12 Jun, 2012
Rio de Janeiro, 11 June 2012: The 3 day Trade Union Assembly organised jointly by the ITUC and Sustainlabour started today ahead of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development that is due to start next week. Trade unions have been lobbying world leaders, who will meet next week to revitalise commitments around sustainability, employment, social protection and inequality.
During the debates, trade unions will call for specific commitments for green and decent jobs, social protection and reform of the financial system. “A new paradigm for development requires concrete government actions to bring about the Future Workers Want. Governments need to come to Rio with real commitments for change, to fundamentally change the trajectory for sustainable development” said Sharan Burrow, ITUC General Secretary.
Trade unions from more than 100 countries are gathering in Rio with 3 key demands.
The first concerns Green and Decent Jobs. This requires a shift in investments which will ensure decent jobs are created from environmentally-friendly investments, and millions more are transformed into sustainable jobs.
The second demand is support for the Social Protection Floor that addresses the most vulnerable and would ensure that all workers and their families are protected against the multiple environmental and economic crises they face.
Thirdly, trade unions are calling for the launch of a global financial transactions tax that would provide funds for development and climate change action, as well as contribute to reform the financial system that caused the financial crisis in the first place.
Speakers include, among others, Sharan Burrow, ITUC General Secretary; Bernadette Segol, ETUC General Secretary; Achim Steiner, United Nations Executive Director; Helen Clark, head of the United Nations Development Program and Michelle Bachelet, Executive Director of UN Women.