Trade Unions from industrialised countries call on governments to take new initiative to halt growing insecurity for workers

ICFTU Online..., 153/980623/DD, 23 June 1998

Brussels June 23 1998 (ICFTU OnLine): Government needs to pay a central role to ensure that public systems and social concerns are an integral part of all social policy, says the Trade Unions Advisory Committee (TUAC) in a statement they are presenting to OECD Ministers prior to the OECD Social Policy Ministers' meeting on June 23/24.

TUAC says that globalisation, demographic change, mass unemployment, increasing economic insecurity and changing family structures all point to the need for a new agenda for social policy, with the reduction of unemployment as its central objective. Any privatisation of social security systems would be a disaster, says TUAC, and would worsen inequality and increase insecurity.

The statement which TUAC is presenting to the Ministers today, June 23, includes a comprehensive basis for social policy reform, has seven key points.

It calls on Ministers to:
extend policy beyond purely economic policies to include a social objective,
commit governments to funding as an investment in political stability, and a condition for economic efficiency,
encourage public debate to establish agreed principles for the equitable and sustainable renewal of social security systems,
encourage the OECD to play an active role in preparing comparable social indicators, and disseminate policy experience.
conduct an equitable reform and strengthening of health care systems
The statement says
the successful fight against unemployment is critical to restoring social cohesion and allowing social policy to function effectively;
the obsession with the costs of public pension system is not a satisfactory starting point to meeting the challenges of an ageing society; instead there must be a balanced approach to pensions, including public provision and action to integrate and favour employing older workers.