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Statement by Global Unions to the 2017 Annual Meetings of the IMF and World Bank

14 September 2017

(Washington, 13-15 October 2017)

The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), TUAC and Global Unions are submitting a joint statement to the heads of the IMF and World Bank and to the member-country governments who are taking part in the institutions’ Annual Meetings in October, which can be downloaded on the right hand side.  


The trade union statement observes that although global economic growth has shown a slight recent improvement compared to 2016, working people in many regions continue to experience high unemployment and under-employment, and wage stagnation.  The statement urges the international financial institutions to focus on creating quality jobs, expanding universal social protection, achieving the transition to a low-carbon future and reducing inequality.  The IFIs should join those calling for fairer rules in international trade and investment agreements, not push for liberalization that further strengthens investors’ rights at the expense of everyone else.


The statement produced by Global Unions puts forward detailed recommendations for actions by the IFIs to restore labour’s share of national income and reduce income and wealth inequality, make progress on gender equality and achieve a just transition to a sustainable economy.  It criticises the World Bank’s promotion of public private partnerships in developing countries and urges the IMF to change its policy of favouring narrowly targeted social safety nets instead of universal social protection. 


The trade union statement also contains recommendations for ensuring the effective and comprehensive application of the World Bank’s new labour standards lending requirement, scheduled to begin in 2018.