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ITUC Congress Debates Future Action for Sustainable Jobs


18 - 24 May 2014

The 3rd International Trade Union Confederation World Congress debates the state of workers’ rights, growth and jobs for the third consecutive day in Berlin. TUAC has been active in the preparations of several sessions and side-events on sustainable jobs including on inequality, climate change, workers’ pensions and development.

On Monday, at the opening of the Congress, Larry Elliott, economics editor of The Guardian, hosted the discussion in which panellists, including TUAC General Secretary John Evans, were asked to address why the growing consensus that inequality is at unsustainable levels has not been met with a stronger response from governments. Referring to ongoing austerity measures, Mr Evans said: “The international financial institutions now recognise that growing inequality is a serious economic problem – but they haven’t yet shifted their policies to tackle it”.

The panel discussion was joined by Sony Kapoor from the think-tank Re-define, Bernadette Ségol of the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC), and Jayati Ghosh, professor of economics at Jawaharlal Nehru University. Mr Kapoor amongst others urged for action on tax havens and pension funds that can be used to invest in infrastructure and job creation.

An interview with John Evans and Sony Kapoor can be watched online here.

In the afternoon, Evans and Mody Guiro, the President of the Senegalese trade union centre, moderated the sub plenary on inequality and sustainable jobs, where the effects of austerity on crisis countries, the Troika policies and how to change them, and the effects of growing income disparities were addressed in two panel discussions and an active “fishbowl” debate, in which delegates had the chance to talk about the most concerning issues and propose solutions. A comprehensive follow-up report will follow.

The subplenary discussions on jobs continue today with "Retirement Income: shifting workers' capital toward to the long term" (14:00-15:30 CET) and "Will industry save the climate?" (15:30-17:30 CET).

For more information on the debates and the Congress, visit the ITUC Congress homepage and read Sharan Burrow’s speech at the opening session here.

@TUACOECD and @ituc are also live-tweeting the debates with the hashtags #ituc14, #susjobs14, #growth14 and #rights14