The Federation of Unions of South Africa (Fedusa) would be part of a high-level delegation of international trade union leaders meeting with the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) next week, the organisation reported on Friday.
The delegation, led by International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) general-secretary Sharan Burrow, would engage with World Bank head Jim Yong Kim and IMF chief Christine Lagarde, as well as several international financial institutions.
The meetings would take place in Washington from February 12 to 14.
“It is imperative for Fedusa to be part of this delegation because the discussions will focus on how the policies of the World Bank and the IMF – such as IMF loan conditionality and programmes – impact on workers across the globe,” said Fedusa general-secretary Dennis George.
The consultations would also look at measures to ensure that ‘decent work’ was incorporated in the international agenda, he noted.
“It is of great importance that the IMF and World Bank place a stronger programme focus on job creation, labour standards and the meaningful impact of gender issues to prevent intensified poverty as a result of market and government failure,” said George.
Fedusa would further call for safeguards in World Bank projects and would press for special World Bank assistance for South Africa to achieve a just transition to a 'green' economy.
“It would be unfair to expect South Africa to close all our coal mines, which would result in massive retrenchments,” noted George.
Fedusa would also be meeting with representatives of the American Federation of Labour and Congress of Industrial Organisations to discuss the Future of Worker Representation project that sought to investigate new models for growing trade union membership and the representation of workers.
Global trade unions recognised that the global labour movement offered innovative approaches to building worker power, Fedusa said.
“It is essential that we learn from our labour colleagues how to organise and build grassroots movements in a changing global context, where there are different configurations of employment in the workplace,” George added.