1785. Davos one serious voice for the people

At the start of Davos a series of interviews.. The most impressive is the following, with details we never hear.

What’s the one thing you would change about the global economy? 10 Davos experts respond

weforum.org · by Ross Chainey

Sharan Burrow, General Secretary, International Trade Union Confederation

The global economy is failing.

The economic model that has profited the 1% is a failed model of low wages, insecure and often unsafe work where freedom of association and other rights are denied by corporations outsourcing responsibility. This now means that up to 94% of the workforce they depend on is a “hidden workforce” which even encompasses informal work and pockets of modern slavery.

And wage share continues to fall further behind both productivity and profits. People are fighting back at the ballot box but tragically the alternatives offered by populist political leaders, with people excluded by race, religion, gender or sexual preference, will not offer inclusive solutions. Governments are caught in the web of corporate capture and fail to regulate or to defend their own people by prosecuting corporations for human and labour rights abuse. Tax fraud and unjust corporate tax concessions threaten essential public services.

Fossil fuel companies are bullying governments and risking the jobs of working people as they fail to transition to renewable energy in a just way. The threat of an unregulated approach to the Fourth Industrial Revolution lays open the potential for a Darwinian scramble for low-wage work with the potential loss of secure jobs in many areas. The rapid escalation of cyber-attacks, including financial, institutional and political attacks, threatens democracy, the integrity of the internet, responsible businesses and social development.

There is only one answer: we need to change the rules and give people hope. I would like to see:

  • A global pay rise. Reverse the income flow to the 1% with universal social protection, minimum living wages and collective bargaining. We should also increase labour market optimism with investment in jobs through infrastructure and the care economy.
  • Security at work. Reduce workplace fear with the elimination of zero hours and sham short-term contracts.
  • Rights, the rule of law and corporate responsibility. End the oppression in supply chains with freedom of association as a foundation for human and labour rights, and mandate due diligence across borders for big business
  • Regulate the digital economy. Ensure effective regulation in the digital economy to promote employment, rights and formal business models that works for people.
  • Root out the cheaters. End tax fraud with the implementation of BEPS, and transparency through ‘beneficial ownership’ laws for corporate structures.
  • Mandate disclosure. Workers have a right to know where their pension money is invested, so the Financial Stability Board recommendations must be mandated.
  • A just transition. Climate action is an imperative and measures to protect the jobs and livelihoods of workers as we transition to a more sustainable economy is non-negotiable.
  • A welcome for refugees. We should offer safe haven, resettlement and the right to work. Leaders must show the political courage to combat xenophobic propaganda and hate speech against migrants and refugees in national debates.

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