Economic Crisis: World’s Trade Unions Respond

This statement is well worth reading, and may have some modest influence on the meetings.

Brussels, 13 November (ITUC OnLine): Trade union leaders from the G20
countries will put forward a comprehensive plan to turn around the
global economy, in meetings with world leaders in Washington DC on the
eve of the financial crisis summit hosted by the US government on 15
November. The top level union delegation will discuss the plan with
IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn, World Bank President
Robert Zoellick and heads of government from the G20 countries.

The world’s unions are calling for a series of urgent actions to stave
off the prospect of deep and long-lasting global recession, coupled with
major changes in the running of the global economy to turn back decades
of deregulation policies that have caused the current crisis. A fresh
push for development and decent work is needed, as well as a “Green New
Deal” to tackle climate change effectively. The detailed union
proposals are set out in a recovery and reform programme entitled the
“Washington Declaration”


  • I went to the ITUC site and downloaded the doc from there, PEF may want to redo their direct link.
    Thanks for your work on this. It was very good to see this particularly in the global unions’ proposal:
    “In the case of the World Bank, whose mandate is focused on developing countries, there is a need for a deep and systematic reform which must result, at the very least, in parity of voting power between developing and industrialised countries. Both IFIs must also put an end to the economic policy conditionality that has characterised their interventions in developing countries over the past three decades. This has minimised rather than strengthened the application of fiduciary controls and respect for internationally agreed standards, including core labour standards. The deregulation, liberalisation and privatisation conditionalities of the
    IFIs, in addition to interfering with countries’ own policy choices, have frequently led to serious and damaging impacts. This approach must be changed.”

  • Interesting report. Two things are particularly notable.

    There is no endorsement of any country’s labour-backed protectionist initiative such as the CLC’s “buy canadian” campaign. Now why on earth doesn’t the labour movement’s international counterpart think that preserving manufacturing jobs in Ontario should be the world’s highest priority? Someone should send them a letter.

    Secondly, they are encouraging tax and spend initiatives. Good for them! It’s about time people who call themselves lefties started saying that we should actually increase taxes. This silly sleight-of-hand where we pretend we empathize with workers who hate taxes has at this point completely worn thin.

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