Labour 20 at the Sydney G20 Sherpa Meeting to set priorities for 2014

The first G20 Sherpa Meeting under the Australian Presidency in Sydney gives an occasion to the Labour 20 (L20) to present key priorities for 2014. Sharan Burrow, General Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) and Ged Kearney, the President of the Central trade union confederation of Australia, the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) are both at the meeting to raise L20 concerns concerning the future G20 agenda.

The commitments that Leaders took in Saint Petersburg call for the Australian Presidency to continue to strengthen G20 work on jobs and growth, and to ensure the implementation of past commitments on tax and financial sector reform. The L20 has observed an inadequate follow-up on commitments, specifically when it comes to creating jobs and demand, strengthening collective bargaining and labour market institutions and promoting long-term and sustainable investments.

A L20 report on the state of implementation of commitments is being compiled in close collaboration with national union centres and will be presented to governments in the course of 2014.

In Sydney, the international labour movement urged the Presidency to hold a second joint Labour and Finance Ministers’ meeting in 2014, to follow-up the work of its first edition in July in Moscow. In addition, the employment and inequality crisis is calling for urgent action to regain not only economic stability but also public trust. Finance and Labour Ministers must therefore work together to provide ambitious measures within a coherent policy agenda.

In order to provide a remedy for the jobs’ crisis, the L20 called the sherpas to mandate the G20 Employment Task Force to establish job-creation targets and to set up national jobs plans.

Achieving higher employment rates needs public sector investment to be restored to its pre-2006 levels. Sharan Burrow said that “creating millions of new jobs requires public action to leverage private investment. To this end, the L20 stands ready to ensure that pension funds and institutional investors step up their patient capital and long-term investments.”