World Bank’s “B-Ready” index promotes race to the bottom for workers

The ITUC warns that the World Bank’s new “B-Ready” project signals bad news for working people, as it will undermine labour rights and social protection across employment sectors.

Described as the Bank’s “corporate flagship”, B-Ready presents itself as an index that supposedly measures the business and investment climates in 180 economies worldwide annually.

However, an analysis by the ITUC details the poor methodology and ideological bias behind the project, which promotes low wages and precarious work, and undermines necessary social protection and sustainable economic performance that together guarantee shared prosperity for working people.

ITUC Acting General Secretary Luc Triangle said: “The World Bank B-Ready project paves the way to an easy ride for corporations at the expense of workers. While it does track some key fundamental rights for workers, the thrust of the strategy is to weaken protections and leave workers vulnerable to exploitation.

“The Bank needs a different approach that appropriately balances the interests of the people who provide the goods and services that drive local and global economies, rather than promote a race to the bottom of working conditions.

“Valuable lessons from external reviews of the World Bank’s discredited Doing Business report do not seem to have been learned. We are ready to engage in a dialogue with the Bank to help correct the failings of B-Ready and to ensure that it fully and accurately reflects all sides of the world of business, including the interests and needs of working people and the aims of the new social contract.”