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ITUC charges IFIs to support social protection expansion for workers

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ITUC General Secretary, Sharan Burrow

The International Confederation of Trade Unions (ITUC) has urged International Financial Institutions (IFIs) to help boost workers’ incomes around the world by supporting a strengthening of weakened collective bargaining rights and an expansion of universal social protection.

ITUC General Secretary, Sharan Burrow, said that increased wages would do much to reverse the fall in workers’ income share in most countries, stop the increasing inequality and increase global demand to sustain economic recovery.

She called attention to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Chief Economist’s assessment on October 10, 2017 that the global recovery would be incomplete due to the drag on the global economy caused by several years of wage stagnation.

Burrow noted that although most countries are expected to experience positive economic growth this year, many countries were far from acceptable levels of employment and labour income.

In particular, 34 emerging and developing economies will, according to IMF projections, be in a situation of negative per capita income growth in 2017.

The ITUC General Secretary called on the IMF to end its support for labour market deregulation, an important contributor to income inequality, and to follow the example of most other international institutions, including the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the World Bank that have endorsed universal social protection.

Burrow, therefore, urged both institutions to increase their efforts to achieve gender equality and a just transition to a sustainable and low-carbon economy.

She also called on the World Bank to end its misplaced emphasis of public private partnerships (PPP) instead of quality public services, because of PPPs’ detrimental impacts on public finances, access to services and working conditions.

Similarly, Burrow called on the World Bank to urgently implement its new labour safeguard adopted 14 months ago in such a manner that all activities financed by the Bank would comply with recognised international workers’ rights and privileges.


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