abuses that have existed in mexican industrial relations and either for mexicans or the united states which have depressed wages to levels that are clearly artificially low by any basis of comparison. so, we are helping, i think the mexican government where you have offices in mexico city, trying to accompany this process and make sure that the terms of that labor chapter become a reality not just writing on a paper >> this is important, not only
did he stayed in his opinion is the most comprehensive labor chapter he has seen to date, but, if we compare it to nafta, nafta did not have a labor chapter at all. not only is it the most comprehensive, but, nafta did not do an agreement but the main agreement did not have the labor chapter and had no enforcement of that agreement. and so, like night and day, portrayed and this is important because it levels the playing field more than it was before it is something that we certainly hope to see and trade agreements going forward, so those labors are agreements, and we certainly welcome the ilo's assistance as a referencing those standards provides a third-party that can
come in and assist. what i think is different today my impression is the mexican government think that this is good for them, that this is good for them. it is not something that they need to comply with because, this is a precondition for our relationship. >> the chamber of deputies was not a close one it was clearly supportive. reflective of the commitment hoping to see by the government of mexico for the standards. >> there is another topic i need to discuss with both of you. so, you had your hundredth anniversary, you convened a high-level panel to look at the future of work which is a fabulous report. id reports for a living so a really good report. i think it will stand the test of time. we have had conversations about the future of work i would like
to talk a little bit about the report and i also want you to talk about them and there are a lot of things, we could talk about robots and people that are going to lose their jobs the robots, but, i want you, i think it's important to hear from you, what you thing about getting free money and doing the work? there is a funny term for it and you and i have had this discussion. will talk about the report, talk about robots and talk about free money and no work. >> the universal basic income. doing my reading of the origins. eight plan to give all the united states $400, it was crazy stuff. i have to put ubi in a similar category. there are a number of things that i think are wrong about ubi
, the first is it is it's ordinarily expensive and you have to wonder if it's efficient >> you are not a right-wing, that's fair to say? >> look at me. >> you are sitting on the right- hand side, but you have come from the labor communities. this is a very expensive thing. >> i don't think is necessarily fiscally efficient. many people regarded as regressive because it does not put money to the most in need, but most important is that it feels a lot like giving up on work, that is to say, heading towards a future of work where we feel unable to put produced the conditions under which work can do what it has done for 100 years or more forever. that is to say, provided the basis of our incomes at a decent standard of living. >> giving up on work takes away the purpose of what we are picks >> when we had the podcast interview, you talked about freud, and i generally don't quote freud to talk about what
he said. >> he said work is the individual's connection to reality and if you think what happens to people who become unemployed due to the labor market, it is not just about labor conditions, it is about their isolation and demoralization. i think that is quiet and insightful clause. so we look forward to going into our report on the global commission report. we want and we believe it is impossible to envision a future that includes all of us and work opportunities for all of us and we are due for an incentive approach, investing firstly and people's capacities, something close to secretary acosta's heart, we argue for the right lifelong learning, we think that lifelong learning needs to become the mainstay of the future of work however well- educated we are at the beginning of our lives, that education will not be enough to keep up to the end of our professional life because the robust changing picks >> i think a lot of people in the united states are reading things in the newspaper where
we are giving jobs to robots, should we fear the future of working in this country? >> we don't look at the headlines and actually ask how they are feeling. the u.s. is more optimistic. the confidence in the economy is there, multi-decade type it is interesting, i saw an article earlier this week that created a statistic that i had not seen before, the number of individuals that were voluntarily leaving their jobs to take on a better job to the number of individuals who are being laid off or losing their job because of these issues. and, it pointed out that more people, the ratio of people voluntarily leaving their jobs to take on another job compared to the people that were being laid off was that at an all- time high, the highest we have seen since research i can is
information that i say that because, sometimes, the layoff takes the headline does not talk about all of these that are finding new opportunities. there is something that we track called the quick rate, and i think we should need rename it the opportunity rate because it is the number of opportunity people who are quitting for a better or different job. and, that is, that is higher than it has been in decades, and i say that because i think it's important because panels like this inevitably, someone brings up the future of work. should we be worried? and, i think it's important in a setting that is more thoughtful, like this, to take a step back. since it was invented, individuals have been having this discussion and every time there is a change, people will
say, should people be worried because now that there is a factory, the world will change, now that we have assembly lines, the world will change. people will lose their jobs and people are very worried. now that cars have been invented, people will lose their jobs and people will be worried. and, what has always happened every single time is that the kinds of jobs change and i agree, i want to talk about how education needed to change, but, what it means is new and better opportunities pick so, to specifics. i was touring the factory floor at one of the major automotive facilities and i asked some of the workers there, and they pointed out that the level of injuries is so much less than it once was because the machines are now helping them do their jobs more safely. they don't need to put the same stress on their body, do the same repetitive motions. and so things are safer. individuals are more productive.
we talk about work. so, what is growth? growth intonation, gdp growth is really simple. it is how many more people we have and, how much more productive are those individuals? so, if you want to say growth per person, which is what we should be focusing on, how much are we growing as a nation per person in the nation? are we becoming more productive? and that is, are we investing more in technology, is each one of us able to do more and produce more and therefore make more money because a productivity in the long run, increase wages, equal and increase productivity to want to embrace change. what we are seeing is changes happening faster. and, for those individuals that don't have the right skill sets, that is scary because, you are seeing the change, can i keep up?
