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Global unions demand IFI policy shift to respond to economic slowdown
Apr '08
Responding to concerns about a possible implosion of the financial sector and a major global economic slowdown, the ITUC and its Global Unions partners called on the 2008 Spring Meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund to mandate significantly increased assistance from the two institutions to countries that seek to protect their workers and citizens, particularly the most vulnerable, against the shock of an economic crisis.

"If there is no firm and coordinated policy response, the dramatic rise in financial and economic uncertainty since mid-2007 will lead to increased unemployment, declining living standards and higher poverty, particularly affecting women, in many countries," said ITUC General Secretary Guy Ryder. "The IMF and the World Bank must support measures that increase the buying power of low-income workers."

In a Global Unions statement released on 11 April, the international trade union movement urges the IMF and World Bank to shift their focus from promoting deregulation, including labour market deregulation using the Bank's Doing Business report, in favour of policies promoting the creation of decent work. Global Unions set out a policy agenda for the international financial institutions (IFIs) that could support, rather than dictate to, developing countries.

Specifically, Global Unions call on the IFIs to assist countries that seek to control destabilizing capital flows, that require emergency financial assistanceto overcome balance of payments problems, that strive to improve social protection, and that extend workplace protection and labour rights to unprotected workers.

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