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ILO forum: Promote collective agreements to improve player working conditions

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Governments, employers, player associations as well as sports bodies should promote all forms of social dialogue, including collective bargaining, to improve working conditions for professional athletes worldwide. That is the main conclusion of the first forum on Decent Work in Sport organized by the International Labour Organization (ILO).

During a three-day landmark meeting for the sport industry held at the ILO office in Geneva, the tripartite body composed of representatives from governments, employers and workers debated on decent work conditions in sport.

FIFPRO General Secretary Jonas Baer-Hoffmann acted as spokesperson of the delegation of player unions under the umbrella of the World Players Association, which amongst others included the International Rugby Players, the Federation of International Cricketers’ Association and EU Athletes.

Sports governing bodies including FIFA, UEFA and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) attended the forum as observers.

The dialogue resulted in the adoption of “Points of Consensus”, which includes a list of recommendations on actions to be taken jointly by the stakeholders and the ILO.

The forum underlined in particular that professional athletes are workers and that having free, independent and player driven unions is a key condition for an effective social dialogue and collective agreements.

The forum recommends that all parties involved should create an “enabling” environment by:

  • Generating equal opportunities for all and equal working conditions for female athletes;
  • Protecting athletes from violence, racism, abuse and discrimination;
  • Developing personal development and learning programmes;
  • Ensuring safety and health;
  • Enforcing law and practice and creating social protection coverage;
  • Safeguarding the rights of children and young people to participate in sports in conditions of freedom, dignity and safety. 

    The original article can be found here.

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