USCIB, ILO Director General Discuss Role of Business

L-R: Laura Rubbo (Walt Disney Company), Guy Ryder (ILO), Peter Robinson (USCIB), Kevin Cassidy (ILO), Gabriella Rigg Herzog (USCIB)

As the International Labor Organization (ILO) gears up to celebrate its centennial in 2019, ILO Director General Guy Ryder met with USCIB and 20 of its company members in Washington DC on July 20 to discuss issues of mutual interest and concern. Topics covered included areas of mutual business including the ILO’s centenary in 2019, the “Future of Work,” the role of governments, the role of business at the ILO, and the work of the standard-setting committee on violence and harassment at the International Labor Conference.

For the centenary, USCIB will seek to organize a business-focused event in 2019, and also participate in an ILO event to celebrate the Philadelphia declaration. Members highlighted that they see the Future of Work, which is the theme of the ILO’s centenary celebration, as a positive opportunity to highlight the impactful role that government education and employment policies, as well as business initiatives to offer apprenticeship and training opportunities, can have to prepare workers for the jobs of the information economy and beyond. 

USCIB and its members also stressed the fundamental role governments must play in writing laws that meet international standards and effectively enforcing them, and they stressed the importance of ILO’s continued focus on helping governments carry out those core functions. Business also recommended that the ILO could helpfully prioritize providing support for governments and other tripartite partners with essential job creation, skills, employment and other relevant topics. 

USCIB also spoke very clearly about the issue of violence and harassment at work and emphasized U.S. employer commitment to this topic. USCIB Vice President for Corporate Responsibility and Labor Affairs Gabriella Rigg Herzog stated that the topic is right, the time is now – especially in light of the #metoo movement, and the Employers’ hope and expectation is that the ILO is the right institution to push this issue forward. Herzog underscored that Director General Ryder and the ILO Office can provide needed support for the tripartite constituents to help reach an agreed text that provides clear and practical definitions for both public and private sector employers so they can understand their responsibilities and so that governments can be attracted to take the next step and ratify the ILO instrument. An ILO instrument that sits on the shelf that no government ratifies will not have any impact on the ground in counties where guidance and change is needed – most especially on this critical issue of addressing violence and harassment in the workplace.

As the U.S. affiliate to the International Organization of Employers (IOE), USCIB represents U.S. employers at the ILO and provides key input to the governance and policy setting activities. 

Staff Contact:   Ewa Staworzynska

Director, Corporate Responsibility and Labor Affairs
Tel: 212.703.5056

Ewa Staworzynska is USCIB’s Director of Corporate Responsibility and Labor Affairs. Staworzynska brings to USCIB her extensive policy experience from both public and private sectors. Prior to joining USCIB, she led DoorDash’s policy efforts in international markets and was in charge of diplomatic relations. Before her position at DoorDash, Staworzynska was an officer at the International Labor Organization (ILO), where she worked multilaterally to advance support for decent work and related policies at UN headquarters. Staworzynska began her career in New York working for a real estate start-up. Staworzynska will be based in USCIB’s New York office and will work with Jose Arroyo, USCIB policy associate on corporate responsibility and labor affairs, on a wide range of issues, including human rights and industrial policy, responsible business conduct, and the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). She was born and raised in Norway and has a B.A. in Economics and M.A. in International Relations, with a specialty in International Business, from New York University.
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