Labour 20: High expectations for the German G20 Presidency

This Monday, shortly after the start of the German G20 Presidency, trade union representatives from the G20 countries officially kick off the accompanying Labour 20 (L20) process.

The L20 will set out its joint positions and demands ahead of the G20 summit in Hamburg in early July 2017. The main emphasis will be on fair globalisation, focusing on growth and employment, income distribution and corporate responsibility along supply chains. The German Trade Union Confederation (DGB) and the international trade union movement have high expectations of the German Presidency, seeing it as an opportunity to revive the international coordination of economic and employment policies.

Reiner Hoffmann, Chairman of the DGB:
"If the G20 takes its motto ’Shaping an interconnected world’ seriously, it cannot avoid new rules for a fair globalisation. Germany is in a unique position with its G20 Presidency: Chancellor Angela Merkel has already publicly stated on several occasions – both to the trade unions and at the G7 summit at Schloss Elmau – that she believes companies must take greater responsibility for working conditions along their supply chains. Now she has to act on this demand."

John Evans, General Secretary of the Trade Union Advisory Committee to the OECD (TUAC):
“The G20 needs to follow up past commitments by action and agree on coordinated policies and ensure practical outcomes to create jobs and achieve a more equitable distribution of the income and wealth delivered by trade and growth, through collective bargaining, redistributive taxation, investment in skills, and strategies for achieving the sustainable development goals, climate transition and an inclusive diffusion of technological change.”

Sharan Burrow, General Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC):
"It is time to end the scandalous oppression of millions of workers in our supply chains. Germany has shown important leadership on this question and we need other governments to reaffirm their commitment to wage mechanisms that ensure a minimum living wage and collective bargaining, along with responsibility of business for the due diligence required by the UN business and human rights principles."

On 16-17 May 2017, German Chancellor Angela Merkel will attend a Dialogue Forum with trade unions in Berlin as part of the L20 summit. There are also plans for a statement on digitalisation with the Business 20 (B20) group of business organisations, to be presented to the heads of state and government at the G20 summit.

The Labour 20 (L20) represents the interests of workers at G20 level. The group brings together trade unions from the G20 countries as well as global union federations (GUFs), and is coordinated by the ITUC and TUAC.

Since the outbreak of the financial crisis in 2008, the L20 has been involved in the G20 inter-governmental process to ensure inclusive and constructive dialogue on ’Jobs and Growth’ as one of the official outreach groups together with the Business 20 (B20), Civil 20 (C20) and Youth 20 (Y20).

The L20 conveys the key messages of trade unions at consultations with the Employment Task Force and Sherpa meetings, Labour and Finance Ministers meetings and G20 summits. Joint social partner consultations with heads of state and government and Finance and Labour Ministers are an integral part of the G20 process.

More information about the Labour 20 can be found at