Unions to Davos: Jobs the Missing Link

Employment and incomes key to pulling world economy out of tailspin, as ILO predicts up to 50 million jobs to go and 200 million more into absolute poverty, as new IMF figures herald global recession. The global financial crisis now threatens to become a social time bomb if the world’s governments don’t act together to save and create jobs, according to global trade union leaders attending the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos.

The ITUC, with its national affiliates and Global Unions partners, is pushing a comprehensive recovery and reform package, with top priority on sustainable employment, in discussions with the global institutions and national governments. Ensuring workers’ rights to union representation and collective bargaining, coupled with investment in labour market programmes, have to be the core of recovery efforts to enable consumer spending to steer economies onto the path to growth. In their statement to the Davos meeting, the unions call for a series of measures to arrest collapsing global demand.

The union statement also calls on business to negotiate with unions to save jobs, upgrade skills, cut carbon emissions and re-tool industry to set the basis for recovery. This needs to be done through national social dialogue and collective bargaining and internationally through agreements between multinationals and Global Union Federations in the different sectors. The ITUC represents 168 million workers in 316 affiliated national organisations from 157 countries. http://www.ituc-csi.org