do you have the right skills? and, one area where i don't think we have seen a change nearly as quickly as we should is education. it's interesting. but, if we were to talk to our great great grandmother or, great great great grandfather, there would be education in much the same way today. we saw a classroom, you have an instructor in the front, a lecturer, and all of these concepts, and this is by no means an endorsement because there are a number of great products, but the con academy concept teaches online for free any number of topics. you have the concept to flip classroom work for students learn at home and they come in and attracted small groups. i was talking to someone that was sending their children to a school that teaches 20 or more
languages. how do they do this? the actually use an online learning tool at home to learn the language lessons and they engage grandparents during the day to come in and converse with the students so the students can actually, one on one, spend half an hour to 45 minutes, three times a week talking to someone in their native language and what does this mean for a grandparent that has the opportunity to pass on the language to a young person? so, we experiment with all of these types of education picks >> i don't think we are. to mac if we look at the way, the traditional model is, you learn and you work. right? there is a line, you are done with school and now you are working. as we see things change more and more, i would advocate and i think guy agrees, we need to think of learning and working as a simultaneous process.
the idea of stackable credentials. doesn't need to be college and working? or, can it be i will learn some skills and i will work and i will keep learning these skills so as technology changes at the workplace, we are maintaining the modern skill set to stackable credentials that may not include a degree. one last point, we have apprenticeships at the department of labor and we follow and advocate for apprenticeships greatly. in last two years we have seen almost these are opportunities where people are learning and earning, working and earning, not the college, but, through their employer, through partnerships with education and, i sought to statistically the average starting salary for an apprentice when they are done with the program has gone up. from 65,000 to $70,000.
>> that's amazing >> how many college programs can say that when you are done, you are going to have almost guaranteed employment with a starting salary on average of 70,000? this is something we need to talk about as a nation because we have a perception that there is only one path to success. >> a four year undergraduate degree. >> i love that you said that because, i was on my way to talk to university presidents and i told the congresswoman i will talk to the for your president and she said, no you aren't. and i said, yes i am. i know who i am talking to. she said no you're not, you are talking to the six-year president. because, we don't measure college graduation rates and four years anymore. we register them in six years. and for a lot of folks listening, that is news. that it is now a six-year
degree. because, the time to graduation and the time it takes for students to graduate has slipped, the percentage of students graduating has slipped because they don't to see the degree as a path to what they are looking for. and, that might not be the case for some folks in the audience, but, if you look across the nation, that has shifted. so, a degree is wonderful, not taking anything away from that. but, should that be the only path that is offered? or, should individuals have access to skills training? should pell grants which help so many students get degrees, be available for coding classes? if you have a young american who wants to learn to code, so they have the opportunity to do that now? and, later they can always get a degree. or revising the system by advocating only one pathway by telling americans to make their
choices? one last thing, it's interesting, are we judging individuals by the type of credential that they hold or, by whether or not they have a path to a sustaining job and a family sustaining career? i say that at the end because i think that is an important question for us to ask. and, it is a shift in how we think sometimes that, i think it's something that we need to talk about because, in my home state of florida, the average graduation rate from a state college system is 68% after six years. is that the best path for 100% of the students? 68% are graduating. and, that is something that we need to talk about, especially as we are seeing so much change, is there room for
stackable credentials? for learning and working, so it can work at a pharmacy as a pharmacy tech and learn a little bit more and go to a next level of pharmacy tech and learn more and eventually become a pharmacist. the beauty of that system is, they can do that for apprenticeships and stackable credentials with zero debt. >> we need to end this conversation, thank you very much, i note that the ilo wants to reward you mr. secretary so let's go up here and get a photo. >> if i might, very quickly, simply. >> don't let, it's too heavy for us to lift picks >> simply a plaque which we hope the department of labor will find a suitable place to put, which is simply, a recognition of the expression of appreciation for the department of labor and special reference to francis burke and. everybody, so very many years play such an important role in
>> wonderful, welcome, let me introduce myself i and a senior fell, i worked with dan and it is such a pleasure to be moderating this panel. i am going to start with you, we are going to go a little bit fast through the history of the u.s. ilo relationship there was a wonderful book , can we talk a little bit about what inspired you to write this book and, who was francis birkin? >> for small, i loved the video and the music. there is so much more about francis birkin and let me take a couple minutes to give you more of a grounding, some francis birkin 101. it is my very favorite topic to talk about francis birkin. i hope by the time i'm done, it will be your favorite topic to.
