New Economic Thinking, Inequality and the Role of Trade Unions – TUAC Round Table
(4:00 - 6:00 pm)


The OECD Ministerial Council and Forum are gathering at a critical time as OECD countries face interlocking economic, social and environmental challenges. The current debate on “secular stagnation” shows that action needs to be taken to raise growth and provide decent work now. Otherwise, OECD economies may move onto a lower growth trajectory due to unused human resources and insufficient investment – prompted by fiscal austerity. Recent OECD work including the ‘In It Together: Why less Inequality Benefits’ report has shown that inequality is not just a social or political problem, it also acts as a drag on growth. In some countries, the capture of large shares of income gains by the top “one per cent” will not support purchasing power in the short term and distort markets and policy choices.

The TUAC roundtable will discuss ways out of this socio-economic crisis with a specific focus on inequality and the role of trade unions in ensuring inclusive growth. It will highlight recent developments in the UK and Greece, and look ahead at future policy options. Such strategies need new economic thinking but also new-found appreciation for established policy tools. For more information, see TUAC’s background paper on ‘ The Role of collective bargaining as part of a comprehensive strategy to reduce income inequality’.