World / Asia-Pacific

Jobs are answer to inclusive growth for G20: L20

(Xinhua) Updated: 2014-11-15 16:09

BRISBANE - To put the G20 on course to achieve the 2 percent GDP growth target, governments need to pursue a coordinated increase in wages and investment in infrastructure, the Labor 20 (L20) said on Saturday.

The group brings together leaders of international organized labor and provides G20 leaders with the perspectives of workers across the world.

Sharan Burrow, general secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation, said L20 economic modeling shows that a coordinated increase in wages and investment in infrastructure could halve the global jobs gap and create up to 5.84 percentage points more growth in G20 countries compared to business as usual.

"'Business as usual' means inequality is set to deepen in G20 countries and a worsening slump in wages will slash demand unless the G20 take action," Burrow said.

The L20 is calling on the G20 to commit to 1 percent of GDP to be invested in infrastructure in every country, in particular infrastructure that supports a transition to a low-carbon economy and a recognition that investment, including workers' pension funds, must be on the basis of the G20/OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) High Level Principles on Long Term Investment.

The L20 called for the formalizing of jobs through workers' rights and by ensuring a minimum wage, safe workplaces and social protection floors and the introduction of measures to promote inclusive growth that enables women and young people to participate in secure jobs.

The labor lobby group wants youth guarantees that ensure work and education and training with the scaling up of quality apprenticeships and the implementation of the OECD Action Plan on tax avoidance and evasion to ensure fair taxation.

Burrow said the G20 has set a target of 2 percent of growth above expectations over the next five years but the question is how to get there.

She said that L20 research shows 33 million jobs could be created by coordinating wage increases and investment in infrastructure and unions will be urging governments globally to act on it.

John Evans, general secretary of the Trade Union Advisory Committee to the OECD, said the G20 needs to agree on a plan for jobs and growth, putting in place comprehensive measures to support aggregate demand, reduce inequality and spur investments.

"This must be backed up by national job creation targets, and followed up in consultation with social partners," Evans said.

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