Guy Rider at the opening of the Labour Conference
Guaranteed and protected living wages for Asian garment workers, implementing product pricing models that account for the payment of living wages, moving towards progressive taxation codes, and holding brands legally liable for labor rights violations are critical for re-engineering garment global supply chains.
Read the Statement of Focus on the Global South
After the 2008 global financial crisis, the world seemed ready to undertake meaningful reform of the international monetary system. But the promised structural changes never happened. And the recent spring meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank indicated that the current bout of global economic upheaval will similarly fail to spur transformation.
Read the article from the China Daily
Billionaire wealth has soared during the COVID-19 pandemic as companies in the food, pharma, energy, and tech sectors have cashed in. Meanwhile millions of people around the world are facing a cost-of-living crisis due to the continuing effects of the pandemic and the rapidly rising costs of essentials, including food and energy. Inequality, already extreme before COVID-19, has reached new levels. There is an urgent need for governments to implement highly progressive taxation measures that in turn must be used to invest in powerful and proven measures to reduce inequalities.
The new Oxfam report on inequalities!
The handbook is the outcome of a project led by ActionAid International, Eurodad, INESC (Brazil), SEATINI and CEHURD (Uganda), SIKKA (Tanzania), and WEMOS, aimed at exploring ways to increase civil society engagement in the monetary policy arena. It intends to provide the basic tools to economic justice activists and organisations for understanding how monetary policies work and how they interact with the economy.
In recent decades, we have seen dramatic changes in the landscape of labor rights protection due to the entrenchment of neoliberalism, which has effectively suppressed labor’s collective bargaining power, militant traditions, and solidarity and subsumed them as “allies” of businesses and the state in advancing the bidding of neoliberalism. These trends have exacerbated with the COVID-19 pandemic. From across the Asia Pacific region, workers have borne the brunt of the impact of the pandemic, where they are forced to deal with unfair contract terms, low wages, and unjust working conditions. In this May edition of the Focus Dispatch, we highlight some of the challenges faced by workers across Asia and shed light on the institutions and mechanisms being advanced by social movements to rein in corporate power and strengthen the protection of workers’ rights.
“We have sat outside looking in for too long to believe that the West will give us a seat at their table — we must develop real financial autonomy and development that can withstand the attacks of the major powers.“
South Africa and other countries that have abstained from voting against Russia at the United Nations General Assembly in response to the war in Ukraine face intense international criticism.
In South Africa, the domestic criticism has been extraordinarily shrill, and often clearly racialized. It is frequently assumed that abstention means that South Africa is in support of the Russian invasion, and this is either due to corrupt relations between Russian and South African elites, or nostalgia for support given to the anti-apartheid struggle by the Soviet Union, or both.
Nontobeko Hlela (Nontobeko Hlela was formerly first secretary: political at the High Commission of South Africa in Nairobi and currently works as a Researcher for the South African office of the Tricontinental Institute for Social Research.)Continue reading
In the context of a health emergency like the COVID-19 pandemic, the global availability of and access to vaccines are imperative. This research paper provides an analysis from the perspective of international political economy, of the financing of COVID-19 vaccines and of the market strategies adopted by some of the companies that developed them. It notes that the development of vaccines was supported by substantial public funding from countries that later received preferential access to those vaccines through advance purchases. Despite such public support, the vaccines were not deemed as public goods but remained under the control of their developers.
Read South Centre’s paper
Collective bargaining played a crucial role during the pandemic and can provide an effective means for employers and workers to tackle the new challenges that are shaking up the world of work.
Read the ILO article
Discussions took place with development cooperation donors from the OECD’s Development Assistance Committee (DAC) at the ITUC’s annual Trade Union – DAC Forum on 3 May.
Social protection is one of the key demands of working people for a new social contract and has been at the forefront of government responses to the COVID-19 crisis.
But social protection is facing huge financing gaps that will require the mobilisation of domestic resources coupled with support from development cooperation funds, which are still too low at only 2.7% of all aid funds in 2020.
During a high-level panel debate, ITUC General Secretary Sharan Burrow highlighted the cost effectiveness of social protection: “If you invest in social protection, you will have more than double the amount of the investment back in the mid-term and huge social returns.
Read the article of ITUC