tv Labor Secretary Acosta at Center for Strategic and Intl Studies CSPAN April 26, 2019 10:52am-12:45pm EDT
9:00 a.m. eastern for a live discussion with high school government teachers from lincolnshire, illinois. >> our question is about log rolling and it's significance. >> that is a word, our students struggle with this as well, it is a concept of vote trading. if you have those ear mashes, you will get more votes. next alex acosta participates with the director of the labor organization regarding global labor laws.
the center for strategic and international studies talk about the future of the international workforce. 2019 marked the 100th anniversary of the ilo which the united states joined. this is about two hours. >> what was 1919? that was right after the soviet revolution after after world war i. i think the leader of that time came together and said whoa. 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'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 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 the financing that the department of labor provides, that you as a trusted partner is able to make the progress that you're able to. talk about how the levels of child labor have dropped.
i think 150 million is way too many. >> it has developed by one-third. >> and the good news 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. countries have radically different incidents of child labor. 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
-- audience 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 internationally across the frontiers. we have a variety of phenomenon taking place. there is an immigration aspect to this, but also a labor policy part to forlabor eradication as well. i think in addition to the
alliances, we need this across government approach that has to be replicated at the international level so they work with others to make sure that we work happened in hand on these extremely complexion issues. we talked about the progress, i think you both have great organizations, i consider very effective, do you think it will go to a much lower level? >> i said earlier on that we know what works in eliminating child labor. it is about political will, and it is about funding and resource
mobileizati mob mobilization. >> yeah, and in other nations. if you look forward ten years i think we're seeing a few trends that will move the ball forward on this issue, on reducing child labor. first we're seeing technology make us more aware of the supply chain. and so increasingly we know that not just where you purchase your suit, but where it was manufacturing, where the cotton comes from, and we can hold the supply chain more accountable. and we can trace that supply chain. if it includes child labor we're not going to purchase from that particular nation. secondly you're seeing an i accura increase in resources in groups like the ilo that are very
focused on this, and thirdly what you're seeing with the trade discussions that are now taking place is a focus on a level playing field. so fair trade is, you know, free trade means fair trade. and that means certain levels of labor standards that are enforced across the board, that are maintained, and that really should be prerequisites. and so to the extent that we have more trade in a more global economy, you can't have that global economy if you don't have certain understandingin inings what is humane labor, and what is fair standards for the workforce. >> it has been critical. >> and business wants to get it right, you know? business wants to get it right and because the reputational damage of being caught out
unwittingly -- >> this is a point where if the public has the access to the technology to know the entire supply chain, that empowers the public to hold businesses accountable. >> there is an increasing amount of e transparency because of the internet, so i heard a speaker say that if you're going to be naked, you better be buff, right? so given these sorts of things, you better have your house in order. so let me just, guy, let me just ask you about this issue about a level playing field, can you talk a little about how you helped mexico with it's labor rules. >> yeah, leading into that, i think it is instructive that you know 25 years on from the point where the world trade organization decided that labor standards should not be part of it's remix, at a conference in
singapore, between 75% and 80% of the trade agreements negotiated bilaterally have labor clauses in them. so there is an interesting phenomenon talking place. we should be clear we have no mandates to encourage or discourage such labor clauses, but where they decide to insert them we're available to help out on the application for the fashioning of such agreements. mexico has been a very interesting story. and my recent trip to mexico, i spoke to the secretary many times about this. we are extremely optimistic about what is taking place. if you look at the new trade agreement, it is, i think, the most comprehensive labor chap
t ter. i think it goes back to the origins of what we do. but being in mexico, the labor reform is moving. i think what is really important is that the current government in mexico has assumed responsibilities for the labor reform, ratified a convention on collective bargaining, and a genuine national government determination that make the changes that need to be made, and this goes through some detailed issues of labor justice, getting transparency and collective bargaining, trade union practices, getting rid of a lot of the abuses that we all know have existed in mexican industrial relations, and which, which is not the smallest issue, mexicans for the united states, which have suppressed wage levels and they are art fshlly lowered by any sort of basis of comparison. so we're helping. i think the mexican government
is sincere. through mexico city, we're trying to accompany this process and make sure the terms of that play boar has become a reality, not just writing on paper. >> and this is important, not only as, you know, guy just stated that in his opinion it is the most comprehensive labor chapter he has seen to date, but if we compare it to nafta, they didn't have a labor chapter at all. so not only is this the most comprehensive, but nafta's main agreement did not have the labor chap tor ater and there was no enforcement. and for traz this is important because it levels the playing field more than it was before and it is something that we certainly hope to see in trade agreements going forward. so we join in supporting the importance of those labor
chapters in those agreements and we certainly welcome the ilo. it brings in the third party that is able to bring in and able to assist. >> i think what is different today is my imappreciation that the mexican government think this is good for them. this stuff is good for them. it is not something they have to comply with. zle three is another topic that i have to discussion with you. you have your 100th anniversary,
you convened a high level panel to look at the report, i do reports for a living, and it is a really good report, and it is about, we have had conversations about the future of work here. i would like you to talk a little about the report. i also, guy, want you to talk about lots of things, we could talk about robots, people loving their jobs to robos, but i think it is very important to hear it from you, what do you think about free money with no work. first, talk about the reform, talk about robots, and the free money with no work. >> universal basic income. i have been doing my reading of the or gins -- orgins if it was
crazy stuff. i have to put upi in a similar category. there is a number of things that i think is wrong about ubi. the first is it is extraordinarily expensive, is it fiscally efficient? >> you're not a right-winger, right? >> you're on the right hand side now, but you're from the labor community, this is a expensive thing. >> it doesn't put money to those most in need of it, but most important is it feels a lot like giving up on work nap is to say we're heading towards a future of work where we feel unable to produce the conditions under which work can do what is done for 100 years or more or forever nap is say goodbye to the basis of our incomes and a decent standard of living. >> and it takes away our
purpose. >> and it takes away the purpose of what we are. >> but in our podcast interview, you talked about fraud, i don't generally quote him, but talk about it. >> fraud said work is the individual's connection to reality. when you think about people who become unemployeed or unattached, it is not just about material things, it is demoralization as well. so we look forward to our global commission report. we want, we believe, it is possible to envision a future of work that includes all of us, a work opportunity, there for all of us. we argue for a human centered approach to the future of work, investing first in people's capacities. we argue for right to life-long learning. we think that lifelong learning has to become a mainstay of the future of work.
