PSI/ GUFs campaign at ADB Annual Govenors' Meeting

2-5 May 2012, Manila, Philippines:  Delegates from global union federations (GUFs) –  from India, Indonesia, Singapore, Mongolia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Tonga, Nepal, Japan, Philippines and Cambodia – comprised 35% of the total 319 CSOs from 28 countries, with 13% from the NGO Forum on ADB, and a significant number from youth groups. The AGM’s theme was on “Inclusive Growth through Better Governance and Partnerships”  and the GUFs campaigned on the following issues:  (1) Adopt the ILO Core Labour Standards as part of its official operational policy and regulation to protect workers' right to self-organisation and collective bargaining; (2) Establish institutional partnership with trade union organizations based on its operational policies contained in the Operations Manual as complementary system to its Accountability Mechanism; and (3) Initiate dialogue with trade unions to review loans and grants which strengthen member states’ policies to privatize basic public utilities such as power and water; and to tackle proliferation of precarious working conditions in ADB project sites.  Before the AGM, the GUFs joined May Day rally in Manila, with slogans "Create Labor Desk at ADB",  "Respect Workers' Rights."  At the GUFs 'inside' forum on “ADB's Inclusive Growth: Pro-Poor or Anti-Poor?”   PSI demanded that, among others, ADB define an action plan with global targets for its social protection strategy;  clarify how the Bank can assist in targeting equality of outcomes and not only equality of access;   and support the adoption of financial transaction taxes to fund job-intensive recoveries. At the formal opening event of the AGM, thy were barred entry  when they staged a silent protest against the Bank's continued inaction to protect and promote workers rights;  the tussle between the GUF delegates and security personnel right outside the AGM venue was widely covered by local and foreign press,  print and TV.

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