Jobs Not Deficits Should Be Davos Priority

The union movement has issued a statement for this week’s World Economic Forum in Davos: “Labour’s main message is that policymakers must stay focused on stimulating enough economic demand to achieve full employment. The ultimate solution to government budget deficits is more employment, higher wages and hence increased tax revenue.”

“We need to stop the axis of austerity comprised of conservative politicians, business commentators, and the bond markets,” said ITUC General Secretary Sharan Burrow, who is leading the trade union delegation in Davos.

The statement also advocates:

 upholding labour rights and expanding collective bargaining;

 raising minimum wages and enhancing social protection;

 reregulating international finance and creating a financial transactions tax;

 investing in physical and social infrastructure;

 creating green jobs by combating climate change;

 returning the G-20 to an agenda of jobs and growth; and

 reviving the Millennium Development Goals.

“Not long after having been bailed out, financiers are again awarding themselves record bonuses and dictating government policy. Their approach is cooking up a cauldron of youth unemployment that most recently boiled over in Tunisia,” said Burrow. “We must reregulate international finance to limit speculation and instead facilitate real economic activity. As we rebuild from the ashes of the crisis, a better world is possible.”

To read the full trade union statement