and the united states, we know her as the first woman cabinet official, the driving force behind minimum wage, the 40 hour workweek, the end of child labor, national unemployment insurance and social security. she is a powering figure and her congressman's in the united states and, also a compass in the face of a hostile congress. i gradually came to know about francis perkins slowly. i was really porter at the and i first learned about her and her role in u.s. and world history when i was researching workplace priors pick some of you who are old enough to remember we had a terrible poultry fire in north carolina in 1993 with people locked in beer can, i was doing a story, researching the history of workplace fires and what we learned over the years about how to prevent them and, i spoke with the labor department
for that peace and i was told something that stuck in my mind that, that i know that a young social worker francis perkins had the witness of the horrible short lace triangle factory fire admitted her work to reduce workplace deaths. she was only 31 years old when this happened. she became the driving force behind the creation of the new york factory investigating commission and they crafted the legislation that led to the fire protection tools that we have here in this building. if you look up about you, you will see with the exit sign is, if the fire breaks out, you know where to run. there are water sprinklers, occupancy limitations, these are all the things they learned as a result of the 1911 fire. the pioneering work that she did, she was joined by samuel crawford who was president of the national federation of labor. in those years, there was
beginning to be a growing sense and, it's important to understand that fear of communism that inspired the growth of the i ll but also, a rising idealism that it was possible to make the world a better place for everybody and part of this came out of the sense that the industrial revolution was creating awful conditions and what we found is that in each place were rectified the commissions, the jobs would move to the place where the wages were lower and the conditions were worse and for the new people that were hired in these jobs, life was better, but life was worse for those who were left behind pixel, the ilo isn't just done out of a sense of fear but also done out of a fear of a possibility that we could make the world a better place not just a new york city order state, not just the united states, but globally as well. now, it's clear from what i
have already told you about francis perkins and her fascination with labor, that she would be an early supporter of the international labor organization which was forming in europe. and in fact, she was joined in that effort by samuel gompers who was one of the first american representatives of the ilo. the passing we mentioned this and really it's ironic that the first meeting of the international labor organization was in fact held in washington dc, right here in 1919. francis perkins and samuel dunford both attended another attendee was a young official of the navy department, drumroll, a man whose name you might know, franklin delano roosevelt. that was his first exposure to the significance of the ilo and aspirations of the ilo. but just like they said earlier, the united states did not enjoy the ilo or the league of nations and world war i was very great and the united
states became the head advisor and an observer. so americans were very active observers. but, when he became president in 1932, he named to francis perkins his secretary of labor and one of her first acts was focusing on the united states in the ilo. how did she do it? because she was tricky and sly. she did not do it, she made sure that the bill was jammed in a bunch of other legislation, she pushed it through and hope no one would notice. luckily, only a few people noticed. but, it was very helpful to the ilo that the united states came in and 1934 because, the ilo was under very serious pressure in europe, you need to remember the germans had been the hub of one of the world's largest and wealthiest labor movements completely repudiated labor in
the era and, they withdrew from the ilo in 1933 and you can see how important it was to have the entry of a new and significant player in the ilo in 1934. in fact, as the power and the grew, they grew a comfortable with the ilo being located in switzerland. and they wanted to go but where could they go? by 1940 it had become apparent that ilo leaders would need to flee for their lives. here in washington, francis perkins began to figure out how to bring the ilo officials to safety here in north america. she employed other demonic channels and, under the leadership of an american who happened to be in guys job, they fled across europe by car, by bus, by train and arrived in lisbon to be transported across the atlantic ocean to safety.
i was fortunate enough during my reporting to talk to some of the people who had experienced the harrowing trip and it really was a terrifying experience. they really did not know if they were going to live or die. francis perkins wanted to put them to houston for the duration of princeton university which he thought would be a nice location but, the senate said no. and, they left the critical support for if they went to canada for the duration of the war. without francis perkins intervention, it is very unlikely that the ilo would not have survived world war ii. the rest of the league of nations was destroyed. during the war years, two important conferences were held in the united states. one in 1941 in new york city and a second one in may 1944 in philadelphia with a pen to the
statement the philadelphia declaration and there is a part of that that i love the most, that poverty anywhere is a threat to stability anywhere. francis perkins with a delegate to the ilo at the summer conference in paris in 1945 when the war was over, what you came into the room, the delegates who had survived gave her a standing ovation because they had realized what she had done. we can ask ourselves today, without her, with the ilo have survived through all that it has done in the last 70 years? >> thank you. >> so she was a wonderful lady, very hard-working and instrumental for ilo and the new deal and all of the legislation. what do you think she would be
most proud of of the labor market of the u.s. labor market today at least proud of? >> those are such good questions and i think, she was secretary of labor during the great depression so, really, the horror of joblessness was with everyone. i think she would be very pleased that many more people are employed. i think she would be very unhappy that somebody people need to work more than one job to make a living. she was a huge believer that the 40 hour workweek is key in a lot of different ways and that essentially you need a breath to recover and be an effective worker. i think she would be upset that we have so many people now globally who need to work multiple jobs to make enough money to live. >> in the informal economy, i think kathy remi, to turn it to you, i think that there is a
lot about 62 million people are working in the formal economy, i know you worked very hard with those groups, how do you empower people better outside of labor protections and, how do you make them be part of this work agenda that the ilo is always pushing? >> thank you, firstly, the ilo late such an important role in building the global architecture to make sure that people are included in a couple ways that we have been proud to work with the ilo is the grounding of the 1998 senate principles which basically say, all workers have universal rights, informal economy workers, all workers. that is one important way that the ilo has helped support workers. the other is, there are many
workers excluded from labor laws, for example in our own country, we look at history, domestic workers and agricultural workers are excluded from labor lost while we are proud to work with the ilo in 2011 and we put forward on our delegation, the method nurtures domestic workers in the united states and around the world are excluded from these and again, that was a global standard and how we have seen it played out the united states is workers organizing, building powerful workers. today, we see that domestic workers are defined as workers and that came out as a campaign that started at the international labor organization in 2011 and before, defining them as workers and now they are building movement here and we can see around the world they have actually a political structure called the international domestic worker federation bringing together domestic workers from around the world. is a great way of showing how international labor organization plays a role in helping us frame globally whether the standards we need? what are the standards we need
today to say who is excluded? who is not, and as workers movement, we take those standards and they are our tools but we say these are our friends and this is how we are going to support workers and help them build power. ute freedom of association, that is fundamental wherever you go, whether you are a teacher or a domestic worker, that is what is so powerful about the declaration which says, all workers, freedom of association, the right to bargain collectively, the right to work free from discrimination, free from child labor and free from forced labor, it does not matter where you were, migrant worker, domestic, you all have the universal rights pics >> thank you will come back to you on the platform economy later pick but, i wanted to ask you, from the perspective, how do you see the achievements of the u.s. ilo relationship, what are the greatest achievements from the employer's point of
view? >> first of all, i think to listen to the first panel with guy and secretary, you would think between the ilo and the united states, but, between 1950 to the middle of 1980, both the united states and u.s. importers were difficult clients, we were difficult clients because we had this into the to evolve to a double standard that led to the united states leaving the ilo, and secondly, there was official ratification of ilo standards. and, it was in the reagan administration that a formula was worked out with the u.s.
