With 305 million full-time equivalent jobs lost worldwide due to the pandemic, Australia and other leading economies need to act now to protect the rights and livelihoods of working people around the world.

The ACTU has joined with civil society organisations and written to Minister for Foreign Affairs Marise Payne calling on the Morrison Government to show international leadership during this crisis.

The creation of a Global Social Protection Fund to provide income support and other social services in all countries to help lift working people out of the pandemic.

US$35 billion would secure 5-year funding for the poorest 28 countries in the world to provide emergency relief for their people now, and an additional US$100 billion would address social protection coverage gaps in lower- to middle-income countries. Global spending on stimulus and other measures related to the pandemic is projected to be ore than US$10 trillion.

Quotes attributable to ACTU President Michele O’Neil:

“A Global Social Protection Fund would enable the governments of the world’s poorest countries to guarantee basic income security, such as pensions and support for the unemployed, and universal access to social services such as health, education, housing and sanitation.

“The pandemic has impacted working people across the planet. Workers in developing countries are dealing with immense hardship and need our support.

“The Australian union movement believes strongly in solidarity and that working people have an obligation to assist each other across international borders, and we call on the Morrison Government to show leadership by supporting and pushing for the creation of this fund.”