however well keeducated we are,t will not get us through to the end of our professional life. >> in the newspapers, we hear things about losing our jobs to robots. the confidence and the economy is multide-decades high. it created a statistic that we have not seen before. the number of individuals voluntarily leaving their job to take on a better job, so the number of individuals laid off or losing their job because of these issues, and it pointed out that more people, the ratio of
people that are voluntarily leaving their jobs to take on another job compared to the people being laid off was at an all time high. the highest we have seen since we started tracking this information. i say that because sometimes the layoff doesn't find all of these folks, i think we should rename it the opportunity rate. it is the number of people quitting for a better or different job. that is also higher than it has been in a decade. not in all time. i say that because i think it is really important because at panels like this, inevitably someone brings up the future of issue work, robots, and i think is important in a setting more thoughtful like this to take a
step back. sense the factory was invented, people should say shouldn't people still be working, now isn't there a worry that the world will change. people are very worried. now that cars have been invented people will lose their jobs, what has always happened every single time is the types of jobs change, and i agree with guy and i will talk a little about how education needs to change, but it means better better opportunities. i was touring the factory floor, and i asked some of the workers there. . how the machines are helping
them do their jobs more safely. they don't have to put the same dress on their bodies, so individuals are more productive, gdp growth. it is how many more people we have. how much more productive are those individuals, growth per person, how much are we growing per person in the nature. and that is really, are we investing more in technology? is each one of us able to do more and produce more and make more money because of productivity in the long run? inin long run, increase wages
equ equally. and they want to calculate skills, you're seeing the change, and i'm thinking do i have the right skills in one area where i don't think we have seen change nearly as quickly as we should is education. you know, it is interesting, if we were to talk to my great great grandmother or grandfather, they would be educated in much the same way that we are today. we still have a classroom. an instructor in the front, a lecture, and there are all of these concepts out there. kahn academy, this is by no means an endorsement, but their concept teaches, online for free, any number of stopices. you have the con i was talking
to someone that was sending their children to a school that teaches 20 or more languages, so how do they do this? they actually use an online learning tool at home to u learn the language lessons and then they engage grandparents during the day to come in and converse with the students so the students can one on one spend half an hour to 45 minutes speaking to someone in their native language, the traditional model is that you learn and then
you work. as we're seeing things change more and more, i would advocate, and i think guy agrees, that we need to think of learning and working as a simultaneous process. i am going to learn some skills, and as technology changes, work changes, we're maintains a modern skill set that may not include a degree. so we have apprenticeships, we follow and advocate for them greatly. these are opportunities where people are working and learning not through a college necessarily, but through their
employer, through championships, educational institutions, and i saw a statistic recently that the afternoon starting salary for an apprentice when they're done with the program has done up from $65,000 to $70,000. how many college programs can say that when you're done, you're going to have almost guaranteed employment with a starting salary, on average, of $70,000 in is something that we need to talk about as an nation. we have a perception that there is only one one path to success. a four-year ungraduate degree. i was on my way to talk to university presidents and i told a congresswoman that i'm going to talk to four year presidents and he is said no, you're not, and i said yes, i am, and he is said no, you're not. you're talking to the six year
presidents. we don't measure college graduation rates in four years any more, it is six years. for a lot of folks listening, 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 has slipped, because they don't see the degree as a path necessarily to what they're looking for. that might not be the case for some folks in the audience, but if you look across the nation it is just fact. 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 that wants to learn to code,
should they have the opportunity to do that now and later they can always get a degree. are we biensing the system by advocating for only one pathway? are we empowering americans to make their choices? one last thing, i -- this is a, you know, are we judging individuals by the type of credential they hold? or by whether or not they have a bath to a sustaining job for a family and a career. and i say that at the end because i think that is an important question for us to all ask. and it is a shift in how we think sometimes. but i think it is something that we need to talk about. in my home state of florida, the average graduation rate from the state college system is 68%
after six years. is that the best path for 100% of the students? 68% are graduating. that is something we need to talk about. especially as we're seeing so much change, is there room for stackable credentials. for learning and working? can you go work as a pharmacy tech, learn a little more, go to the next level, and become a pharmacist? and the beauty of that system is they can do that through apprenticeships and programs with zero debt. >> we need to end this conversation here. i know we want to present an award to you mr. secretary, so let's get a photo. >> if i might just very quickly, simply -- >> don't lift it. >> it is too heavy for us to lift, it is simply a plak that we hope you will find a suitable
place to put which is a recognition or expression of appreciation for the department of labor, special reference to everybody who for so have many years played such an important role in the life of the labor organization and the labor work. thank you very much. >> good good good. e okay, let's get the next panel. >> that is under $20, right? >> yeah. that is under $20 too. all right. good. ♪
>> we'll let guy in the middle. >> are the mics on? okay. wonderful, welcome. hello i need to introduce myself. i'm a senior fellow here. i work with dan, and it is such a pleasure to be moderating this panel. kristin, i'm going to start with you and we're going to go a little bit back to the history of the u.s. ilo relationship. you wrote a wonderful book "the woman behind the new deal" can we talk about what inspired you to write the book? >> first of all i love the video and the music. but there is so much more about francis perkins. this is a little 101.
