March for Jobs, Justice, Climate
Saturday 28 March 2009
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Congratulations on turning out to stand up against the extraordinary corporate greed that bought us the global financial crisis - now a crisis for working people and their families as they increasingly lose their jobs,
Congratulations for standing against poverty and against environmental destruction.
But most of all thank you for standing up for those who can't;
They want, we all want, a better world, a world where people come first!
The anger of people around the world is growing.
This anger is understandable as more and more of the world's people realise that their jobs, their houses, the value of their pension funds have been stripped away by a crisis caused by greed and incompetence in the financial sector.
The message is loud and clear for the leaders of the G20 next week - there can be no business as usual.
There must be an end to unrestrained financial markets, the fraud of self-regulation and the greed and stupidity of our bankers and businesses leveraging massive profit from unconstrained debt.
The rampant free market must be buried - replaced with a more caring, more equitable society where people do come first.
There must be strong role for government, for public services, for job security and for workers' rights.
Even the President of France says there must be 'a new moral foundation for capitalism'.
We want to see action from the political leaders in London this week - leaders of nations that control 85% of the world's economic activity.
They must act on:
and then -
Trade unions can say 'I told you so'. We have been warning for many years about the explosion in inequality, the growing gap between wages and profits, the increase in precarious employment, the rising debt levels for working families and the casino capitalism of a financial sector increasingly divorced from the real economy.
The shameful reality is that not only have there been no apologies and no jail sentences but outrageous multi-million bonuses are still being pocketed by financial engineers who created a financial house of cards now destroying the livelihoods and the real homes of millions.
And there can be no doubt that the corporate world has lost its moral compass when CEOs are still taking home salaries many times the average wage, while at the same time closing factories and sacking workers or sending their jobs to even lower paying countries.
Indeed some of the corporate cowboys who created this crisis are saying 'just bail us out' and 'leave it to the market'! They are shamelessly still acting as if they run the show.
Well here's a news flash from working people around the world: the party is over!
The global financial crisis has demonstrated once and for all that unfettered markets don't work. They don't work for the economy, and they do nothing for workers and their families.
And the same unfettered economic development has also rushed headlong down a path of environmental catastrophe, with climate change threatening the livelihoods of hundreds of millions of the worlds people and whole communities in vulnerable continents like my own and many of yours.
We want a different world, a world where people really do come first!
Sharan Burrow is the President of the Australian Council of Trade Unions and of the International Trade Union Confederation
Briefing document (900 words) issued 28 Mar 2009
This page http://www.tuc.org.uk/international/tuc-16197-f0.cfm
printed 25 May 2013 at 14:42 hrs by 126.96.36.199