COVID-19: Global Unions call for universal access to vaccines, healthcare products and medical technologies

The Council of Global Unions (CGU), representing more than 200 million working people from across the world, has called for “immediate collective action … to ensure equal and universal access to COVID-19 vaccines and wider health products and technologies.”

In a statement, the CGU explains that while working people everywhere have been at the front line of saving lives during the pandemic, a handful of governments are “sabotaging global recovery by blocking the sharing of … medical advances, costing more lives and putting workers and communities at further risk.”

The CGU “calls on all governments, in particular, the United Kingdom, Germany and Switzerland, along with the European Commission, … to support the temporary and targeted ‘TRIPS waiver’ proposed by South Africa and India at the World Trade Organization (WTO), tackling a key obstacle to protecting workers and communities around the world as the coronavirus continues to impact. The WTO system envisages suspending intellectual property rules in exceptional circumstances: the pandemic is clearly an exceptional circumstance.”