G20 Labour Ministers agenda for action must be backed up with investment

International unions welcomed the agenda for action from G20 Labour Ministers to create quality jobs, green jobs and jobs for young people, but warned that G20 leaders must drive urgent, coordinated investment to drive implementation.

Sharan Burrow, General Secretary of International Trade Union Confederation, said Labour Ministers should take the message to the G20 Summit in Los Cabos urging them to coordinate investment in infrastructure, enabling green infrastructure and green jobs as a priority.

“Commitments to tackle youth unemployment by scaling up apprentices, and investing in skills are also important for securing labour market inclusion.

“Labour Ministers should not rest until young people have been given back their futures.

“Inequity is now recognised by the OECD and the ILO as an impediment to sustainable growth; this requires social protection, min wage on which workers can live and robust collective bargaining to turn this around,” said Sharan Burrow.

Economic analysis by the Millennium Institute shows how investing just 2% of GDP in the green economy each year for five years could create up to 48 million jobs.

In G20 countries:

• 20-50% of young people are unemployed;

• 30-70% of the economies are informal;

• Despite output from work having doubled in the last two decades, the wage share of productivity continues to decline.

“There is now an agenda for job creation, but what is most important is action to deliver on commitments to employment, which goes beyond labour to finance ministers.

“There is a big credibility gap between what are potentially important conclusions with the situation on the ground. That is the challenge for government leaders in Los Cabos,” said John Evans, General Secretary of the Trade Union Advisory Committee to the OECD.

Erick, a 21-year-old electrician, told the ITUC Global Panel of Inquiry in Guadalajara that he earned USD13 a day, twice the minimum wage in Mexico. After buying beans, rice, and meat and paying for transport to work, he is left with only $1 a day – not enough to cover his basic needs.

“Without secure incomes, workers and their families cannot spend; to restore trust and confidence, working families require quality jobs. The gap between the commitment of governments to jobs and the necessary investment must be addressed, ” said Sharan Burrow.