Sharan Burrow: Kan Cares about Working People

Friday, September 3, 2010

Sharan Burrow

Tokyo -- Sharan Burrow, the first female general-secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), was full of praise for Prime Minister Naoto Kan at a press conference hosted today by the Foreign Correspondents Club of Japan.

"He has my respect, and I would be saying to working people, 'here is a man who cares about a decent world for workers, for their families, and for vulnerable people.'"

Burrow led a labor delegation that met today with the Japanese prime minister.

"I have to tell you that we were very impressed with Prime Minister Kan. His response and the Japanese strategy for balanced, sustainable, and inclusive growth could have been written by working people everywhere," she declared.

"You can't ask for more than that - a prime minister who cares about the dignity of working people, their job security, their rights to bargain collectively, to have the security of a minimum wage and social protection," she added.

In other matters, Burrow explained that about 60% of the world's workers were engaged in "irregular or precarious work."

She called for APEC to institutionalize the voice of labor within its organization as it already has the business community.

Burrow also expressed doubt that much had been learned by the Lehman Shock and the near-collapse of the global financial system in 2008-2009.

"The casino capitalists are back in control of the discourse," she declared.

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