T20 Turkey

Labor 20 Launch Held in Ankara

04/02/2015

Attending the launch event, Bozkurt Aran, Director of the TEPAV Multilateral Trade Studies Center, informed the attendees about TEPAV’s priorities for the T20.

ANKARA – The launch event of the Labor 20 (L20), one of the five outreach groups of G20, was held in Ankara on Wednesday, 4 February, 2015. Discussions during the meeting, entitled “Job-Generating Growth, Fair Wages, and Inclusive Development,” focused on youth unemployment, income inequality, the declining share of wage earners in GDP, and jobless growth. The key themes of the meeting were sound and balanced economic growth, and labor force quality.

Opening with welcoming remarks by Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan, the meeting included participants Ergün Atalay, Chair of the Confederation of Turkish Trade Unions (Türk-İş); Ayşe Sinirlioğlu, Deputy Undersecretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and G20 Sherpa; Yağız Eyüboğlu, Chair of Executive Board of the Turkish Confederation of Employers’ Associations (TİSK); Bozkurt Aran, Director of the TEPAV Multilateral Trade Studies Center; Erhan Batur, Deputy Undersecretary of the Ministry of Labor and Social Security; Sharan Burrow, ITUC Secretary General; John Evans, TUAC Secretary General; Kani Beko, Chair of the Confederation of Progressive Trade Unions of Turkey (DİSK), Mahmut Arslan, Chair of HAK-İŞ, Anna Biondi, ILO-ACTRAY Deputy Director; C20 Representative Meryem Aslan; representatives from the EU Delegation in Turkey; TÜRK-İŞ, HAK-İŞ, and DİSK Board of Chairs members; and the media.

Bozkurt Aran, from TEPAV, drew attention to the need to maintain the job-generating capacity of economic growth. Aran stressed that the rise in labor productivity, enabled by technological advances, brought about the risk of employment cuts. In this context, Aran stated that a balance should be established between technology and production that safeguards increases in employment. Identifying that the export agenda of Turkey concentrates mainly on current account deficit, Aran raised the question, “Isn’t it time to reestablish the link between exports and employment?” During his speech Aran also gave some information about the priorities of the T20 under TEPAV’s coordination.

The launch event ended after the announcement of the L20 Declaration prepared by trade union confederations.