you know, it is my very favorite topic to talk about. i hope when i i'm done it will be your favorite topic, too. this is the driving force behind minimum wage. national unemployment insurance and security. he is is really a towering figure in her accomplishments in the united states, often established in the face of a hostile congress. i gradually came to know about frap sis perkens slowly. i first learned about francis perkins and her role in u.s. and world history when i was researching workplace fires. we had a terrible fire in 1993
with people who were locked in and died and i was researching the history of workplace fires, so i spoke to a historian for that piece, and he said did i know that he is witnessed a fire and made it her life's work to reduce workplace deaths. he is was only 31 years old when this happened, he is became a driving force of the new york factory investigating commission, and it lead to the fire protection tools that we have here in this building. if a fire breaks out you know where to run. there is water, sprinklers,
these are all of the things they learned as a result of the 1911 fire. this pioneering work that he is did, he is was president of the american federation of labor. now in those years there was beginning to be a growing sense, and of course it is important to understand that fear of communism that inspired the growth, and that it was possible to make the world a better place for everybody, and we were creating some really awful conditions, and in each place where we rectifies the conditions, the job would move to the place where the wages were lower and better. and for the new people life was better, but life was worse for those left behind. so the ilo is not just done out of a sense of fear, but it is
also done out of a fear, a hope of possibility, and not that we would make it just in new york state, but globally as well. it is clear from what i told you about her fascination of labor that he is would be an early sporter of t e supporter of the international labor association. and they passingly mentioned this, and really it is ironic, that the first meeting of the labor organization was held in washington dc. francis perkens attended, and another attendee was a man whose name you might know, frank lynn
delanore roosevelt. but you know just like they said earlier, the united states didn't join the ilo. we're the league of nations, it was very gray. the united states became the advisors, and americans were very active observers, but when he became president, road shelt named francis perkins as secretary of labor. how did he is do it, he is was tricky and sly he is made sure the bill was jammed in and a bunch of legislation was moving, he is was hoping that no one would notice. by then the deed was done and the united states informs their first multi-lateral organization. it was important that the united states came in in 1934, because
the ilo was under very serious pressure. the germans, you need to remember, were the home of one of the largest and wealthiest movements. and you can see there was a power of the nazis grow, they grow that they were even being located in switzerland and they made it clear they would like them to go. they made a point that they needed to plea for their lyes. here in washington, they figured out how they tried to bring their iol officials to safety.
and under the leadership of an american who got his job back then, they fled across europe. they are being transported across the atlantic ocean to safety. they didn't really know if they were going to win or die. and also housing them for the duration at princeton university. but they said no, and twhant to canada for dur race as war. now it is very likely that i think the ilo would not have survived world war ii. in effect the rest of the league of nations was destroyed.
the first one in new york city, the second in may, and that is when they penned the famous philadelphia declaration and that is what i loved most. and the ilo at the summer conference in summer conference when the war was over, when he is came into the room, the delegates that survived, they gave her a standing ovation because they realized what he is had done. all that is done in the last 70 years, and -- >> thank you for that.
and all of the new deal and all of the legislation, what do you think he is would be most proud of for the labor market. and least proud of. he is was sec tear of labor in the great depression. joblessness was with everyone, and i think he is would be pleased how many more people were employed. i think he is would be unhappy that so many people have to work more than one job to make a living. he is was a huge believer that the 40 hour workweek was key in a lot of different ways. but that essentially you need a certain period of rest to recover and be an effective worker the next day. and i think he is would be upset that we have so many people now
globally that have to work multiple jobs that make enough money to win. there se a lot about $62 million, and the other people working on the formal economy out there. how do you empower people that are outside of labor protections. >> first of all, i think the ilo plays such an important role. there is a couple ways that we have been included. basically saying that all workers have these rights.
so that is one very important way they have helped support workers. the other is there are workers excluded. . while we're proud to work with the ilo in 2011 and put forward our delegation domestic workers from the united states and from around the world that came together to say never again will we will excluded from these protections and how they're convention, that was a global standard. and how we see it play out in the united states is leading to workers organizing. the international labor organization in 2011 and before defining them as workers and now they're building here. and there is an international
structure. it brings together international workers from around the world. what are the standards we perk standards we need today to say who's excluded, who's not protected and then as workers movements we take those standards, there are tools, and we say these are our frame, and this is how we're going to support workers with help them build power. you need freedom of association. that's fundamental wherever you go, whether you're a worker in auto, a teacher or a domestic worker and that's what is so powerful about the declaration which says all workers, freedom of associations, the right to bargain collectively, the right to work free from discrimination, free from child labor and free from forced labor, you all have those universal rights. >> thank you, kathy. i'll come back to you on the platform later.