council and secretary brock that set of ground rules that allowed it to go forward. and so, between 1988 and, if i have the chronology correct, 2001, for the first time the united states ratified conventions that weren't maritime. they dealt with substantive areas of importance in the ilo, we ratified one of the forced laborers standards and safety standards, we ratified an important, cornerstone of the ilo, the trade consultation convention. so, it was a difficult road. and, the ilo i think you
cannot underestimate the strength of the apartheid system to hold the ship together. so, when i think about achievements in the ilo, i need to remember that there is a not so good history fortunately i did not participate in the history so i can claim credit for all the good things that have happened, but, i would not start with the declaration of philadelphia. it was a declaration that was, at the conclusion of world war ii, when you read the work report of the ilo, it is clear that the declaration above all else is fundamental to the ilo. then, i think you needs to look at the 1998 declaration which
both guy and i when we were much younger people worked on. by the way, you should know that his first participation in the ilo was the same year as my. and so, over time we have had a wonderful collaborative relationship. so, the 1998 declaration which, i guess it depends who you talk to, from the u.s. employer side, they would say that this is our idea because, there was this fear of the social clause invading trade. and, u.s. business wanted this issue to be in the ilo and it was a very long process and the governing body i think of one over four or five years that resulted in a conference discussion resulting in a declaration of your and, when we get to issues about the
future of the ilo, i want to come back to this because i think that is a strategy that you will really see in the ilo where there is one wait for the outcome and others, things i would mention in response to child labor, in the clinton administration, the secretary of labor was very strong on this issue. and actually, deborah greenfield who is the deputy director general was the worker representative for the u.s. and vincent, something that i'm personally proud of, the 2014 forced labor protocol which was not a u.s. business initiative, but, we pushed international organization employers to say, you can't be against this. you can't be satisfied with an
expert report. you can't be satisfied with just some recommendations. the whole issue of getting human trafficking within the scope of what forced labor means in a ilo context is fundamentally important to bring it to life in a way that it had never been before. i have been glad to see that this effort to get countries to ratify has succeeded, maybe not as much as your goal line but still it has been successful. those are the things i would mention pics >> i want to come back to this issue of the future of work, we talk about the future of work but, i like to talk about the future of our institution. and, director general, you were here in july, last july and you spoke about the nature and, i believe you mentioned it gets harder, how do you see the future of the ilo? >> if you allow me to
predicate my answer to that question on what i have heard already. i can confirm what they said, it has not always been hugs and kisses that you would be surprised about that. but, i do want to say, this wonderful book, there are two books that you need to read, which is the book whose author is a sitting next to me on the left, and i think frances perkins own book about roosevelt to put those things together and you understand the loss. what about the future of the ilo? the first question is why have we been able to survive for 100 years? what is what they just that, bipartisan. and intergovernmental organization, it would have died in the 1930s or the war. it it would not have survived. so, bipartisan is one reason and bipartisan is a much more resilient beast than some people would imagine. i'm often told bipartisan them is a word does not exist in
american. the that graphic up there and i think him hold on a minute your tripod is was a big deal in the new deal. and i think there are lessons in history around their peers why else would we survive? because ilo has a mandate for social justice which does not go out of fashion. it is something instinctive to want a fair deal. the first thing is how to adapt to change as well, and i will cite those three factors for why we are still here for the fourth is probably now i have frances perkins as the fourth reason that we survived. look to the future. we talked about the future of work, the ilo is talking about the future of work, everybody is talking about the future of work. income i sometimes get alarmed, i hear these very precise and authoritative and sometimes apocalyptic predictions about how many jobs will be created, how many will be destroyed 20 years down the road by robotics and all of the rest. my answer to that type of
prediction is, it is not about technology, not solely about technology. the future is what we decide we wanted to be part i think the lesson of history, they transformed the way america designed and ran its world of work. not by any process of technology will changes or political expenses, we designed the american world of work by conscious decisions, not even according to a predetermined plan because, a lot of it was made up as it was going along. and, that is a lesson for our time. and, if you allow me the luxury, what are the greatest achievements of perkins and roosevelt, in her book where perkins said roosevelt should never be let near a labor dispute, keep them away. he was a lousy mediator. too much imagination.
