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Published: 15 Jun 2023
MARITIME UNION OF AUSTRALIA
ILO CONVENTIONS WILL STAMP OUT VIOLENCE, HARASSMENT IN THE WORKPLACE AND CHILD LABOUR
15 JUNE 2023
The Maritime Union of Australia welcomes the news that the Australian Federal Government, led by Labor’s Anthony Albanese, has ratified two ILO (International Labour Organisation) Conventions at the International Labour Organisation this week to deliver stronger protections against violence and harassment at work, as well as the exploitation of children in workplaces.
The ILO Convention No. 190 (Violence and Harassment) and ILO Convention No. 138 (Minimum Age) were ratified overnight in Geneva at a tripartite ceremony. Australian workers were represented by Michele O’Neil, President of the ACTU, while the government was represented by Minister for Skills and Training, Brendan O’Connor MP.
The ILO Violence and Harassment Convention provides a comprehensive framework for Governments and employers to prevent, address and reduce the risks of violence and harassment at work.
The ACTU and its affiliated unions, including the MUA, have played a key role in the development of the new Convention 190 during the 2018 and 2019 International Labour Conferences, and unions have campaigned for Australia to ratify it since the Convention was adopted in 2019. Ratification of Convention 190 was also a recommendation of the Respect@Work Report.
“Prime Minister Anthony Albanese announced his plan to ratify ILO Convention 190 at the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) World Congress hosted by the Australian Council of Trade Unions in Melbourne in November,” said the MUA’s National Officer, Mich-Elle Myers. “Its ratification will improve safety outcomes for all workers as well as help to stamp out often rampant bullying and harassment of workers in many workplaces by bad bosses and managers,” Myers added.
The ratification of Convention 190 also has the immediate impact of extending the recent win of 10 days paid Family and Domestic Violence Leave beyond workers covered by the National Employment Standards to state referral and non-national system employees – meaning every employee in Australia will have access to the leave entitlement.
“Family and Domestic Violence leave is something which the Union movement has been fighting for in Australia for many years, and this builds on the victory for workers last year by extending it to all workers in every job and industry,” Ms Myers explained.
“The MUA has a long and proud history of campaigning for the rights of workers both within Australia and around the world. Ratification of these two important ILO Conventions shows that Australia, and our entire union movement, continues to play a significant leadership role in upholding and implementing important international standards for workers,” Ms Myers said.