Connected Research

Union policy research in the 21st century

TUC joins lobby for a jobs G20

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TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber is joining a fifty-strong lobby by union general secretaries from around the world of world leaders in Pittsburgh. The aim of the lobby, which will involve several meetings with heads of government and global institutions, will be to argue the point that Friday’s G20 summit should be a summit for jobs, aimed at helping people survive the recession and overcome poverty by facilitating a return to decent work offering good wages.

The ITUC argues as part of the research for its Pittsburgh Declaration that the global crisis will have cost 59m jobs by the end of the year – equivalent to the whole population of the UK – and that unemployment across OECD countries could reach 10% in 2010, and rise still further into 2011. Furthermore, it could lead to 200m more people falling into poverty. In this context, it is unarguable that the G20 must address the need to create work if economic recovery is not to stall as a result of a lack of demand.

The union lobby is a useful reminder of two things:

– that, whatever the technical, economic definitions of recession related to GDP, a recession continues while people are losing jobs – and that this is likely to be for some time after the recession has technically ended

– that an ending to the crisis does not mean an end to discussions about what caused it, from the perspective of preventing it from happening again. In contrary to any quick return to ‘business as usual’, economic policy remains very much a contestable area of public policy. As Barber argues:

Governments need to be talking to employers and to unions – not just when there’s a crisis, but to stop the next crisis from happening. We need millions more green jobs, tougher rules on top bankers’ bonuses, and a fairer global economy – and millions of people around the globe will be looking to Pittsburgh this week for just that.

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Written by Calvin

24/09/2009 at 1:03 pm

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