he brings his own ideas, and secondly he wanted to go to quick and it takes employers and workers a bit of time to get the answers pick i thought that was instructive. and, the second is, i think that perkins is proud of what she achieved. she is very conscious of what she could not achieve it in her book, she says one of the things we never could do is universal healthcare in the united states. that is a very complicated issue. she was right. >> so, kathy i wanted to come back to you on the issue of the future of work and institutions of the future of unions and, how do you see the future of unions and, we talked about technology, how do you see the future of workers empowerment. there is a lot of attack from the platform economy, those types of jobs, people the
formal economy if he could speak about that. >> absolutely. to go a little bit on what i was saying, technology has always been something that workers have had to do with across the bargaining table. from the beginning of time, we have been dealing with our business colleagues on how to implement technology and what it should look like so, we like to reframe this idea of a robotic future of work. it is about what should work look like in the future? and, how should workers be treated? and, i think that has been a debate at the ilo for years, based on personal justice. we believe that this is an important debate took so, we think that if we see more collective action in the united states and we have seen in a number of years. and so, i would say that the future looks bright for worker organizing and collective action. it might look different, here in the united states, we recently had major mobilizations in los angeles,
the teachers went on strike. but, if you look closely at what they were asking for, it was not that we want an increase in wages, what you are seeing increasingly is a debate in our society about bargaining for the common good. we want better things, we want strong public education, we want small class sizes. they were arguing for nurses in the school. that is one example where i think we are broadening the demands of what we want to see so that they are brought up for society and the common good. i think the question around technology is who is shaping it and who's in trust and who will benefit from that technology and that is what is at stake that we have not decided if. that is the debate we must be having. let's not get put off by artificial intelligence and robots, but, let's figure out, are those technologies going to be put into service to benefit workers, to make sure that workers continue to work with dignity and, maybe we will shift the balance between the
previsit debate about universal basic income, i would say, we should be looking at perhaps there will be more leisure time, perhaps that is a discussion. want to figure out, we do it together, the word social dialogue, but there is a need for workers to be shaping what happens with technology and, a couple of other examples, we recently had an example where a hotel union in the united states sat down with a major hotel chain and said, the bargain in the contract a clause that said any time new technology is going to be introduced into the workplace, workers have i believe, a 30. of time to talk about it with management, figure out the impact it will have on workers. what do we need to think about? that is the way we should be thinking about the technology. it could be really empowering for the hotel workers to maybe have panic buttons or a new
form of technology. but, the questions we need to be asking are, in whose interest will that technology be developed, whose interests will it serve? i think that we are at a pivotal time in the future can be very bright for worker empowerment if we are using technology in a way that is about bringing more dignity to workers, to more people right now we have the largest inequality we have ever seen and i think technology can either exacerbate that or, it can be used to help workers have voice, build power in the workplace is. i think we are at a pivotal moment to make those decisions about how will technology be used in our society and whose benefit it will serve. >> i wanted to pose a similar question to you, on how employers see the shifting technology and the future of work and the employers organizations. >> i would like to take the angle of, what does the ilo need to do within its processes
regarding really thorny issues. adequate living wage. how is that going to sit? from the very beginning, 1919, it is still here today. these are not easy issues. what i would observe is that the traditional way that the ilo deals with these issues may not be adequate for dealing with these issues. i would just cite the shift contract labor which had a long history because the ilo has a certain thing, and a ilo conference but every year, there are two governing body needs. it is all the same but, when i started going to the ilo, it was essentially four weeks and
now, it is basically a 100 yard dash and the second week is really more ceremonial and of course, you have one week to negotiate something. these are not the kind of issues that lend themselves to that. there are a lot of reason why we have shorter meetings. cost for governments, for employers, a question of, how much time can i be a way for my regular job but, i think that the ilo should think more about how it uses the technology that we are all worried about to make itself better. and, it suggests to me that on certain issues maybe you don't
have a ilo conference every year, that you use technology to increase the collaboration and understanding and consensus around issues before you actually have the heart discussion. so, it is a process change that i think, the issues are no longer as simple as they used to be. first and foremost, the ilo is a white states organization. and, it's supervisory machinery and how it deals is second to none and, i'm not suggesting that that be in any way affected, but what i do think is that in the development of what happens next in terms of the implementation of the future of work, that report is simply the end of the beginning. and, there will be many chapters on each of the central issues of that report and,
these are issues in which a broad-based international consensus that includes employers and working adults and includes other members of civil society that were impacted by these issues. we all have to come together and use technology to do that. >> so, director general, do you see the ilo incorporating new members, like the ngo community, more formally, i think the question comes up a lot, but, do you see any changes in the structure? what do you see the main changes in the future? >> while subscribing to what he said about working methods, which i think is absolutely correct, i think this structure
that we have spoken is a given. and the organization that you are right to say, questions are asked we know that trade union membership has been under pressure in many countries for many years. not all of this is sees the need to join in business organizations. some are certainly big enough to have her own in that regard and yet, there is clearly in my mind at least, and i think i'm history with support this in this regard, something about governments and employers and workers together which adds legitimacy and strength to the way in which we deal with economic and social and labor issues that i regard this as immutable, if we were to discard it, we would be making a mistake or does that mean that this is a hermetic arena with actors which remains deaf to or unaffected by what is said by others?
