Statement by Global Unions to the Annual Meetings of the IMF and World Bank (Washington, 18-20 October 2019)

Reform the international financial institutions to promote sustainable economic growth, full employment and decent work

The IMF and World Bank should:

  • Support sustainable growth and inequality reduction by examining the effects of lending and policy advice on income, wealth, and gender inequality. Design alternative policy packages when proposed measures would increase inequality.
  • Advance shared prosperity and the recovery of lost labour share of income by promoting living wages, collective bargaining and strong labour market institutions. End the promotion of labour market deregulation, decentralisation of collective bargaining and wage suppression.
  • Verify the coherence of operations with the international labour standards of the ILO and Sustainable Development Goal 8.
  • Provide investment and policy advice to build universal gender-responsive social protection including social protection floors, as part of a strategy to promote quality employment and transitions from the informal to the formal economy.
  • Encourage a just transition for workers affected by climate change and shifts to a low-carbon economy. Promote tripartite social dialogue to design just transition plans, and support implementation with financing.
  • Support the creation of a multilateral framework for negotiating binding international debt restructuring agreements when countries face unsustainable sovereign debt.

The IMF should:

  • Rehaul conditionality and loan programme design, ceasing the promotion of policies that worsen economic decline. Support economic recovery with measures to boost aggregate demand, create employment, strengthen collective bargaining and increase public investment in the real economy.
  • Facilitate global economic stability by encouraging financial sector regulation, particularly regarding shadow banking and too-big-to-fail financial groups.
  • Promote rapid and full action on international corporate taxation, base erosion, and profiting shifting. Back measures including the automatic exchange of information, progressive taxation, and the introduction of financial transaction taxes to discourage speculative behaviour and create new sources of revenue.

The World Bank should:

  • Systematically analyse the job quality outcomes of lending, beginning with the 19threplenishment of the International Development Association. Introduce thorough tracking of the development outcomes of the Private Sector Window to ensure that the redirection of funding delivers on sustainable development.
  • Renew the twin goals. Define shared prosperity as income growth for the bottom 40 per cent at a faster rate than the national average, consistent with the Sustainable Development Goals. Measure and combat poverty based on the cost of living.
  • Ensure full conformity with international labour standards in lending. Extend the Environmental and Social Framework to all lending operations including Development Policy Financing.
Full Statement by Global Unions to the Annual Meetings of the IMF and World Bank (Washington, 18-20 October 2019)