The ITUC and Global Unions issued a statement today to the IMF and the World Bank, calling for the coordination of economic stimulus, action on public health, and debt relief.
The Statement calls for urgent measures to equitably respond to the economic and public health crises facing the world. As the introduction explains:
COVID-19 is creating a crisis of unprecedented proportion. As the shocks caused by the public health crisis ripple through global supply chains and depress demand, layoffs and loss of income are devastating working families. The pandemic lit a match next to an existing powder keg of debt burdens, inadequate financial and labour market regulation, increasing inequality, and years of austerity that undermined public health, social protection and the ability of states to fulfil their human rights obligations.
The IMF and the World Bank should join governments in executing coordinated and sustained stimulus as the launchpad of a reformed multilateralism that puts working people, shared prosperity and the real economy first. In this statement, Global Unions outline urgent measures to overcome the crisis and lay the groundwork for an inclusive recovery that achieves the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
At the centre is a full-scale response by the International Financial Institutions (IFIs) that ensures frontline health workers have the resources and protections to save lives, and measures to guarantee safe employment and income support for all. The response must be sustained until full recovery and not utilise conditionality to constrain social protection, public health and services, or labour market programmes. Social dialogue and collective bargaining will help rebuild trust and assist in crafting IFI programmes to address the dual health and economic crises.
There is no time to waste. Global Unions urge IFI leadership, the Development Committee, and the International Monetary and Finance Committee to agree on specific commitments for coordinated fiscal and monetary stimulus, urgent public health measures and support to developing countries.
Said UNI General Secretary Christy Hoffman, “At their upcoming spring meetings, the IMF and World Bank must take extraordinary steps to ensure a just recovery from the economic and health crises facing the world, with improved social protection and inclusive growth. I urge all UNI affiliates to ask their governments to support our statement at these upcoming meetings.”