no. and i think, the ilo and also our constituents, we understand very well, we have learned to do this better, that we need to be attentive to work with our ilife, those in civil society who pursue the same goals. i see that going ahead very much in that manner. on the substantive issues, i think and we will see what our conference in jim comes up with, charged with adopting a declaration on the future of work, i think we have got to find a balance between picking up unfinished business and come after 100 years, there is a lot of unfinished business, and, picking up new challenges of this transformative world of work, the gig economy, new technologies, artificial intelligence, but with the unfinished business, as ed just said, 1919, the constitution and adequate living minimum wage. we have never cracked that one. we haven't cracked that one after 100 years but maybe let's
go back and have a look at it. maximum hours of work, the silo convention was a 48 hour week, as a maximum. we have a constitutional objective for a maximum limit on working hours. that is a really difficult concept today. we are not sure what we are working and we are not working. we have got to look at these things again. and, i am hopeful that in this conference we are going to have, health and safety at work, 2.7 million people die every year because of the work that they have done. mostly through disease. these are not new issues but unfinished business. i am hopeful we will stay faithful to continue the historic mandates adaptive enough to take on the new issues as well.
>> thousands of lives. i believe the pronunciation is pekka ares. she went to china for a conference about workplace conditions. just one of many places ilo people go all over the world. to talk about what's happening on the ground. he contracted csarz. the chinese very quickly clamped down information. the fact that pekka died of csarz put out news to the world. the ilo mobilized it,
highlighted it, put out bull the tins for news reports around the world about what had happened to pekka. it served to mobilize the health systems in every country about the world. and i really do believe having been there, having covered it at the time that both the fact that an ilo official was there, the ilo was deeply attuned to workplace and health and safety issues, they recognized it as a workplace born illness, and they served to tell me around the world saved many lives. and i wanted to salute pekka. >> nice. we started with francis. i want to come back to her and ask you how many years have you researched this? >> i'd say i probably worked on it for 10 years. >> okay. so you know her pretty well.
>> pretty well. >> what would francis perkins think about the ilo today? >> i think she'd be pleased with the things it's done and the members it's brought in. during her lifetime, it was a fairly narrow membership. but the ilo has been taken this lesson and these ideas to every country all over the world, and i think she'd be thrilled with that. i think she'd say that we still have a lot of the same problems. and every single panelist here has alluded to the universality of the problems that we confront as human species and try to think how to keep making the world a better place as our global population grows. >> i want to have a a little bit of time for the audience to
pose some questions. so we have mics, there are mics in the back. if there are any questions, raise your hand, state your name, and your affiliation. >> marina. >> hello, thank you. my name is marina colby. i did not want to be the first person but here i go. i am currently working at the u.s. department of labor in the office of child labor and human trafficking. i am pleased to say i used to work at the ilo office in the united states. so from that perspective, i have a question about francis perkins. and i did bring my book and hopefully i can get an
autograph in here. so francis perkins, i mean she was definitely a master of thinking and working politically. i mean, it's clear. it comes out very clearly in your book. she's also a social reformer of her time. and like looking back, she was also benefiting if are the other social reformers of her era like grace abbott who i believe was the first woman to be nominated for a cabinet position. and francis was the first to be selected for that type of position. but grace abbott worked at the department of labor children's bureau prior to francis even coming to washington, yet remained during the roosevelt administration. so i would love to hear a a little reflection of the role of women during that time, especially women social reformers, and the ilo.
>> and i want to ask a similar question. did she have any work-life balance? >> actually, the second question is easier. i'd say she had no work-life balance. i'd say she lived to work and i think even famously she spent a lot of time at a convent outside katensville. even in the night, she was late at night working on the drafting new laws that could be passed and going downstairs in the early morning hours to pray over them. >> and she was a mom. >> and she was a mother. she was busy. there was this wonderful human female chain that led to francis perkins. and not just in the united states. you know, sort of the whole house model first started in england. and so that whole method of taking people who had a lot of life opportunities to places
where people had fewer life opportunities and letting them see it for themselves is huge. and living in the a semi- communal arrangement where people live with, you know live together while they do workplace, work on all kind of social justice issues together. the model of whole house was modeled on twin b. hall. at whole house, there was a whole generation of women that led into each other. there's parallel movements moving at the same time too. you also have the suffrage movement, okay? so you have social justice reformers who are both republican and democrat. it's across parties and lines. and you have suffrage leaders who are also operating across partisan lines. they're republican and democrats but they find ways to work together through a lifetime. what they learned in both areas was women learning to speak out, women learning to have a public voice.
francis perkins learned how to be a social worker at whole house. she learned how to have a public voice through the suffrage movement. yes, indeed, all these things played out. it also meant that you had this really wide bipartisan army you could mobilize for your issues outside of party lines. and part of francis perkins phenomenal success was that she could, um, invigorate an army of republican women around the world, around the united states. >> i want to mention also margaret bonfield. the first secretary of labor was in the u.k. she was a very big supporter of the labor organization. this is not just a network in the united states. this is an international network. >> the gentleman here?
