L20 Summit in Beijing calls Ministers and G20 Leaders to task, releases Social Partners’ Agreement, ITUC Poll and L20 Tracking

The L20 Summit in Beijing brings together trade union leaders from G20 countries for a two day summit to co-ordinate trade union activities with the G20 to improve wages and employment conditions for working people.

Trade union leaders at the Labour 20 summit have called on G20 Labour and Employment Ministers meeting in Beijing to raise growth and create jobs, with a focus on women and young people, as well as supporting social dialogue and collective bargaining.

The L20 Statement “Getting Quality Job Creation Back on Track” , calls on Labour and Employment Ministers (meeting at the same time in Beijing) and beyond that G20 Leaders ahead of the G20 Summit in September to:

  • Raise investment in jobs and wages through an increase in public investment in sustainable, climate-sound infrastructure and use of collective bargaining and minimum living wages as a tool to address rising inequalities and the falling labour income share;
  • Develop economic strategies for investment to meet the G20’s “25 by 25 target;
  • Implement measures for the G20 target to get young people into work, education or training;
  • Develop an action plan for decent work in the digital economy including protection of workers’ rights for those employed on internet platforms and strategies for a fair transition for jobs subject to technological change;
  • Take co-ordinated action to support integration of migrants and refugees in receiving countries including their right to work;
  • Plan a Joint Labour and Finance Ministers Meeting for early 2017 and coordinate growth strategies with employment plans better.

Mid-year forecasts showed that global GDP growth has stalled. There is now a real risk of a Brexit-led recession compounding the situation. Workers in the G20 and beyond cannot afford a recession and a renewed rise in unemployment. For young people, in many G20 countries the risk of a “lost generation” is real.

G20 leaders have agreed to three, high-profile targets among nearly one thousand policy commitments:

  • the ambition to lift G20 GDP by 2.1 per cent by 2018,
  • the goal to reduce the gap in participation rates between men and women in G20 countries by 25 per cent by 2025,
  • the commitment to reduce the share of young people most at risk of being permanently left behind in the labour market by 15 per cent by 2025.

L20 Policy Tracking conducted over three year shows a persistent gap between commitments and government action on quality jobs, fairer wages and raising aggregate demand.

The 2016 L20 Tracking Survey found that 88% of L20 members thing that policy commitments need to be added by the G20 to achieve the 2.1% growth target. 43% of L20 members call on Ministers to revise existing employment policies completely and another 43% would add several new policies. The ITUC Frontlines 2016 Poll, Special Topic: Wages and Inequality confirms the need to act now.

The international L20 and B20 signed a joint statement , released during a social partners dinner with Ministers on 11 July. The statement raises key common priorities underlining that business and labour play a key role in the shaping of economic and social policy and includes agreement to cooperate on these and calling on the G20 to:

  • Develop a policy framework for better technology diffusion
  • Determinedly tackle youth unemployment
  • Pursue macro-economic policies that promote employment
  • Make a reality of the 2014 Brisbane target of reducing by 25% the gender gap in employment by 2025
  • Promote formality and implement the recommendation on informality adopted by the 2015 International Labour Conference.

The L20 Summit will conclude with a handover to the national trade union centre in Germany (DGB) ahead of Germany’s Presidency of the G20 in 2017.