Fight the crisis, win the recovery
TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber, speaking on a panel discussion at the ETUC’s conference, has argued that unions need to ‘fight the crisis’ but also seize the opportunity to ‘win the recovery’.
Comparing the current crisis to the 1980s, he argued against complacency in the face of the recession (especially highlighting the need to protect vulnerable workers such as young people), against beggar-my-neighbour policies and for a rebalancing of the global economy.
Drawing attention to the London G20 decision to ask the ILO to draw up a jobs pact, Brendan called for a new economic model based on balance: between exporting and importing countries, between manufacturing and (especially financial) services, between rich and poor, and also between growth and environmental sustainability.
He also drew attention specifically to the ‘British jobs for British workers’ disputes in the UK, and argued instead for ‘decent jobs for all workers’, against the electoral threat from the far right and in favour of free movement on the basis of what ETUC General Secretary John Monks called ‘equal pay for equal work’.