IMF Managing Director Michel Camdessus met with 50 world labor union leaders at the IMF on January 21 for discussions on the social dimensions of a new global financial architecture. The talks addressed concerns about the potential social effects of a new architecture of internationally accepted business standards, strengthened financial systems, integrated financial markets, and increased transparency.
The labor leaders, in a delegation organized by the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU) and led by ICFTU General Secretary Bill Jordan, represented 20 countries and also included observers from the International Labor Organization (ILO). The leaders stressed the importance of the social implications of macroeconomic adjustment including core labor standards, as defined by the recently adopted ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work. They hoped to continue regular meetings between the IMF and organized labor and sought an active role for labor in the process of designing the social framework of the new global financial architecture. Camdessus welcomed the opportunity to discuss social and labor issues and agreed it was important to consider the social dimension of the new architecture.