Date: Sat, 4 Mar 1995 12:33:42 CST
Reply-To: Peoples Weekly World <Scott@rednet.org>
Sender: Activists Mailing List <ACTIV-L@MIZZOU1.missouri.edu>
From: Peoples Weekly World <Scott@rednet.org>
Subject: Global joblessness worst since 1930's
To: Multiple recipients of list ACTIV-L <ACTIV-L@MIZZOU1.missouri.edu>
UNITED NATIONS—In a report published Feb. 22, the International
Labour Organization (ILO) said that
33 percent of the world's
workforce—some 820 million people—are unemployed or
underemployed, the highest percentage since the Great Depression of
Michel Hansenne, ILO director-general, said,
The present situation
is both morally and economically irrational. It is creating an
enormous waste of resources and deepening human suffering.
In the summary to the report, Hansenne called for a
full employment which would provide a common vision to inspire
action. A defeatist attitude on full employment risks becoming a
self-serving prophecy. The neglect of employment issues (as opposed to
inflation and industrial productivity) has gone too far.
The report directly challenged pro-capitalist agencies such as the
International Monetary Fund and the World Bank saying that they
downplay the gravity of the global unemployment crisis.
Further, the report dismissed the claims that
high wages causes
increased unemployment and said that there is
no evidence that
higher wages or a national minimum wage has any adverse effect on the
employment situation. The unemployment crisis will occupy center stage
at the March 6-12 World Summit for Social Development which will meet
in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Citing the fact that the industrialized countries of western Europe and the U.S. have experienced sharp increases in unemployment in recent years, the ILO report said the crisis can no longer be viewed as simply a problem of the developing countries.
The report added,
High unemployment in industrialized countries is
the result of a persistent inadequacy of economic activity for 20
years due to the lack of coordination and the deflationary bias of
European economic policies, ie., the corporate drive to deregulate
economies and suppress wages is the direct cause of high unemployment.
The report firmly rejected
pure laissez-faire policies and
government-based adjustment programs, such as public
works programs and state-sponsored job creation activities.
The ILO stressed that the goal of full employment must be undertaken
on a global scale arguing,
Employment security measures increases
the propensity of firms to train and the willingness of workers to
invest in upgrading their skills. Rules that protect the income and
employment security of workers can increase productive efficiency by
creating incentives for competition to occur more through product
innovation and market strategy.
This is the first of what are expected to be annual reports on the global employment situation, itself a recognition of the gravity of the crisis.