ed i wanted to ask you how do you see, you know, 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 you would think it's love and kisses the entire time. >> is it? >> the ilo and in the united states but between 1950 to the middle of 1980 both the united states and the u.s. employers were a difficult client. we were a difficult client because we had this antipathy to what evolved to a double standard that led to the united states leaving the ilo, and
secondly, there was this issue of ratification of ilo standards. and it was in the reagan administration that a formula was worked out with the u.s. council and that set up ground rules that allowed it go go forward, so between 1988 and if i have the chronology correct through 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 labor standards, ratified a mine safety standard. we ratified an important -- because it's a corner stone of the ilo -- the tripartite
consultation convention. and so it was a difficult road, and the ilo, i think simply -- you cannot underestimate the strength of a tripartite system to hold the ship together. so when i think about achievements in the ilo, i have to remember that there's this not so good history. now, fortunately, i didn't participate in that history, so i can claim credit for all the good things that have happened, but i would start with the declaration of philadelphia. it was a declaration that was, you know, at the conclusion of world war ii, when you read the future of work report of the ishs ilo, it's clear that that
declaration above all else is fundamental to the ilo, and then i think that you have to look at the 1998 declaration chr, whichh guy and i when we were much younger people worked on. by the way, you should know that guy's first participation in the ilo was the same year as mine, and so over time we've 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 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 there was a very long process in
the governing body. i think it went over four or five years, that resulted in a conference discussion resulting in the declaration. and when we get to issues about, you know, the future of the ilo you want to come back to this because i think that's a strategy that you rarely see in the ilo where there's a long runway to the outcome. other things i would mention is the worst forms of child labor. in the clinton administration, the secretary of labor was very strong on this issue, and actually, debra greenfield who's the deputy director general the worker representative for the u.s., and then something that i'm personally proud of, the 2014 forced labor protocol, which was not a u.s. business
initiative, but we pushed the international organization of employers to say, you know, you can't be against this. you can't be satisfied with an expert's report. you can't be satisfied with jste some recommendations. the whole issue of getting human trafficking within the scope of what forced labor means in an ilo context is fundamentally important to bring it to life in a way that it never had been before, and i've really been glad to see that this effort to get krcountries to ratify has succeeded maybe not such as your goal line, but still has been very, very successful. those are the things i would mention. >> so 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 institutions, and director general, you are here in july, last july, and you
spoke about the tripartite nature, and i believe that you mentioned that it gets a little harder, no? how do you see the future of the ilo? >> yeah, well, if you'd allow me to predicate my answer to that question on what i've heard already. >> mm-hmm. >> i can confirm what i had said. no, it's not always been love and kisses. and who would be surprised about that, but i do want to say this wonderful book and there are two books you have to read, which is the book whose author is sitting next to me on the left and i think francis per kin's own book about roosevelt. put those two and you understand a lot. what about the future of the ilo, first question why have we been able to survive for 100 years. one is what i just said, tri partism. if it had only been an inter-governmental organization it would have died in the 1930s or in the war period.
it would not have survived. so tri partism is a much more resilient beast than some people would imagine. i'm often told it's a word that does not exist in american. and i look for that graphic up there, and i think hold on a minute. tripartism was a big deal in the new deal and i think there's some lessons in history around that. why else did we survive? ilo has a mandate for social justice which doesn't go out of fashion. it's something instinctive in human nature. we think how to adapt to change adds well. i always cite those three factors as why we're still here. the fourth, i have to write francis perkins as the fourth reason we survived. look to the future. we're talking about the future of work. the ilo is talking about the future of work. everybody right now seems to be talking about the future of work, and i sometimes get a little bit alarmed. i hear these very, very precise
and authoritative and sometimes apocalyptic prescriptions about how many jobs are going to be created, how many are going to be destroyed ten, 20 years down the road by robotics and ai and all the rest. and my answer to that type of prediction is, you know, it's not about technology. it's not solely about te technology. the future of work is what we decide we want it to be. the lesson of history, the lesson of roosevelt and perkins is they transformed the way america designed its work, not by any process of technological change or even political external circumstances, redesigned 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, was it not? and that's a lesson for our time. and if you allow me the luxury of it, i mean, what are the greatest achievements of perkins
and roosevelt? the one bit in her book where perkins says roosevelt should never have been let near a labor dispute. keep him away, he was a lousy mediator. one he had too much imagination for you people and bring in his own ideas, and secondly he wanted to go too quick, and it takes employers and workers a bit of time to get to the answers, and i thought that was really, very, very instructive. and the second thing is i think that perkins was very proud of what she achieved. she was very conscious what she could not achieve. in her book she says one of the things we never could do is universal health care in the united states, so that's a very complicated issue. she was right. yeah. >> so kathy, i wanted to come back to you on the issue of the future of work, future institutions of the future of unions and how do you see, you
know, the future of unions and we talked about technology, how do you see the future of workers empowerment? there's a lot of attack from the platform economy, those type of jobs, people in the formal economy. yeah, if you could speak about that. >> absolutely, and i would build a little bit upon what guy was saying is, you know, technology is always something workers have had to deal with from across the bargaining table. we have been dealing with our business colleagues on how to implement technology and what it should look like. we like to reframe this notion of robotic future of work. you were going there a little bit. it's about, you know, what should work look like in the future, and what -- how should workers be treated, and so i think that's been a debate at the ilo for years based on social justice. we believe that this is a really important debate, so we think that, you know, we've seen more collective action here in the united states than we've seen in a number of years, and so i
