L20 calls for joint G20 action for quality jobs and equitable growth

As the Employment Task Force of the G20 (ETF) meets in Sydney to discuss its mandate and deliverables for 2014, the L20 has issued a concept note with key labour priorities for Australia’s presidency.

The meeting includes a social partners’ session, where Australian L20 representatives will outline key activities, concerns and opportunities for engagement.
At its meeting, the ETF will set its roadmap for this year’s presidency and clarify progress of national employment plans. There is hope that this exchange will lead to the realisation that stronger coordination and commitment on employment issues is needed and that global governance is in the right position to drive this.

This should include a joint Labour and Finance Ministers meeting to set up coordinated action against inequality, which is still not decided by Australia despite multi-stakeholder calls in its favour, enhanced monitoring and strategies to combat structural and youth unemployment, informal work and unsafe working conditions amongst many pressing matters.

The L20 key priorities to the ETF include:

- Targeted investments in public infrastructure that create jobs in the short term but also improve long-term productive potential and support the transition to a low-carbon economy that can generate green and decent jobs;

- Support for low and middle incomes to both reduce inequality but also to inject purchasing power into the economy and trigger productive investment;

- As called for in Moscow: “Labour market and social investment policies that support aggregate demand and reduce inequality, such as broad-based increases in productivity, targeted social protection, appropriately set minimum wages with respect to national wage-setting systems, national collective bargaining arrangements, and other policies to reinforce the links between productivity, wages, and employment”;

- Strengthening workers’ rights and social protection so as to formalise informal jobs and promote inclusive labour markets;

- Fostering youth employment, by introducing youth guarantee approaches, promoting vocational training and apprenticeships;

- Action to facilitate employment, participation and equity for those groups with low activity rates – notably women and minority ethnic communities. This must include investment in childcare facilities.

Global Unions will be pressing for action on these points at the G20 and other forums in the months ahead.

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