New International Alliance Of Unions, Politicians & NGOs Call for Decent Work

New International Alliance Of Unions, Politicians & NGOs Call for Decent Work

"Decent work for decent lives" is the catchcry and heart of a fight back by a new international alliance of unions, progressive political leaders and NGOs that is calling on the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to recognise core labour standards in trade talks this week.

ACTU and Global Unions President, Sharan Burrow said the formation of the new alliance this week - the 'Global Progressive Forum' - headed by former Danish Prime Minister Paul Nyrup Rassmussen, SOLIDAR and Global Unions is cause for renewed optimism that international labour standards for working people will improve. "Too many people's livelihoods are threatened by the greed of corporations and the compliance of too many governments who have forgotten that economies are there to serve people." Speaking at the alliance's forum ahead of the WTO meeting in Hong Kong and challenging WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy to include labour standards in the current trade talks, alliance leader Rassmussen said: "Trade alone is not sufficient to deliver decent lives for people: we can't accept a race to the bottom of social standards. The WTO trade talks must integrate ILO core labour standards, bring decent work to people and eradicate poverty" Ms Burrow said: "Global trade must not be built on the back of child labour, discrimination, denial of freedom of association and the right to bargain for a fair share of the wealth generated. "The WTO's Pascal Lamy has admitted that free trade is necessary but not sufficient to achieve global development". "However this week we will see too many governments at the WTO meeting, including the Australian Government, refuse to recognize the role that workers rights and the ILO must play if trade is to be fair. "People deserve better from their governments. The new international alliance will work to make sure that only politicians who recognize the call for minimum social standards, including workers rights as a basis for fair trade will be supported."