Jamshedpur: Commemorating the glorious hundred years of International Labour Organization (ILO), XLRI- Xavier School of Management organized a Seminar on ILO’s Centennial Theme – “The Future of Work” on November 9th, 2019 at XLRI Campus, Jamshedpur.
The Seminar was graced by Ms. Dagmar Walter (Director, ILO, DWT for South Asia and Country Office for India) at the inaugural session alongside Fr. P. Christie, S.J. (Director, XLRI – Xavier School of Management) and Dr. Ashish K. Pani (Dean – Academics, XLRI – Xavier School of Management). Ms. Dagmar Walter delivered the Inaugural Address on the occasion.
In her address, Ms. Dagmar Walter, said, “I am delighted to communicate with the future generation of managers who are ardent to learn about the future of work. As we embrace the unprecedented challenges posed by technological innovations, demographic shifts, and climate change, we need investment in people through a “human-centred approach.” We need an agenda that recognizes social justice for everyone to be the ultimate aim and objective of all public policies. I am hopeful that academic organizations such as XLRI will continue promoting management practices and the organizational culture advancing decent work agenda and will capacitate future managers with the values, skills, and vision to be able to meet the challenges of the future.”
Delivering the Welcome Address, Fr. P. Christie S.J., Director, XLRI – Xavier School of Management said, “It is heartening for XLRI to participate in the Centenary Celebrations of ILO. XLRI applauds ILO for being devoted to promoting social justice and internationally recognized human and labor rights for ten long decades. We all greatly appreciate ILO’s Decent Work agenda – helping advance the economic and working conditions that give all workers, employers, and governments a stake in lasting peace, prosperity and progress.”
“XLRI’s Founding Directors – Fr.Quinn Enright and Fr.Mc Grath were members of the American Federation of Labour and had helped set up labor schools in many industrial towns in the United States in the 193Os and 1940s. In fact, in the early years of XLRI’S growth, the founding Director Fathers conducted courses for workers and executives of Jamshedpur in subjects related to Labour laws, Wages, Collective bargaining, etc. XLRI evolved to become India’s first Business School to conduct Industrial Relations and Personnel Management programs and is acknowledged as the premier institution for IR & HR studies in India and within South Asia,” Fr. Christie further said in his address.
The half-day long seminar was attended by eminent experts from ILO, Future of Work Commissioners from India (appointed by ILO in the Global Commission on Future of Work), academics, industry and former high ranking government officials and trade union leaders like Dr. L.D. Mishra (Former Union Labour Secretary, Government of India), Mr. P.P. Mitra (Former Principal Labour & Employment Advisor, Ministry of Labour & Employment, Government of India), Dr. Didar Singh (FoW Commissioner), Mr. Zubin Palia (Chief Group Industrial Relations, Tata Steel, Jamshedpur), Mr. Mahindra Naidoo (Senior Specialist, Social Dialogue, ILO, New Delhi), Ms. Reema Nanavathy (Future of Work Commissioner, SEWA), Prof. Dev Nathan (IHD, New Delhi, Visiting Professor, University Research Fellow, Duke University, USA) recalled and recorded the ILO’s contribution to the world of work throughout the hundred years. The experts deliberated on the challenges and opportunities arising out of the dynamics of the future of work in India and also provided multiple perspectives on the same.
The association between XLRI and ILO has been strengthened over the years. XLRI has conducted a few activities like the Annual Conferences in Industrial Relations and HRM in association with ILO. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) also exists between ILO – ACTRAV and XLRI whereby ILO and XLRI will collaborate to hold annual orations in the field of Industrial Relations.
Elaborating on the Seminar, Dr. K.R. Shyam Sundar, Eminent Labour Economist & Professor, Human Resources Management Area at XLRI – Xavier School of Management and the event convener said, “XLRI is rightly placed to celebrate the 100 years of glorious existence of ILO which has sought to promote ‘social justice’ which resonates well and even similar to the value systems cherished and implemented by XLRI. XLRI is one of the few premier Institutions in India which still endows primacy of place to Industrial Relations. This commitment to Industrial Relations and the labor institutions by XLRI is one of its hallmarks and this is derived from the values system governing XLRI and its mandate. It is even more important that ILO’s good work is firmly communicated to the students of XLRI, the future managers and its alumni. ILO has been hailed as a legitimate and credible organization to deal with issues arising in and from the world of work by the global community and XLRI is one of the premier educational institutions whose past, present and future students hold important positions in the world of work and business”.
“The ILO Centenary Declaration 2019 rightly calls the member countries to act with urgency to grab with both hands the tremendous opportunities and tackle the challenges arising out of profound changes taking place in the world of work to shape a fair, inclusive and secure future of work with full, productive and freely chosen employment and decent work for all, which incidentally form a part of the Sustainable Development Goals, 2030 of the UN. In the preceding one hundred years, ILO has dealt with wide-ranging subjects in the world of work such as freedom of association and collective bargaining, forced labor, child labor, discrimination, industrial relations, hours of work, certain categories of workers, conditions of work, minimum wages, etc. ILO has been a significant and powerful and more importantly a benevolent Influence in the world and local affairs. In January 2019, ILO released a Report of the Global Commission on the Future of Work entitled as ‘Work for a Better Future’; which argued that though new jobs will be created working for the transitioning of those whose jobs have been lost will require what it calls as “reinvigoration of social contract” amongst the constituents of tripartism in a society. Such a social contract comprising three pillars, viz. ‘increasing investment in people’s capabilities’, ‘investing in the institutions of work’ and ‘increase in investment in decent and sustainable work’, arising out of social dialogue will place people at the heart of economic, social and labor market policies,” Dr. Shyam Sundar further added.