World Bank officials at a conference in Sydney last November were pressed by AID/WATCH and trade union officials to introduce mandatory labour standards. The conference, “Doing Business with the World Bank and the United Nations” was targeted by campaigners concerned that the Bank’s competitive bidding process provides “an incentive for firms to cut corners on wages and conditions”. They urged the Bank to use labour standards as a condition of qualifying bids. The Malaysian Trade Union Congress estimates that 90% of workers in the construction and plantation industries in Malaysia are contract labourers with minimal rights.
The joint statement, Workers’ rights – call for World Bank action is available from: AID/WATCH, PO Box 652, Woollahra NSW 2025, AUSTRALIA, firstname.lastname@example.org.