Business and workers unite in call for international cooperation on COVID-19

  • 20 March 2020

ICC and the ITUC have joined forces in a call for bold coordinated action that leaves no one behind in response to the COVID-19.

Ahead of next week’s G20 leaders summit, the world’s business and workers’ organisations have joined forces to issue an open letter calling on political leaders to commit to bold coordinated action that leaves no one behind in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The letter is co-signed by the leaders of the International Chamber of (ICC) and the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC). ICC is the institutional representative of more than 45 million companies in over 100 countries. The ITUC represents 200 million workers in 163 countries and territories and has 332 national affiliates.

In an unprecedented joint call to action, the two organisations have united to call for swift, dramatic action from the leaders of the world’s largest economies to stem the human and economic consequences of the growing COVID-19 crisis.

Ahead of the extraordinary virtual summit scheduled to take place early next week, the two organisations have called on G20 leaders to commit to immediate action to:

  1. Get infection control and medical products into the hands of those who need them the most;
  2. Provide direct support to small businesses and workers;
  3. Enable the private sector to support testing at scale to boost stressed public health provision; and
  4. Increase international assistance to help the world’s poorest.

Commenting on the unprecedented call to action, ICC Secretary General John W.H. Denton AO said:

“The COVID-19 pandemic is truly unprecedented and requires an unprecedented response. ICC and ITUC are already taking urgent action to ensure our networks take all necessary measures to mitigate the effects of COVID-19. It’s now time for us to see real political solidarity and coordinated action from the world’s largest economies.

“There is a clear opportunity for G20 leaders to stem the worst effects of COVID-19 by making actionable commitments to get medical products and services to those who need them and pledging to coordinated action to stabilise markets, restore confidence and safeguard jobs.

ITUC General Secretary Sharan Burrow said:

“Global workers’ and business groups are standing together to support Governments, business and workers in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. All necessary government support for health is vital and where important for business ensure adequate paid sick leave for all workers, vital income support and, above all, keep people in work.                                                                     

“We urgently need G20 leaders to step up and join us through social dialogue to respond to this global health and economic crisis. Only by increasing co-coordinated international assistance will we stop this pandemic, which has no borders. Your leadership is vital.”

ICC and ITUC are firm in their conviction that only effective global cooperation can contain the potential human and economic toll of COVID-19. Businesses and their workers globally are looking to the G20 for bold leadership in this crisis.

Read full letter and statement.