Canadian Labour Congress

Canadian Labour Congress

April 03, 2009 13:53 ET

G-20 Summit an "Interim Success" Says CLC

Ken Georgetti credits pressure from labour movement

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - April 3, 2009) - The G-20 summit in London was an "interim success" and the international labour movement deserves much of the credit, says Canadian Labour Congress President Ken Georgetti.

"We are disappointed that they did not commit to new stimulus spending, but we demanded that governments act more aggressively on the economic crisis and they have finally heard us," Georgetti says. He and other global union leaders met earlier this week with U.K. Prime Minister Gordon Brown, the summit chair, Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, Brazilian President Lula, South African President Kgalema Motlanthe and other national leaders to press for action on jobs, help for struggling nations hit hard by the crisis, and greater oversight of an out-of-control financial elite.

"Coming into the meetings, the G-20 leaders weren't on this page but after our effective advocacy, they were ready to act more aggressively and put people, not banks, first," says Georgetti.

The G-20 countries announced an estimated $1 trillion in financial measures, including $100 billion in aid to developing countries and extra resources for the International Monetary Fund to lend to struggling economies. The G-20 also promised tougher global regulation of banks, hedge funds and financial institutions and sanctions against secretive tax havens.

"This is a step in the right direction. It was greedy bankers along with reckless and sometimes corrupt CEOs who got us into this mess and that has to be cleaned up," Georgetti says.

Does it signal an end to the failed deregulation policies of the last thirty years? "Only time will tell if the G-20 governments are truly committed to tougher government oversight. One way to make sure of that is transparency and making sure the same architects who got us into this mess are not given the job of trying to clean it up."

Georgetti says Prime Minister Harper may have to spend more on economic stimulus, and the government must improve the Employment Insurance program. "More than half of our unemployed workers can't get EI benefits and that's simply not good enough."

The Canadian Labour Congress, the national voice of the labour movement, represents 3.2 million Canadian workers. The CLC brings together Canada's national and international unions along with the provincial and territorial federations of labour and 130 district labour councils. Web site:

Contact Information

  • Dennis Gruending
    613-526-7431 or 613-878-6040
    Jeff Atkinson
    613-526-7425 or 613-863-1413