G20 Hamburg: Secure Jobs and Decent Wages Can Reduce Uncertainty and Stabilise Global Economy


G20 leaders, meeting in Hamburg for their annual Summit as high levels of geo-political uncertainty threaten democracies and working people, must put in place new rules for the global economy that deliver economic growth, secure jobs and decent wages.

The Labour 20 Statement from workers and trade unions at the G20 sets out policies for leaders which will ensure co-ordinated action to create quality jobs for the future, reduce inequality to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and meet the commitments in the Paris Agreement.

“Globalisation is in trouble because the world’s workforce is in trouble and people simply don’t trust governments which are simply offering them more of the same. People want global rules for global supply chains where multinational corporates are held to account, they want a minimum wage on which they can live with dignity, they want investment in jobs for themselves and their children and they want their governments to act on climate,” said Sharan Burrow, General Secretary, International Trade Union Confederation.

The road map for the G20 has been set by the G20 Labour Ministers Declaration, but it remains for the G20 Leaders to re-affirm the call from their Labour Ministers to:
  • Implement an integrated set of policies that places people and decent jobs at centre stage with investment in enabling green infrastructure and the care economy. 
  • Ensure that violations of decent work and fundamental principles and rights at work cannot be part of competition, with mandated due diligence for human rights in global supply chains.

 “The G20 Hamburg Summit is taking place after a year of backlash by voters against governments, institutions and the very functioning of economic systems, in particular a global system that has done far more to liberalise and de-regulate markets than to share the costs and benefits of globalisation fairly,” said John Evans, General Secretary, Trade Union Advisory Committee to the OECD (TUAC).

“The G20 Labour Ministers agreed on policies that, if acted upon, would bring young people, women and migrants into decent work. They also underlined the role of social partners in creating a good future of work for everyone. G20 Leaders need to re-affirm this and the key role of collective bargaining and social dialogue. Business and labour at the G20 level jointly call for a lifelong learning guarantee and permanent quality jobs across sectors. It is time for the G20 to bring their Finance and Labour Ministerial outcomes in line to achieve these goals,” said Evans.

The Labour 20 is calling on G20 leaders to commit to:
  • A fiscal stimulus to exit the low growth trap and to engage a just transition to a low-carbon and digitalised economy;
  • Placing job quality and wages at the centre of G20 actions to tackle rising inequalities;
  • Closing the gender employment and pay gap;
  • Supporting youth employment and skills development;
  • Setting the standard for responsible business conduct with mandated due diligence for human rights in global supply chains;
  • Increasing tax transparency;
  • Ensuring a fair distribution of benefits from technological change;
  • A joint response to the large movements of refugees and the integration of migrants;
  • Translating climate change commitments into reality;
  • Aligning G20 policies with the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda;
  • Mainstreaming social dialogue and ensuring policy coherence within the G20.
“G20 governments have a mandate to act from their people. 85% of people in the ITUC Global Poll say the time has come to re-write the rules to promote growth and share prosperity and 93% believe it’s important that their government take a stand against corporate abuse and stand up for the rule of law,” said Sharan Burrow.