would say that the future looks bright for worker organizing, for collective action. it might look different. the example, for example here in the united states we recently had major mobilization in los angeles. the teachers went on strike. if you look closely what they were asking for, it was not the traditional we want increase in wages. what you're seeing increasingly is a debate in our society about bargaining for the common good. we want broader things, we want smaller class sizes. they were arguing for nurses in the school. that's one example where i think we are broadening the demands of what we want to see so that they're broader for society for the common good. i think the question around technology is who's shaping it in whose interests and who's going to benefit from that technology, and that's what's at stake right now. we haven't decided it. that is the debate that we must be having. let's not get sort of put off by artificial intelligence and
robots, but lets figure out are those very good tasks technology is 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 that previous debate about universal basic income. i would say we should be looking at perhaps there's going to be more leisure time. perhaps that's a discussion. we want to figure out, but we do it together. the word social dialogue edward and i were saying doesn't always play out, but there is this need for workers to be shaping what happens with technology. and i want to -- you know, just a couple of other examples. we recently had an example where our hotel union here in the united states sat down with amajor hotel chain here and said, you know, they bargained in their contract a clause that said anytime new technology is going to be introduced into the workplace, workers have, i believe it's a 30-day period of time to talk about it with
management, figure out the impacts it will have on workers, you know, what do we need to think about. that's the way we should be thinking about technology. it could be really empowering for those hotel workers who maybe had panic buttons now or have a new form of technology. the questions we need to be asking are in whose interests will that technology be developed, whose interests will it serve, and i think we're at a pivotal time where the future can be very bright for worker empowerment if we're using technology in a way that's about bringing more dignity to workers, to more people. right now we have the largest inequality we've ever seen, and i think technology can either exacerbate that or it can be used to help more workers have voice, build power in their workplaces. so i think we're at a pivotal moment to make those decisions about how will technology be used in our society and whose benefit it will serve. >> and i wanted to pose a similar question to you on how do you, how employers see this, you know, shift in technology
and the future of work and you know, the employers organization. >> yeah. i'd like to take the angle of what does the ilo need to do within its processes to address some really thorny, difficult issues. adequate living wage, you know, what -- how is that going to fit? i mean, that's been there from the very beginning, 1919, and it's still here today. these are not easy issues, and 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, and i would just cite the issue of contractually boar, which had a long history because the ilo has a certain cadence. every year there's an ilo
conference. every year there are two governing body meetings. it's all the same, but when i started going to the ilo, the ilo meeting was essentially four weeks. now it's basically a 100-yard dash, and the second week is really a -- is more ceremonial and giving of reports. you have one week to negotiate something. these are not the kind of issues that lend themselves to that, and, you know, there's a lot of reasons why we have shorter meetings, it's an issue of cost for governments, for employers it's a question of how much time can i be away from my regular job, but i think that the ilo should think more about how it uses the technology that we're
all worried about to make itself better. and it suggests to me that maybe you don't on certain issues have an ilo conference every year, that you actually use technology to increase the collaboration, understanding, and consensus around issues before you actually have the hard discussion. and so it's the process change that i think -- i think the issues are no longer as simple as they used to be. i mean, first and fore most, the ilo is a right spaced organization, and its supervisory machinery in how it deals with rights is second to none. i'm not suggesting that that be in any way affected but i do think in the development of what
happens next in terms of the implementation of the future of work, that report is just simply the end of the beginning, and there are going to be many, many chapters on each of the central issues of that report, and these are issues of which an -- a broad based international consensus that includes employers and workers but also includes other members of civil society that were impacted by these issues. we all have to come together and we have to use technology to allow us to do that. >> so director general, do you see the ilo incorporating like new members, new the ngo community, you know, more formally. i think that question comes up, you know, a lot, but do you see any changes in the structure? what do you see like the main changes in the future? >> yeah, whilst subscribing to
what ed has said about working methods, which i think is absolutely correct, i think there's tripartite structure about which we have all spoken is a given in our organization. you're right to say questions are asked. we know that trade union membership has been under pressure in many countries for many years. we know as well that not all of business sees the need to join in business organizations. some of those certainly big enough to sort of plow their own furrow in that regards, and yet, there is clearly in my mind at least, and i think history would support us in this regard, there is something about bringing governments, employees, and workers together, which adds legitimacy and strength to the way in which with deal with economic and social and labor issues. i regard this as immutable. if we were to discard it, we would be making a mistake. now, does this mean this is a
hematic sort of arena with three actors that remains deaf to what is said by others, we understand very, very well, and we've learned to do this better that we need to be attentive to work with our allies, to those in civil society who pursue the same goal. so i see that going ahead very much in that manner. on the substantive issues, i think -- and we'll see what our conference in june comes up with, our sen ten ri conference charged with adopting a declaration on the future of work -- i think they've got to find a balance between pick up on unfinished business and after 100 years there's a lot of unfinished business and picking up these new challenges of this transformative work. gig economy, artificial intelligence. think of some of the unfinished
business. as ed just said, 1919, ilo constitution an adequate living minimum wage. it's there, and we've never cracked that one. we haven't cracked that one after 100 years, so maybe let's go back and have a look at it. maximum hours at work, the very first ilo convention was a 48 hour week as a maximum. we have a constitutional objective for a maximum limit on working hours. that's a very difficult concept today at a time when we're not sure when we're working and when we're not working. we've got to look at these things again, and i'm hopeful in this conference that we're going to have, we're going to be able to -- i'm sorry, health and safety at work, 2.7 million people die every year because of the work that they have done. mostly through disease. you know, these are not new issue, but they're unfinished business, so i'm hopeful we can stay faithful to, continue on the historic mandate, which is
