ITUC poll shows global governance jobs failure, ahead of L20

The annual global poll commissioned by the 181 million-member International Trade Union Confederation, including UNI Global Union shows that globalisation is failing people

The poll shows that 73 percent of people are worried about losing their jobs and 80 percent say the minimum wage is not enough to live on. Half the population in thirteen of the G20 countries rate the economic situation in their country as bad.

“Too many governments have compromised people’s prosperity in the face of corporate greed with low wages and insecure work. The rules of the global economy have been distorted to put the interests of the richest 1% and corporations ahead of working people, and this power imbalance is driving mistrust in governments,” said Sharan Burrow, General Secretary, International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC).

UNI Global Union General Secretary Philip Jennings who will speak on the Future World of Work at the L20 later this week, said, “UNI along with all members of the ITUC urges the G20 governments to put their house in order. The staggering levels of inequality we are seeing are unsustainable and speeding us towards the race to the bottom. The Labour ministers and G20 have an opportunity to put the global economy on a new trajectory. They should not miss another chance to do some good for people.”

The poll commissioned by the ITUC from global market research company Kantar Public covers a total of 16 countries representing 53 percent of the global population.

Released at the Labour 20 Dialogue in Berlin, ahead of the G20 Labour Ministers meeting, Sharan Burrow said the poll showed how globalisation and interconnectedness, coupled with exponential technological progress and innovation, have created incredible wealth but left too many working people marginalised and fearful of an insecure future.

The results of the poll conducted in March in Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, France, Germany, Guatemala, India, Japan, Russia, South Arica, South Korea, the United Kingdom and the United States is a warning that governments have all but abandoned responsibility for investment in jobs and tackling inequality and climate devastation, resulting in massive insecurity.

Three in four (74 percent) are worried about rising inequality between the richest 1% and the rest of the population.
73 percent of people worry about losing their jobs.
66 percent worry about climate change.

More than seven out of ten people (71% percent ) believe that working people do not have enough influence on how the rules of the global economy are set. 80 percent of people say the economic system favours the wealthy rather than being fair to most.

The poll shows deep levels of uncertainty about family income and job security.

80 percent don’t think the minimum wage in their country is high enough for a decent life.
80 percent of people have falling or stagnating incomes.
One in two (49 percent) don’t have enough money for basic essential or are barely getting by.
Almost four in ten (38 percent) have directly experienced unemployment or reduced working hours in the last two years.

The poll showed strong support for governments to take action:

71 percent say governments should be working towards a payrise for workers.
77 percent say governments should do more to make sure companies pay their fair share of taxes.
71 percent want governments to adopt new rules for multinationals to end abuse of workers through their supply chains.

The German G20 Presidency has realised that digitalisation is growing exponentially and that despite new opportunities, decent work will be further threatened by the absence of labour rights and employment protections.

UNI GS, Philip Jennings said, “We have to change the rules of the game in The Future World of Work. The G20 governments must heed our call for ethical AI, inclusivity, social justice and workers’ rights. We will not tolerate the ‘Uberization’ of our workplaces where companies to seek to twist and turn to get out of their responsibilities to their workforce.”

The ITUC will present the findings of the 2017 ITUC global poll at the Labour 20 Dialogue Forum attended by German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin 16 – 17th May, ahead of the G20 Labour Ministers Meeting in Bad Neuenahr 18-19th May.