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Growth & Accountability Today, Just Transitions Tomorrow | Croissance et responsabilités pour aujourd’hui, des transitions justes dès demain | Crecimiento y responsabilidad hoy, transiciones justas para mañana

10 December 2018

The TUAC holds its annual Liaison Committee with the OECD on 10 December. The discussions are based on a discussion paper on “Growth & Accountability Today, Just Transitions Tomorrow” – which can be downloaded in English, French & Spanish here. The debate held with OECD delegations and its secretariat addresses wide-ranging issues from the labour movement’s perspective and notably recommends to :

  • To prevent another a global downturn, and end the overreliance on “easy money, the OECD should advocate for “incomeled demand” as opposed to “debt-led demand”, restore full employment as a key policy objective, and engage collective action for coordinated fiscal policy stimulus combined with targeted monetary policy measures to back it up.
  • Monetary policy normalisation should be gradual and not dictated by an erroneous view on inflationary pressure. Quantitative easing should be replaced by quantitative public investment support”.
  • Closing the gap between productivity gains and wages would help correct excess profitability rates and drive the recovery forward. Such recoupling is achievable by strengthening collective bargaining and increasing minimum wages.
  • The OECD should engage a progressive trade and investment agenda that effectively aims at policy coherence with human rights and labour, environmental and integrity standards, while preserving the right to regulate and to defend against unfair competition.
  • The OECD should start a horizontal discussion on the Future of the Firm and work towards a comprehensive approach to corporate accountability, linking the OECD RBC work and initiatives to work on corporate governance, aggressive tax planning & tax evasion, trade, foreign direct investment, integrity & corruption, as well as environmental policy. The objective should be to ensure corporate structures reflecting ‘real economy’ operations and identify by-products of regulatory arbitrage.
  • On the MNE Guidelines, the OECD and member states should (i) strengthen existing NCPs, (ii) publish a list of non-functioning NCPs and (iii) ensure that new adherents to the Investment Declaration share the fundamental values of the OECD, including a commitment to pluralist democracy based on the rule of law and the respect of human rights.
  • On due diligence, governments should meet the commitments of the OECD Recommendation, including legislation that makes due diligence mandatory, strengthening policy coherence, and providing capacity-building for stakeholders. The OECD should also undertake implementation activities focused on increasing and monitoring uptake of the guidance by companies and capacity-building involving stakeholders; and require adhering governments to report annually.
  • OECD governments should implement the revised Jobs Strategy with the overarching goal of rebalancing flexibility with workers’ rights and not slide back into the old and traditional ‘flexibility’ narrative. This is all the more crucial given new evidence on the rise of labour market monopsony.
  • To help frame the OECD FoW Initiative and the ongoing Going Digital Horizontal Project, the TUAC has developed a set of policy recommendations including (i) ensuring regulation remains fit for purpose, (ii) promoting collective bargaining and social dialogue for non-standard forms of work and for a Just Transition, (iii) adapting a worker-centred approach to innovation and digital diffusion, (iv) strengthening the gender dimension, and (v) linking the Future of Work to the Future of the Firm.
  • Just Transition frameworks and the role of social dialogue and collective bargaining in their governance need to be recognised for both, the green and the digital transformation. Broad transition plans ranging from strengthening labour market institutions to investment channels into infrastructure and training programmes need to be prepared in anticipation of climate- and automation induced economic shifts.
  • The optimisation of production and service processes needs to be under a human centered prism with standards on digital diffusion in place. Restructuring needs, new organisational frameworks and resources for public education, VET and adult training systems can be channelled through tripartite standard setting and governance, as well as through sector-wide and multi-employer agreements.
  • Regulation should be adapted where it concerns new challenges such as working conditions and market concentration in the digital economy.