Challenges in Public Administration: A Call for Change

Speaking on behalf of  PSI and CONTUA at the ILO Committee on the Application of Standards, Marcelo Di Stefano, raised pressing concerns about the state of public administration, particularly focusing on three crucial issues.

Highlighting the severe lack of job stability and respect for career progression among public workers in labour ministries he emphasized that collective bargaining rights are often ignored, and continuous training opportunities are nearly non-existent. Coupled with low wages and poor working conditions, this situation contradicts the positive image that many national governments aim to present to the International Labour Organization (ILO). The reduction in both the quantity and quality of human resources, along with insufficient technological investment, has weakened labour administration structures. Without ensuring decent working conditions, achieving the goals set by ILO Convention 150 and Recommendation 158 remains an elusive dream.

those who are supposed to ensure fair working conditions are victims of unfair working conditions.

Political Interference in Unions

Another major concern is the political manipulation of state structures, including labour administration, to interfere with internal union matters. Many Latin American governments misuse their oversight capabilities to meddle in union elections, delaying or denying legal recognition of elected union leaders, particularly those opposed to government policies. Moreover, governments often unjustifiably delay or refuse the approval of collective bargaining agreements, using formalistic and false arguments that ultimately harm workers. This governmental practice extends to denying legal recognition of new unions, significantly hindering the rights of public sector unions and their ability to engage in collective bargaining.

Failures in Social Dialogue and Tripartism

There is an inconsistency between the rhetoric of social dialogue and tripartism promoted at international forums like the ILO and the reality on the ground. Despite the repeated advocacy for social dialogue, these principles are often abandoned once officials return to their home countries, resulting in a lack of genuine, sustainable tripartite collaborations. Effective social dialogue should be inclusive, recognizing diversity, sharing decisions and risks, and driving long-term transformations in labour relations as a state policy. However, currently, there are no sustainable tripartite experiences in the region, and progress appears minimal.

An Argentinian Perspective

The dismantling of the former Ministry of Labor and the arbitrary dismissal of thousands of public workers, many from labour administration, starkly contradict the foundational principles that the organization stands for.

We call for addressing job stability, reducing political interference, and fostering genuine social dialogue in a crucial step towards achieving fair and decent working conditions for public workers.