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The Failure Of Neo-Liberal Capitalism

Workers Pay The Price For The Failure Of Neo-Liberal Capitalism

As workers and trade unionists throughout the world prepare to celebrate International Workers Day on May 1st, the current global economic crisis continues to spread and its impact is felt not only on financial markets, but also, and more importantly, on the real economy and the ability of people to hold down or access decent, secure work.

After 30 years of mismanagement, the public sector is being called upon to clean up the mess created by unrestrained and largely unregulated global capitalism." says Peter Waldorff, PSI General Secretary “We are expected to pay for the insatiable greed of corporate executives and the mistakes of market fundamentalists”.

Public sector workers and users throughout the world are suffering from the impact of the economic crisis because of government cuts in public service provision. Women, young workers, migrants and minority ethnic groups are being disproportionately affected, as social spending by governments diminishes and leads to the casualisation and informalisation of many public sector jobs. Job losses in health care, local and municipal sectors are compounding the ability of the poorer population, the majority of whom are women, to access essential public services such as water, health care and education.

It is vital that governments live up to their responsibilities and invest in the provision of quality public services such as education, health, water, sanitation, law, safety and security, all of which are essential to building a healthy and fair society.

Many countries, both industrialised and developing, will also be tempted to use the current crises to ignore or limit workers rights. Some governments are already refusing to honour collective agreements. In Colombia, which already has the worst track record for human and trade union rights, more than 2,300 workers – 70% of whom were trade unionists - were arbitrarily dismissed as a result of an on-going restructuring process in central administration. Trade unionists who voiced opposition to the process found themselves the target of a paramilitary group which issued death threats against them.

“We must be vigilant and support each other in upholding fundamental trade union values and rights” continues Waldorff “Governments and employers should welcome the participation of workers in finding solutions to resolve the crisis at the national, community and workplace levels.”

PSI joins the ITUC and other global unions in calling for a new global economy built on social justice with full respect of trade union rights which puts the needs of people first and puts an end to poverty, inequality, discrimination and exploitation.


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