OECD Forum warned workers face security crisis

Inequality is squeezing families and choking growth, according to a new poll from the International Trade Union Confederation released at the OECD Forum in Paris, the annual meeting of high income developed economies.

Sharan Burrow, General Secretary, International Trade Union Confederation, said uncertainty rules for working people – low income, insecure jobs with little or no social protection – are the reality for too many families.

“The global economy is stagnating, workers and their families are struggling and inequality is rising, yet world leaders and international institutions continue to ignore a large slice of the solution: wages and social protection.

‘’The OECD ministerial council needs to address income, investment and inclusiveness to stop a workers security crisis. The threat is income security – with 55 per cent of people from nine countries representing half the world’s GDP describing their finances as stagnating or going backwards,” said Sharan Burrow.

“Income generates demand. Income enables economic participation and protects and increases jobs in all sectors, and income creates social cohesion. Instead, governments and international institutions are not changing the business model that drives profits up but won’t pay a minimum living wage of $177 a month in Cambodia or $120 in Bangladesh,” said John Evans, General Secretary, Trade Union Advisory Committee to the OECD.

In producer economies, where millions of workers could be the drivers of growth, low incomes and insecure jobs in supply chains dominated by multinational companies with their headquarters in OECD countries are failing the global economy.

In three main producer countries – Indonesia, the Philippines and Turkey – which together export more than $400 billion of products to the global economy, 66 per cent of people reported in terms of their personal financial situation they are struggling or just getting by.

The 2015 ITUC Frontlines poll of producer economies, Indonesia, Philippines and Turkey, found:

  • half of all workers say their job has become more insecure in past 12 months;
  • 58 per cent expect someone in their family will lose their job in the next 12 months; and
  • 63 per cent say they are stressed about their job and wage security.

“A new global security issue is emerging in producer countries, where job security is stalling global growth,” said Sharan Burrow.


Read the 2015 ITUC Frontlines Poll

For more information contact Gemma Swart, [email protected] +44 7944 99 07 63