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The Labour 20 (L20) are the elected representatives of trade unions from the G20 countries, representing the voice and interests of working people. For many years the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) and the Trade Union Advisory Committee (TUIC) to the OECD have brought together labour leaders at G8 and G20 summits. The first formal L20 summit took place at the Cannes G20 summit in November 2011.

The Cannes L20 Summit, 2011

The first L20 Summit was held in the backdrop of an ongoing world financial and economic crisis, global market instability for workers and companies, deepening unemployment and uncertainty in the labour market. The L20 leaders urged the G20 to put social issues to put on the main agenda to draw the attention of governments to some major issues on which they can develop a common vision. They suggested that the G20 make issues such as reduction unemployment their priority. In the summit, L20 leaders’ discussion focused on the following issues:

  • Employment
  • Social protection
  • Fundamental principles and rights at work
  • Coherence of actions in the multilateral system

The Los Cabos L20 Summit, June 2012

  • Growth and Employment: The L20 recommended the G20 leaders to shift the focus away from austerity towards inclusive growth and job creation and implement a “Los Cabos Growth and Jobs Plan” which includes investment infrastructure, prioritizing projects with the highest growth and facilitating green investment and growing green jobs job creation. They also suggested the creation of a 20 Youth Jobs Pact in close cooperation with the social partners to invest in education, training, skills, innovation and in-work programmes, with a special focus on unemployed youth.
  • Strengthening the Financial System and Fostering Financial Inclusion: The L20 leaders opined that there is an urgent need to accelerate reforms as regards shadow banking, regulation of derivatives, bankers’ pay and risk management, credit rating agencies, speculative trading, cooperation on international tax evasion and financial consumer protection.
  • Financial architecture: in addition to growth-oriented European economic governance reforms, the L20 urged the G20 to improve the crisis assistance facilities, such as providing emergency lending resources at low rates, ensuring the international lenders such as World Bank give higher priority to creation of decent jobs and promote policies that maximize employment impacts, including lending to Small and Medium enterprises. The L20 also emphasized accountability and transparency in procedures of working of the international organizations.
  • Development Resources: The L20 called on the G20 to increase the flows of development resources to extend the Social Protection Floor (SPF). This will help achieve the MDGs and will also promote social justice, decent jobs and will enhance the participation of the social partners.
  • Food Security and Commodity Price Volatility: The L20 leaders suggested that the G20 members extend assistance to the poorest countries affected by rising cereal and other food prices, review the regulatory trade and investment policies that are promoting food insecurity and undermining agriculture’s capacity and eliminate subsidies that undermine current and future food security – including for export crops and bio-fuel production. They also emphasized committing to provide effective regulatory mechanisms in the agricultural commodity and futures markets to limit speculation.
  • Sustainable Development, Green Growth and Climate Change:  The L20 leaders suggested that the G20 Summit should agree on an ambitious contribution to the upcoming United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), taking place immediately after the G20 Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 20-22 June 2012 and agree on launching a global initiative on employment. This will promote green jobs, with a special focus on young workers, in order to reach the goal of “Decent Work for All”.
  • Governance and the G20: The L20 called on G20 to encourage coherence between economic, trade, social and environmental policies at national, regional and global level, with close involvement of the ILO, IMF, World Bank, WTO, EU OECD, FSB and relevant UN bodies to assess the compliance of their analyses (crisis and post-crisis) with ILO standards and the aims of the Global Jobs Pact.

Saint Petersburg Labour 20 Summit, July 2013

The Labour 20 Summit took place in Moscow on July 17, 2013. It was organized by the Federation of Independent Trade Unions of Russia (FNPR) and the Friedrich Ebert Foundation (FES Moscow) together with the L20. Discussions was held on: sustainable, green and inclusive growth, quality employment creation and financial regulation, and put forward a statement for the G20 Leaders and Ministers to take into consideration in their final statements, urging them to translate past and future commitments into tangible policies.

The Labour 20 Summit prepared policy recommendations and key messages to the Joint Finance and Labour Ministers' Meeting and the G20 Leaders' Summit in September.

L20 in 2014

The L20 is organised each year by the International Trade Union Confederation and the Trade Union Advisory Council of the OECD, working with organised labour in the host country. Ms Gerardine (Ged) Kearney, President of the Australian Council of Trade Unions, chairs the Australian L20 Steering Group.

Further information about the L20s meetings, press conferences and documents are available at their official website.Click here