This year, the COVID-19 crisis is exposing uncomfortable truths about inequalities in societies around the world and stark contrasts in our lifestyles.
During the extended lockdown, some hop on to a chain of webinars, or discuss what movie to watch next, or share videos of exotic dishes cooked up in the kitchen.
But the reality outside is grim for sectors and communities devastated by the pandemic. The quotes in this compilation reflect gratitude to the spirit and dignity of labour across all ages and sectors.
Their messages reinforce the importance of respect, solidarity, and human rights in these dark hours. In this collection of quotes, we span a wide range of labour, including gig workers, contract labour, migrants, farmers, and the informal sector.
We also look at inclusive workforce practices to empower more women, the differently-abled, and marginalised communities, and laws against child labour.
Other perspectives include how emerging technologies like AI/ML will impact labour.
The gig economy has thrown up controversies over legal definitions of jobs and rights of gig workers. During the COVID-19 crisis, attacks against healthworkers have spurred governments to pass laws protecting their rights and criminalising such attacks.
There are so many people to thank for making our world a better place, and whom we need to support even more during these months of crisis.
Health professionals, cleaners, delivery staff, security personnel, NGOs feeding the needy – the list goes on and on.
Across the political spectrum, leaders and activists have varying perspectives of the rights and responsibilities of labour. What is clear today is that workers need food security and protection of health and livelihood even more so in the coming years.