Indonesian workers take to the streets in their thousands in February 2014 to demand higher wages and health insurance. Photo: IndustriALL

Why no mention of workers at Davos?

13.01.2015

As leaders from government and business prepare to descend on Davos for the World Economic Forum, working people are ignored in this year’s theme on the ‘new global context’. 

“Global prosperity depends on workers and yet they feel powerless,” says Jyrki Raina, general secretary of IndustriALL Global Union, who will be participating at Forum meetings in Davos.

In the new global context, working people are increasingly alienated from structures and corporations. Wages drop while corporate profits and CEO salaries go through the roof, fuelling the lack of trust in multinational companies and in governments’ power to control them.

“Hundreds of millions of people are toiling on poverty wages, leading to suffering and unrest, which is bad for business,” adds Raina.

IndustriALL, representing 50 million workers worldwide, is fighting for living wages for all workers to reduce income inequality, increase economic growth and create new jobs.

A handful of multinational corporations recognize that wage levels in many developing countries are unsustainable. That’s why IndustriALL is working with global fashion brands such as H&M and Inditex to pay living wages to garment workers in their supply chains.

Throughout the world, stable employment is being replaced by temporary jobs with low pay and no career prospects, job security or social benefits. Young people, in particular, are finding it harder than ever to find a decent and secure job.

“You can’t build an economy on poverty wages and insecure jobs,” says Raina.  “Inclusive and sustainable global development depends on a constructive relationship between business and workers. Unions are essential to ensuring a fair distribution of the fruits of industry and must be regarded as partners to business, not rivals.”

IndustriALL works with multinational companies to achieve this balance. We have global framework agreements with 43 multinational companies including World Economic Forum industry partners GDF Suez, Siemens, Volkswagen and Statoil, to protect the interests of workers throughout the operations and supply chains of multinational companies.

“In a world challenged by climate change, workers and the poorest in society are the most vulnerable,” says Raina. “IndustriALL Global Union calls on state and business leaders in Davos to wake up and take action to stop global warming before we face a catastrophic grab for resources in a world of diminishing means.”

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For information, contact:Contact: Leonie Guguen, communications and media officer, IndustriALL Global Union. Tel: +41 (0)22 308 50 24 Mobile: +41 (0) 79 137 54 36. Email: [email protected]