Barb Byers remarks to Public Service Day

Sister and brothers – I bring you greetings of solidarity from the 3.2 million members of the Canadian Labour Congress.

And I also wish you a very happy Public Service Day – as recognized by the United Nations.

It is extremely appropriate that on the eve of the G20 G20 The Group of Twenty, or G20, is a forum for international cooperation on the most important aspects of the international economic and financial agenda. It brings together 19 countries and the European Union, which together represent around 90% of global GDP, 80% of global trade and two thirds of the world’s population. summit we talk about why the world celebrates Public Service Day – and why citizens in every nation should be concerned that their own public services may be at great risk.

In 2002, the United Nations designated June 23rd of each year as Public Service Day in order to celebrate the idea that democracy and successful governance depend on a competent civil service.

We salute all those workers in every country who deliver public services – from health care to education, to child care, to police and fire fighting, to social assistance, to government administration and much, much more.

Ordinary people depend on all these valuable public services – to help make their lives better – and to protect them from harm.

Unfortunately, some G20 G20 The Group of Twenty, or G20, is a forum for international cooperation on the most important aspects of the international economic and financial agenda. It brings together 19 countries and the European Union, which together represent around 90% of global GDP, 80% of global trade and two thirds of the world’s population. leaders are already talking about making dramatic cuts to public services – at a time when the world is still reeling from the financial crisis.

The corporate leaders whose reckless greed was responsible for the worst economic meltdown since the Great Depression are back – with more bad advice for governments.

CEOs are demanding that public services be cut to lower deficits – and then they want even lower corporate taxes.

Workers around the world say no!

We will not sacrifice the public services that we need – to give corporations windfall profits!

Union leaders at the ITUC Second World Congress – who represent 175 million workers around the globe – strongly reject cutting public services in a recession – just when they are most needed.

We cannot celebrate Public Service Day and then stand by to watch as those same important services are sacrificed by the G20 G20 The Group of Twenty, or G20, is a forum for international cooperation on the most important aspects of the international economic and financial agenda. It brings together 19 countries and the European Union, which together represent around 90% of global GDP, 80% of global trade and two thirds of the world’s population. nations.

Workers demand that public services be protected – and we also insist that the G20 governments increase the economic stimulus needed to create more jobs!

This financial crisis has stolen the jobs of 34 million workers around the world since 2008.

Those workers need public services and they need jobs – not cuts ordered by the rich and the powerful.

So as we mark Public Service Day, we have a clear warning for the G20 leaders – workers and their unions in every country will fight to protect public services – do not take decisions at this G20 Summit that we will make you regret.

(Check Against Delivery)
Speaking Notes

for

Barbara Byers
Executive Vice-President
of the
Canadian Labour Congress

to the

G20 Pre-Rally/Public Service Day

Vancouver, B.C.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010