UNISONActive is an unofficial blog produced by UNISON activists for UNISON activists. Bringing news, briefings and events from a progressive left perspective.

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Time for a new paradigm - by S. Burrow, GS of ITUC

'The world is barely re-emerging from the deepest economic crisis in a century, yet the very policies and mindset that caused the problem in the first place are back with a vengeance', laments Sharan Burrow, General Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC).

She calls for a new paradigm 'where jobs and decent work (will) no longer be some collateral by-product of economic policies geared to rolling out the red carpet to "investors"' - but where they will be central economic objectives.

This, she argues, will require changing the rules of the international game in three ways: reforming the currency system; establishing new regulations on tax havens as well as new taxes; and committing to a renewed focus around the enforcement of labour standards by all.

Burrow bitterly notes that interest in such measures has rapidly declined after a brief opening during the crisis; in fact, 'the brief flirt with Keynesianism when the financial system was on the brink of collapse only lasted as long as it was needed to save the banks'. She concludes by emphasizing that trade unions will have to find common responses to the international challenges they face - and that they will, in all likelihood, have to force their reluctant 'partners' to listen.

You can find the article attached as a pdf at, http://column.global-labour-university.org/  

*Reading suggestion* Sean Sweeney, director of Cornell's Global Labor Institute, has written this piece on 'The Durban Challenge. How Unions Can Help Secure a Binding Global Climate Agreement in 2011' - http://www.labor4sustainability.org/post/the-durban-challenge/#more-1336

Nicolas Pons-Vignon