>> richie coleman, retired. the great recession 2007, 2009, a lot of people lost their jobs. factories that survived, in fact, had replaced workers with machines. they had the option to rehire people and tended to keep the machines. breweries are run by three or four people, entire breweries. lawyers have been replaced by software. so the issue of people will always adapt, they'll always create is a little bit, uh, of a fairy tale. i think manufacturing and agriculture are being done and will be done by machines. and more people are populating the planet, so the issue of where is the work going to come from? what kind of work is there going to be is pretty urgent. and with artificial intelligence, the machines of yesterday are stupid compared to the machines of today. and they're educating
themselves to be smarter tomorrow. the competition from the machine is arcing against the human labor force, at least manually. so what's the prospect for intervention of some kind that's going to create the kind of volume of work humans are going to need? >> could i take a shot at this? >> yes, yes. >> first of all, you're a baby boomer. i'm a baby boomer. i'm out of the work force. there's more people leaving the work force than ever before. in fact, when i was practicing law, i had an economic think tank on the side. and we studied the question of the labor shortage in the country. to some extent, whether our numbers were right or wrong, the fact of the matter is that the replacement effect, which is what you're talking about,
is important. but right now, employers can't get -- there are labor shortages all over the country. all kinds of industries. and so this is where the skilling discussion that i and the secretary had is absolutely imperative here. is how do you align work and the prospect of change so that when you have these dislocations, there's a pathway to going back to work? i've got two children, and i have a discussion with them in high school. i said, you know, your dad has only had four different jobs in his lifetime. you're going to have 20. oh, dad, we know that. so the millenial view of this is different than our generation. and so that's one of the challenges the ilo has, every
government has is how do you deal with this mix of expectations to accommodate the changes that will inevitably take place in the workplace? >> i think it goes back to we haven't in this country, you're right, done these transitions very well. whether it's through trade, loss of jobs, but other countries there are models. we have countries, we were just talking i think the germans were visiting and we were doing some exchanges with them. they've created an innovation lab to figure out the policies we need. here in our country, there's a lot we can be doing. a lot of the people have never seen our country step up with the appropriate policies to make the needed transition and make the education link to work. the other piece i wanted to connect because i'm loving this women's labor history up here, loving it. but the flip side of that is where are the jobs that are being created?
i think people get lost again in the robots and aren't thinking about what is the area of work we need to be lifting up? the economy is booming. that's the future. many of those people are women. many are migrant women, non- white women in this country. we need to be lifting those jobs up, investing in the care infrastructure, making sure those are jobs with dignity. that's our future. that's the the aspiration the ilo has. no matter what part of the economy you're in, whether you're in the manufacturing economy or the care economy, you have work with dignity that has underpinnings of rights and protections, and we're not there yet. we have a care economy that we finally have a movement that's bringing voice to those women workers, which is really important when you're trying to build decent work. but we're not there yet, and we need a whole set of policies for workers who are displaced, whether it's technology or
quite honestly we have changes due to climate change in this country. workers need to foe that they're going to have that protection to get retrained and there's going to be investment in their communities to get decent jobs. not jobs that go from a good high-paying union manufacturing job to one with no vacation days, no healthcare protection, and low wages. that's not the transition this country needs or any country. i think that's again going back to the aspirations the ilo has always had for workers, is that we need to continue to have those aspirations for good work whether it's the care economy or those workers who are being dislocated due to technology. >> other industries we looked at are travel and tourism. creative industries like bollywood, the arts, and those types of industries. there are many services. in agriculture, you have higher-
end food production that can also employ people, not just harvesting. so there are some industries that are growing renewables. i think the green economy will be another. it's how you retrain elderly generations to do different things. it's a different type of education and training. so yes, please, the lady up front. >> thank you. i'm the ceo and founder of a technology company. the reason i wanted to, first of all i wanted to to say artificial intelligence is a long way away. it's not here. it's a misnomer right now. but it's mostly analytics that you're seeing. i i want to ask the question to you specifically. technology and innovations are happening so fast at such a speed that we can't seem to pace the skill sets to match
that speed. it's an acceleration, not just a speed. there's a problem there in terms of the mismatch. an example, our company started out global from the get-go. because we couldn't find a skill set in one location. guys in u.k., russia, guys here, etc. i have people and we're a small company. we have an issue of how do you actually acquire these individuals to do the skill set necessary to be productive and grow and employ more and more people? the other aspect of that is how do you make sure that employment is consistent in terms of its pay? i had to look back and saw others who said i know i have global appointment. if i have an engineer that
works in india and in russia and here and they're doing the same job, they have to have the exact same pay wage and benefits for that particular job. what i can do as a different say differentiator is the buying power in that economy. what is happening in that behavior across all industries, across all jobs? >> i'm having trouble distancing the question from all the important points you made. if i might just say, i think it's always true but today more than ever that in periods of accelerated and quite profound change, realities on the ground get ahead of our capacity to legislate, to regulate, to adapt. it's happened over time in history, and it's happening now. that's true of skills, and it's
also true of our capacity to adjust the institutions that we built up to govern our labor markets, to new ways of working. what i think is perhaps distinctive about this this fourth industrial revolution, i don't know if you subscribe to the phrase, it's not just about the quantity thety of work that is being created and destroyed. it's the da capacity of the technology coming in now to transform the way work is carried you. you've given a description of what that looks like. our institutions don't fit in the new reality. that's the challenge as much as anything else. the question i always want to go back to with that type of question is what is the enterprise's responsibility in skill formation? i often hear it said entrepreneur find the skills. they're not out there
somewhere. i've always felt also that the employer has a certain part of the responsibility in skill formation. what this conversation is taking us towards after the initial, i think, kick off is i don't think we're moving to an era of the disappearance of work scenario. i don't think we should believe we're moving to a period or need to be moving to a period of chronic job scarcity. i don't see any inherent reason that should be the case. there's going to be a massive transition of people moving from this place to that place, reskilling, and there's a big policy agenda as cathy pointed out. we need to take this as a policy discussion, not an isolated discussion about what technology is going to do to us. how are we going to manage all of this? i tend to look at this as a project for the future of work. we have to sit down and work
out what we want it all to look out. we immediate to do it. >> i'll take one or two more questions and then we have to wrap up, otherwise we'll be violating the number one convention. >> and a few others. >> and a few others. the lady here up front and there was an arm over there and the lady in the back. >> great, thank you. i'm margaret cope. i'm an independent consultant. and when you talk about skills, when you talk about fdr, and francis perkins, we look at equality of opportunity for people. israel has a program that has enabled them to match skills with what is needed in their
country called national service. and they've gone in the cyber security area, they've gone from pretty much non-distinct to being one of the top five globally. and i was wondering, is it time to look at ways for our young people to get a skill after high school or after college and also serve their country? get some civics engagement training, life skills engagement to prepare them for the future of work? >> let's take the second question and if anybody wants to answer. >> hi. okay. i though that francis perkins -- i'm kate schaffer getting my master's at georgetown. i know francis perkins clearly was inspired by factory fires to go about her life's work. i know ed mentioned the high number of deaths related to workplace issues earlier today.
