G20 governments are “not tackling the inequality of wages and rising unemployment”

13 November 2014 As the G20 leaders assemble in Brisbane today (November 13), a survey of Labour 20 (L20) members has found that 56% of G20 policies are ineffective at improving outcomes for working people.

13 Nov 2014| News

13 November 2014

As the G20 leaders assemble in Brisbane today (November 13), a survey of Labour 20 (L20) members has found that 56% of G20 policies are ineffective at improving outcomes for working people.

“More than half of G20 policies have failed to have a positive impact on working people with weak action on issues that could have had an impact on workers lives such as jobs, decent wages and social protection,” said Sharan Burrow, General Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC).

“Governments are prioritising policies which support the interests of big business and not tackling the inequality of wages and rising unemployment”, she continued.

According to the International Labour Organisation (ILO) more than 200 million were unemployed in 2013, up by 5 million on the year before.

The ITUC Global Poll 2014 of G20 countries found that 68% of people say their government is bad at tackling unemployment, 79% believe it favours the wealthy, and 62% say they want their governments to do more to tame corporate power.

Burrow has voiced outrage at the fact that the Business 20 (B20) has been invited to official summit talks, while the L20 has not. “We were shocked to find here that in fact the business community has been invited to meet with leaders, but not labour,” she said Today (13 November).

The B20 and L20 made a joint submission to the summit, calling for a number of joint priorities, including ensuring that growth plans are sustainable and inclusive; that they contribute to the creation of quality jobs buy increasing skills levels, for example through quality apprenticeships that benefit worker; bringing workers into the formal labour market and eradicating forced labour; remuneration determined by the formal labour market and that meets or exceeds legal minimums; and implementing the G20 Employment Ministers’ Safer Workplaces initiative.

The TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady, attending the summit, said: “It’s time that David Cameron stood up for UK workers on the international stage and pushed for better jobs and better wages. We need to ensure that it is the many not the few that benefit from economic growth.”