unfinished but be smart enough, braver enough, courageous enough and active enough to take on the new issues as well. >> you wanted to comment? >> i just wanted to say the ilo over the years has played a role in improving so many people's lives and saving so many people's lives, but i wanted to single out a particular ilo employee who i think individually saved many tens of thousands of lives, and that was a man named i believe the pronounceuation is pecca ahers. pecca went to china for a conference about workplace conditions, and it was just one of many places ilo people go all over the world to talk about what's actually happening on the ground, and while he was there he contracted sars. now, what happened is there was beginning to be some small reports that there was a disease afoot, but the chinese very
quickly clamped down information, but the fact that pecca died of sars put out a big warning signal to the whole rest of the world that there was a very serious new disease afoot. the ilo mobilized. they lighted it. they put out bulletins for news reporter around the world about what had happened to pecca, and it served to mobilize the health systems in every country around 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, that the ilo was deeply attuned to workplace health and safety issues, that they immediately recognized it as a workplace-borne illness, and that they served to tell people around the world saved many lives, and i wanted to salute that. >> that's nice. >> we started francis perkins.
i want to come back to her and ask you how many years have you researched this book? >> i'd say i probably worked on it for ten years. >> so you know her pretty well? >> pretty well, yes. >> okay. what would francis perkins think about the ilo today? >> well, i think she'd be very pleased with all the things it's done and all the new members that it's brought in, you know. during her lifetime it was still really a fairly narrow membership, but the yeeunited states played some role in expanding the membership but really the ilo has been really -- taken this lesson and these ideas to every country all over the world and had a -- i think she'd be thrilled with that. i think she'd say that we still a lot of the same problems, and ed's -- 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 little bit of time for the audience to pose some questions, so we have mics. there are two ladies in the back that has mics and so please if there are any questions raise your hand, and state your name and your affiliation. my name is marina colby. i did not want to be the first person but here i go. >> where are you -- >> i'm currently working at the u.s. department of labor in the office of child labor, forced labor and human trafficking.
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 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, but she's also a social reformer of her time, and like looking back, she was also benefitting from 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. grace abbott worked at the department of labor's children's bureau prior to francis even coming to washington, yet remained during the roosevelt
administration. so i would love to hear 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? >> 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 catonsville, so 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. so she was busy. yeah, no, there was this huge. -- there was this wonderful human female chain that led to frances perkins. and not just in the united
states. you know, sort of the whole house model first started in england. so that whole method of taking people out, taking people who have a lot of life opportunities to places where people have fewer life opportunities and letting them see it for themselves is huge and living in a semicommunal arrangement where people live with -- you know, live together while they do workplace, work on all kinds of social justice issues together. but the model of whole house was built on twinby hall. there was a whole generation of women that led into each other, and this is like there's parallel movements moving at the same time, too because you've also got the suffrage movement, okay? so you have the social justice reformers who are both republican and democrat. it's across partisan lines, and you have suffrage leaders who are also operating across
partisan line. thai republican and democrat, but they find ways to work together through a lifetime, and what they learned with -- from both -- in both areas was women learning to speak out, women learning to have a public voice. frances perkins learned how to be a social worker at hull house. she learned how to have a public voice through the suffrage movement. all these things played out. it also meant you had this really wide bipartisan army you could mobilize for your issues outside of party lines and part of this frances perkins phenomenal success was that she could invigorate an army of republican women around the world. i mean, around the united states. >> i want to mention also margaret bonnfield, and she was also a very big supporters of the international labor
organization. >> they were friends, wrnts ter they? >> they were friends. this is not just a network in the united states. this is an international network. >> yes, the gentleman here. >> richie coleman cbp retired. the great recession 2000 what, 7, 2009, a lot of people lost their jobs. the factories that survived, in fact, had replaced workers with machines. they had the option to rehire people, 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 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 it 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. so 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 that humans are going to need? >> could i take a shot at this? >> yes. yes. please. >> 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. now, 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 discussion that guy 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 had 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 millennial view 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. other countries there are models, i think the germans were just visiting and we were doing some exchanges with them. they've created an innovation lab to figure out what are the policies we need. i think here in our country there's a lot of things we could be doing. you're correct, a lot of people have not seen our country step
up with the appropriate policies to make the education link to work. the other piece i want to connect because i'm loving this women's labor history up here. i'm loving it, so thought i would also but the flip side of that is where are the jobs that are being created and 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, and we need to be 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 jobs are jobs with dignity. that's our future. that's the aspiration that the ilo has of saying that it doesn't matter what part of the economy you're in, whether you're in that manufacturing job or in the care economy, you all should have work with dignity that has underpinnings of rights and protections, and we're not there yet. so you're absolutely right.
