The General Secretary of the GWU Josef Bugeja at the annual conference of the ILO
In a speech made by the General Secretary of the General Workers’ Union, Josef Bugeja during the 111th International Labor Conference that meets in Geneva, Switzerland he stressed that for an improvement in social justice there is a need full collaboration at every level. Bugeja went on to say that international organisations, governments, trade unions, non-governmental organisations, employers and individuals should unite to push for this change.
“We must exploit our collective resources, knowledge and competences to address the fundamental causes of social injustice and work to build a world where everyone is treated with dignity, respect and justice”, Bugeja went on to say.
A theme close to GWU’s heart
While stressing the importance of the theme of advancing social justice for the General Workers’ Union (GWU), Bugeja said that in the era of globalization we need to address the challenges that individuals and communities are having to face. all over the world.
“Social justice is not a phrase that is put around and reached to sympathize, it is a call to action, a way of acting, a commitment to create a fair and just society for all”, added the Secretary General within the GWU.
On a wider range of the phrase, Bugeja said that social justice incorporates the problem of poverty and that it is alleviated, racial justice, gender equality, LGBTIQ+ rights, disability rights, immigrant rights, justice environment, fair working conditions and good governance.
In his speech before distinguished persons, Bugeja said that it is individual actions and collective efforts that can address systemic inequalities and promote a fairer society.
“At its core, social justice aims to create a society that promotes equality, inclusiveness and human rights for all individuals, regardless of their background or circumstances”, he continued to say Bugeja.
Progress has been made, but discrimination still stands in the way
While acknowledging that progress has been made, Bugeja stressed that we cannot ignore the fact that social injustice still persists in many parts of the world. He reinforced his speech by referring to the discrimination based on race, gender, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and socio-economic status that continues to hinder the full realization of potential human.
Bugeja stressed the need for an economic model based on a human-centered agenda where everyone has equal opportunities to succeed and that this would mean that the step in the right direction would be to break down the barriers that separate us. He reiterates that it is through social dialogue that we can reduce the gaps and build a stronger and more resilient society.
Malta with significant steps in promoting equality
He made reference to the work in our country and the significant steps taken by Malta in promoting equality and non-discrimination. He noted that with the introduction of legislation that recognizes same-sex marriage in 2017, Malta took an important step for LGBTIQ+ rights. He also pointed out that new laws have been implemented to combat domestic violence and gender-based violence, promote equal pay for work of equal value, and increase the representation of women in decision-making positions. ‘ decisions.
Malta has also seen an improvement in benefits and here the General Secretary of the GWU mentioned how during the last 10 years both contributory and non-contributory pensions and benefits have increased on an annual basis. In addition, the Government introduced a second mechanism for adjusting the cost of living specifically for the most vulnerable in what he referred to as a structure that ensures that the most vulnerable can live a decent life.
Inflation as a major challenge in the face of various aids
This is in addition to other aids mentioned by the same Bugeja who did not fail to remind us of the resilience of our country in times of international challenges such as the pandemic and how the government in these times has managed to be a shoulder with incentives such as the Covid Wage Supplement which served to help both workers and employers. But in spite of everything, such substantial aids and situations where the government absorbs increases in the prices of fuels, electricity, water, cereals and other prices are leading to an increase in the inflation of the country which is being considered as a major challenge.
While he continued to stress about the social dialogue, Bugeja said that several legislations have been made designed to give dignity to the workers.
Among these were among the most recent, the introduction of transparent and predictable working conditions and a new law that protects platform workers.
“The advancement of social justice is not an easy task, but it is a necessary one. It is a journey that requires commitment, courage, and relentless dedication. Let us remember that our actions, however small, have the power to make a difference. By defending equality, challenging injustice, and embracing diversity, we can create a fairer and more inclusive world for generations to come”, concluded Bugeja.