Member area

OECD urged to ensure global long-term needs are not neglected

14 March 2024

Trade unions are urging the OECD to encourage governments to adopt consistent long-term policy – and ensure adequate investment – to manage climate change, digital transformation, demographic change.

“Governments must not abandon what is needed to achieve long-term and shared prosperity, including tackling climate change and achieving technological change so that they benefit people rather than widen divisions in society.”


“Current policies aimed at reducing inflation, endorsed by the OECD, are creating more problems than they solve. Prolonged monetary tightening is already damaging countries’ long-term interests.”

— Veronica Nilsson, General Secretary of TUAC.

Specifically, TUAC is concerned that these policies are:

  • Slowing the urgently needed transition to a green economy, which requires massive capital investment;
  • narrowing fiscal space for public investment and increasing the number of corporate bankruptcies, with potentially disruptive impact on employment;
  • widening inequality, increasing returns for wealthy asset owners while making access to housing more difficult for working households.

Furthermore, there is a risk that the full effects of higher interest rates have not been felt and could still push economies from low growth into recession.

TUAC calls for Central banks to fulfil their dual mandate of achieving price stability and high employment, and to cut interest rates to avoid an unnecessary recession, and for governments to ensure fiscal space to meet UN Sustainable Development Goals and climate action goals.

These concerns and proposals were put to the OECD and Japanese Government in a meeting on Thursday 14 March, with the participation of OECD Secretary-General Mathias Cormann, to prepare for the annual OECD Ministerial Council meeting on 2-3 May (chaired by Japan).

Taking part with business and industry representatives from BIAC, were trade union leaders from RENGO (Japan), KSBSI (Indonesia), NZCTU (New Zealand), TUC (UK), CGIL (Italy), FNV (the Netherlands) and ACV-CSC (Belgium) and including TUAC General Secretary Veronica Nilsson.

TUAC also raised with the OECD and Japanese Government the need for a socially just transition to a net zero and digital economy with policies and governance processes to ensure nobody is left behind; to consult and involve unions and workers in designing, regulating and managing artificial intelligence in the workplace; to ensure enforceable social and labour clauses in trade agreements and full implementation of the OECD guidelines for Multinational Enterprises; to insist that OECD accession countries introduce measures to enable freedom for workers to join trade unions and collectively bargain before they join the OECD; and to promote workers’ rights, workplace democracy and social dialogue and collective bargaining as an integral part of OECD initiatives to strengthen democracy.