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 that indeed makes sure that workers who are displaced whether it's technology and quite honestly we've got changes due to climate change in this country, what are the policies, and workers need to know that they're going to have that protection to get retrained and then 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 health care protection, and low wages. that's not the transition this country needs or any country, and i think, that's again, going back to the aspirations that 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 it technology. >> other industries we looked at are travel and tourism.
it's a very growing industry, creative industries like, you know, you have like bollywood, yeah, the arts and those types of industries, mainly services but you know, in agriculture you have higher end food production that can also employ people not just, you know, just harvesting. there are some industries that are growing, renewables, i think the green economy will be another. the issue is how do you retrain, you know, elderly generations to do different things. so it's a different type of education and training. so yes, please, the lady up front? thank you. my name is rama morthy. i'm the ceo and founder of a technology company. the reason i wanted to -- first of all, i wanted to say artificial intelligence is a long way away. it's not here. it's a misnomer right now.
it's mostly analytics that you're seeing. but i wanted to ask a question to you specifically. technology and lots of innovation is happening so fast at such a speed that we can't seem to pace the skill set to match that speed. it's an acceleration, not just a speed, yeah? and so there's a problem there in terms of the mismatch. example, our company started out global from the get-go because we couldn't find the skill set in one location. have guys in the u.k., guys in russia, guys here, et cetera. so i literally have people, and we're a small company, and so 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, right? the other aspect of that is how do you make sure that that employment is consistent in terms of its pay. now i had to look back at my
tech world of the 30 years that i've worked and saw people like dell and others who essentially said i know that i have a global employment, and i know that if i have an engineer that works in india and an engineer that works in russia and an engineer that works here and they're doing the same job, they have to have the exact same pay wage, exact same benefits for that particular job. but what i can do as a differentiator is make that a change based object buyin the br in that particular economy. right? so what is happening in terms of consistency of that kind of behavior across all industries, across all jobs? >> hard question, but -- >> i'm having trouble disinterring the question from all the points that -- very important points that you made. if i might just say, look, i think it is always true but today more than ever that
imperati imperative, accelerated and quite profound change. realities on the ground get ahead of our capacity to legislate, to regulate, to adapt. >> it happened in the industrial revolution. >> it's happened every time in history, is it's happening now. >> yeah. >> 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. see, what i think is perhaps distinctive about this fourth industrial revolution, i don't know if you subscribe to the phrase, is not just about the quantity of work that is being created and destroyed, you know, this creative destruction equation, it's the capacity of the technologies coming in now to absolutely transform the way work is carried out, and you've given the description of how that is the case, and quite frankly our concepts, our ideas, our organization institutions don't fit the new realities, and i think that's the challenge as much as anything else. now, you talk about where do i
find the skills. the question i always want to put back to that type of question is what is the enterprise's responsibility and skill formation. sbr entrepreneurs can't find the skills. they're not out there somewhere, and the blame is thrown to educational systems not doing the right things. i've always felt also that the employer has a certain part of the responsibility in skill formation. so -- but what this conference is taking us towards after the initial, i think, kickoff is i don't think we're moving to an era of -- well, we're over the disappearance of work, i think, 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 why that should be the case. but 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 has
pointed out. we need to take this as a policy discussion, not sort of an isolated discussion of what technology is going to do to us, but how we're going to manage all of this. i tend to look at this as a project for the future of work. i think we've got to sit down and work out what we want it all to look like. and that's a big ask, but we need to do it. >> i'll take one, two more questions and then we'll have to wrap up because otherwise we're going to be violating convention -- the number one convention. >> and a few others. >> and a few others. so yes, the lady here up front, and there was an arm over there. yes, and the lady in the back. >> great, thank you. thank you for your presentation. i'm margaret cope. i'm an independent consultant, and when you talk about skills, when you talk about fdr and frances 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 nondistinct 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 yeah, if anybody wants to answer. >> hi, okay. so i know that frances perkins -- >> can you say who you are? >> i'm kate shaeffer, i'm a fellow currently getting my
masters at georgetown. so i know that frances 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. so i want to know about workplace compliance certifications. i know that a lot of the recent factory fires have actually been in factories that were already workplace compliant certified. so i would like to know what you think are -- you being ed, cathy, whoever wants to answer this think are the next steps in the workplace development safety and what we as citizens or countries and governments can do to better ensure that working conditions are guaranteed? >> the first question on the national services, and then the second question on occupation. who wants -- does anybody? yeah. go ahead. >> on the first one, i think people have to make up -- i
think countries all have to make up, and 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 france has been talking precisely in these terms. some people may see this as part of the stories, others will not. what i think is quite clear is that we do have to do a great deal better than the current dispensations allow us. it's not really a question now of just making that, you know, education to work once and forever transition. you know, that hurdle of course is one of which many young people fall today, but that hurdle is going to come back and back and back in future working lives, and is that the case for lifelong learning. we all know we need lifelong learning, what we don't have a clear conception of how it is to be financed, and i'm not talking about the united states. i'm talking about in general, and we don't have the delivery systems that would make lifelong
learning accessible and equally accessible to people regardless of their place in labor forces right now. i'll leave the second one to my colleagues. >> spent many hours at the ilo debating global supply chains. but i wanted to just first to the first question, you know, we haven't mentioned here you need an apprenticeship programs and it's part of one of the most important things you can do. we've been talking about creating different pathways and union apprenticeship programs are key. you were 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. i heard the secretary say there's a commitment to increasing support for apprenticeship programs. >> you said 500, though. >> we need lots more. i'd say we have great partnerships our business partners on creating training programs that then are pipelines to good jobs.
