Trade Union Key Messages to the G7 Taormina Summit, Italy, 26-27 May 2017



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The G7 Taormina Summit is taking place after a year of backlash by voters against governments, institutions and the very functioning of economic systems, in particular against a global system that has done far more to liberalise and deregulate markets than to share the costs and benefits of globalisation fairly.

At the root of this popular backlash is a double policy failure: firstly to deliver a satisfactory recovery from the financial crisis, creating a “low growth trap” instead; and secondly to achieve a more equal distribution of the benefits of globalisation, technological and economic progress. While a significant share of households in G7 countries has experienced flat or falling real incomes for a decade or longer, a small elite has seen its income and wealth rise in often spectacular ways. These failures have led to important segments of workers and their communities losing out and being left on their own faced with increased insecurity about their job and their future.

According to the ITUC Global Poll 2017: 74% of people worry about rising inequality between the richest 1% and the rest of the population, 73% worry about losing their jobs, 71% believe that working people do not have enough influence on how the rules of the global economy are set.

G7 trade unions – the “Labour 7” – are in the frontline in proposing policy solutions and in responding to the genuine grievances that lie behind the popular backlash. We welcome the fact that the G7 presidency has chosen as a theme “Building the Foundations of Renewed Trust” for the Summit. The G7 must give hope that these concerns are being listened to and responded to by policy change.