Global trade unions set out stall for Pittsburgh G20
The global trade union movement has issued a ‘Pittsburgh Declaration’ setting out what they want from the G20 leaders summit this week. TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber will be in Pittsburgh, along with other G20 trade union leaders, to lobby the leaders and the people who run the global institutions like the ILO, IMF and WTO about jobs, justice and climate. The key messages are: the recession ain’t over till the jobs come back, and there can be no return to business as usual. We need greater equality between and within nations, and we need a sustainable economy that provides decent work and reins in climate change.
The Pittsburgh Declaration, which is short enough to be read widely, but comprehensive enough to be a staisfying antidote to those who say exit strategies and reducing public debt (both are code for massive cuts in public expenditure and even more unemployment), sets out a five point strategy for changing the world for good:
- further government expenditure focused on maintaining and creating jobs – especially for young people, providing adequate social protection and investing in the green economy – we want a G20 Labour Ministers meeting and a G20 Working Group on Employment, and G20 support for the ILO Global Jobs Pact;
- re-regulation of the financial system, including urgent action to cap executive pay and crack down harder on top bankers’ bonuses and tax havens. A global tax on financial transactions would be good too;
- the IMF and World Bank need to be reformed to give poorer countries a stronger voice, and they need to end their misguided approach to conditionality, where countries are told to cut wages, pensions and public expenditure;
- a programme of green jobs, ‘just transition’ so that people don’t have to sacrifice their livelihoods as they move into a greener economy, and an ambitious deal at the Copenhagen climate conference in December; and
- a new approach to global corporate responsibility, with the completion of the Charter for Sustainable Economic Activity and the Global Standard on Propriety, Integrity and Transparency.