on the second -- and this is, you know, as you may know, a big debate that we've been having over the years, you know, my perspective is the 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. to your point we had an industry that was created of people parachuting in who weren't from there. they checked some boxes. they got paid per a certification. it was a system that was actually not doing justice to addressing workplace safety issues. we knew this as the labor movement because our members and partners in other countries had told us this, but that day it was a non-unionized group of workers. they came out of the building. they said we're scared. we hear creeking. you kno -- creaking. they had those horrible pictures, industrial cracking,
it was not an appropriate building, and the management said it was mostly women workers, go back in or else you won't get at that point your $35 a month pay. i told that story because are from there we've had a sort of i would say a transformative conversation about what needs to happen in workplace safety. you absolutely need workers voice, workers representation, workers know best what's happening. they know there's a crack. they know there's something. there's fumes, they're getting sick. they're standing. they know best. they're day in and day out. you need workers to feel empowered to speak out about that and there won't be retaliati retaliation. that's the first thing. the labor movement has really said it's time to move away from voluntary programs of the nature that you've 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, and then, you know, we've worked to create alternative models, and
obviously that has been an ongoing debate with our business colleagues but, you know we've actually moved i would say despite disagreements and despite long hours in ilo rooms, we have moved the ball with various different initiatives. the labor movement's perspective is to really deal with the way global supply chains are organized and worker safety you need mandatory programs that address that. >> yeah, the -- well, we really don't have time to triage the health and safety issue, but i would say that having spent the last ten years of my career working for large multinational company that had a social compliance program that would audit for health and safety and other factors, what we've 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 level of development problem for those workers that are just in a national environment, and the problem with health and safety at the end of the day is there's no foolpro foolproof antidote t ensure there will be no workplace access. 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 safer. >> well, thank you, everyone, and thank you for our
distinguished panel. there is -- if you can't get enough of ilo. >> who could? who could? >> you can talk a little bit more over the reception over there, so thank you for coming. yep. >> thank you, everybody. tonight american history tv is in prime time. historian edward ayers talks about the battle of gettysburg and its consequences describing how people in the surrounding areas experienced the battle and the logistics of the confederate withdrawal back to virginia. this talk kicks off a night of programs on the civil war recorded at the annual lincoln forum symposium in gettysburg, pennsylvania. watch that tonight beginning at
8:00 eastern. and book tv will also be on prime time with discussions on artificial intelligence and robotics. we'll begin with john brockman and his book "possible minds." james blahose on "talk to me" and meredith broussard and her book "unofficial unintelligence" that starts tonight at 8:00 p.m. eastern. attorney general william bar heads to capitol hill twice next week to testify on the mueller report. his first appearance is wednesday before the senate judiciary committee at 10:00 a.m. eastern. then on thursday he'll speak to the house judiciary committee at 9:00. we'll have live coverage of both hearings on c-span3. and you'll also be able to watch online at c-span.org. taking a look at congress, representatives and senators are at home meeting with constituents while congress is
out of session for two weeks. some will be traveling on fact finding trips in the u.s. or abroad. they return to capitol hill monday, april 29th. the house plans to work on climate change legislation, which is a democratic priority. the senate will take up the president's veto of a war powers resolution to end u.s. military involvement in yemen. watch the house live on c-span and the senate live on c-span2. saturday night president trump is holding a campaign rally in green bay, wisconsin, skipping the annual white house correspondent's dinner. earlier this week, he instructed his administration to boycott the dinner. watch live coverage of the president's rally saturday at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. and following the rally, watch live coverage at 9:30 p.m. eastern of the white house correspondents' dinner with featured speaker author and
historian ron churnow. saturday at 2:30 p.m. eastern, book tv has looiive coverage from the museum with historians kenneth ackerman and david o. stewart talking about c-span's new book "the presidents." noted historians rank america's best and worst chief executives, saturday at 2:30 p.m. eastern on c-span2 from the museum. here are some of our feature programs this weekend on book tv. saturday night at 8:25 eastern, robert karo talks about his latest book working with comedian and late night talk show host conan o'brien. >> just remember one thing, turn every page. never assume anything. turn every damn page, and i can't tell you how many times in my life that stuck with me. >> and sunday night at 9:00 eastern on afterwards, former southern district november new
york federal prosecutor preet bharara gives an inside look at how the judicial process works drawing from personal experiences and case histories in his new book "doing justice". >> when you go to the basic issue of how to resolve a dispute or how to persuade someone to your point of view, what you have i think too much in society is you say you have two problems. one is that when people do engage they yell invective and they say, you know, you're ugly or you're fat or there's what aboutism and there's all sorts of non-logical argument that goes on, and it's very mean spirited and terrible and it affects people's opinions of the whole process. as bad as that is what's even worse in some ways is the other problem. and the other problem is people don't engage with the other side at all. watch this weekend on book tv on c-span2. president trump is in indianapolis today to speak to the nra. as h