i want to know about workplace compliance certifications. i know the recent fire factories have been in factories that were work mace compliant certified. i'd like to know what you think, whoever wants to answer this, are the next steps many development of workplace safety. or what we as citizens or countries and governments to do to better ensure that working conditions are guaranteed? >> first question on the services and then the second question on occupation. >> on the first one, i think people have to make up, i think countries will have to make up, societies will have to make up their mind if this type of service is something they want to see. it's coming back, by the way. president macron of trance has been talking precisely in these terms. some people will see this as part of the story.
others may not. what i think is quite clear is that we do have to do a great deal better than current things allow us. it's not really a question now of just making that education to work once and forever transition. that hurdle, of course, is one of which many young people fall today. that hurdle will come back and back and back in future working lives. that is the case for lifelong learning that secretary acosta was making early on. we all know we need lifelong learning. what we don't have is a clear conception of how it's to be financed. i'm not talking about the united states, i'm tackle in general. we don't have the delivery systems to make it equally accessible to people regardless of their place in the labor force. >> i spent many hours at the ilo debating supply chains.
to the first question, we haven't mentioned here the apprenticeship program. it's part of one of the most important things you can do. we've been talking about creating different pathways and programs are key. you're saying public service. we would say there's no better way to become a great electrician with a good pay, a union, and benefits than going through a union apprenticeship program. there's a commitment to increasing support for apprenticeship programs. we need lots more. we need a labor movement. we have great partnerships with our business partners on creating training programs that are pipelines to good jobs. on the second, and as you may know, a big debate we've been having over the years. you know, my perspective is the plaza collapse that was mentioned earlier is a great example. it was a place where workers knew there were cracks.
workers know best. they work in their workplaces. you don't need someone parachuting in to certify it. we had an industry that was created of people parachuting in that weren't from there. they checked some boxes, got paid for certification, it was a system not doing justice to addressing workplace safety issues. around the plaza, we knew since the labor movement since our members and partners in other countries told us this, that day it was a non-unionized group of workers. they came out of the building. they said we're scared. we hear creeing. you've seen the horrible pictures where they had an industrial factory that was not in an appropriate building. and the management said, mostly women workers, go back in or you won't get your $35 a month pay. i tell that story because from there, we've had a transformative conversation about what needs to happen in
workplace safety. you actually need workers voice, workers representation, workers know best what's happening. they know there's a crack. there's fumes. they're getting sick. they know best. they're there day in and day out. you need work everies to feel empowered to speak about that and there won't be retaliation. that's the first thing. and then we, the labor movement has really said it's time to move away from voluntary programs of the nature you highlighted where people parachute in and then they check off some boxes and say it looks like there's a fire escape, there's no fire escape, fix that when you have a chance. to saying no, actually, this needs to not be voluntary but mandatory. we've worked to create alternative models. that has been an on going debate with our business colleagues. but you know, we've actually moved i would say despite this agreement and despite long hours in ilo rooms, we have
moved the ball with various different initiatives. the labor movement's perspective is to deal with the way global supply chains are organized and worker safety you need mandatory programs that address that. >> we really don't have time to triage the whole issue. i would say that having spent the last 10 years of my career working for a large multi- national company that had a social compliance program that would audit for health and safety and other factors, what we found is that most countries actually have the right laws. they have requirements. they have health and safety requirements. but the country doesn't enforce them. it ends up that the company is the enforcer of last resort, really. so there's a lot of collective goodwill that has to happen
here. yes, the problem is a supply chain problem. but it's also a development problem for workers in a national environment. and the problem with health and safety at the end of the day is there's no full-proof antidote that will assure that there will be no workplace accidents. but we have to start with enforcing what is already in place. and then while we're doing that, we build in the rest of the pieces that we need to make it even steven. >> well, thank you everyone. and thank you for our distinguished panel. if you can't get enough of ilo -- >> who could? >> you can talk a little bit more over the reception over
there. so thank you for coming. yeah. the house judiciary committee held a discussion to combat white nationalism and hate crimes. a north carolina father spoke about how his daughters and son- in-law were killed execution style. a tragedy he said sparked by bigotry and hate. you can watch starting at 9:'30s tern and watch online any time on cspan.org or listen with the c-span radio app. the cyber status of russia
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