World Day for Decent Work: October 7

October 15, 2008, 1:47 PM EST

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Trade unions representing workers in over 500 cities, towns and villages around the world took part in rallies, demonstrations and educational events marking the first ever World Day for Decent Work on October 7.

Organized by the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) the global day of action was geared towards raising awareness on issues including worker rights, global solidarity and ending poverty and inequality.

In the context of the current global financial crisis that continues to hurt working people and their families, the ITUC used this year's event to demand a transformation of the world economy and an end to free-market economic policies that widen the gap between rich and poor. 

In Canada, the focus of the World Day for Decent Work centred on the plight of temporary foreign workers who, according the CAW President Ken Lewenza, are among the most mistreated and exploited in the country.

"Temporary foreign workers in Canada deserve access to the same workplace protections and rights that all Canadian workers enjoy," said Lewenza.

The Canadian Labour Congress has called on all political parties to provide the more than 200,000 temporary foreign workers in Canada access to basic workplace rights and to consider this work experience as a path to full Canadian citizenship.

The call to hold the World Day for Decent Work was launched at the ITUC's founding congress in 2006. The ITUC represents 168 million workers in 155 countries and territories and has 311 national trade union affiliates.

For more information on the first World Day for Decent Work visit:

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