Memorandum submitted by Amicus
Amicus is the UK's second largest trade union
with 1.2 million members across the private and public sectors.
Our members work in a range of industries including manufacturing,
financial services, print, media, construction and not for profit
sectors, local government, education and the NHS.
Amicus believes that globalisation can be a
force for enormous economic, social and cultural good;
similarly it can continue to enforce the status quo whereby institutions
and multinationals prevail over social considerations. We stand
at a crucial point of equilibrium between the best and the worst
that can happen.
Amicus campaigns to protect the rights
of its members and campaigns for the promotion and upholding of
global labour standards.
Amicus believes that globalisation
presents a challenge to industry and workers and threatens to
broaden disparities of wealth both domestically and globally.
However, if globalisation is managed effectively it can promote
economic growth and dynamism and can deliver millions out of poverty.
Amicus warns against increasing flexibility
and liberalisation at the expense of employment standards. Competition
will only lead to innovation, productivity and high quality goods
and services if it has a social dimension.
Amicus believes companies, operating
both in the UK and abroad, have a duty of care to their workforce
and local communities. This duty of care should exist irrespective
of prevailing local conditions. Amicus calls for the government
to support an international legally binding framework for Corporate
Social Responsibility to ensure the maintenance of global labour
standards in accordance with ILO and UN Global Compact guidelines.
Globalisation threatens to render
UK workers at a global disadvantage in terms of employment security
and Amicus therefore calls for a "level playing field"
to ensure British workers are afforded the same labour rights
as their European neighbours.
Amicus is concerned at the damaging
impact offshoring is having on the UK skills base. Amicus is also
concerned that businesses are being put under pressure to outsource
without being aware of the associated complexities and dangers.
Amicus urges the government to ensure
that employee inclusion is paramount in company decisions to relocate
operations abroad. Amicus' Offshoring Charter establishes a standard
of best practice for companies who wish to reorganise. This Charter
provides labour standards for disadvantaged UK workers and those
subsequently employed in host countries. Amicus has successfully
utilised the Charter to produce Globalisation Agreements with
the offshoring parent companies.
Amicus advocates International Framework
Agreements (IFAs) as a means of improving and protecting labour
standards at a global level. Amicus urges the Government to push
multinationals to negotiate IFAs with the relevant Global Union
Amicus believes that investment in
skills, enterprise, innovation and infrastructure is crucial in
allowing UK industry to remain productive and competitive. Amicus
calls on the government to ensure that the necessary support and
incentives for investment exist. In particular, Amicus emphasises
the need to provide support for exporters and funding for small
Amicus urges the government to prioritise
investment in Research and Development and the UK science base.
Amicus believes that only through advancing economic enterprise
and dynamism can the UK forge a lead in safeguarding and delivering
high quality jobs, businesses, products and services.
Amicus urges the government to support
the funding and implementation of schemes to deliver skills to
the UK workforce. Amicus highlights the vital role trade unions
play in training and learning in the workplace.
Amicus opposes the liberalisation
of essential public services and urges the WTO to ensure that
developing countries are given the time and flexibility to pursue
effective development policies. Amicus calls for an end to unfair
EU subsidies and urges the UK Government to work to this end.
Amicus calls on the government to
utilise increases and innovations in taxation to meet its commitment
of allocating 0.7% of GDP to Official Development Assistance by
1. The nature and impact of globalisation
on the UK economy
1.1 The meaning of globalisation
1.1.1 The term globalisation refers to the
growing economic interdependence of countries worldwide through
a rapid increase in cross-border movement of goods, services,
resources, technology and capital.
1.1.2 Globalisationparticularly in
its most recent guiseis characterised and driven by the
liberalisation and deregulation of markets. The key players in
facilitating this are national governments (through World Trade
Organisation negotiations), multinational enterprises and the
Bretton Woods institutions (ie World Bank and International Monetary
Fund). Technological advances, the reduction in transport costs
and greater international specialisation
have likewise contributed to the current trends.
1.2 The recent phase of globalisation as a new
Globalisation itself is not a new phenomenon;
rather it can be described as evolving through distinct phases
in history. The most recent "contemporary" phase of
globalisation (broadly defined as 1970 to the present day) has
been characterised by the liberalisation of international trade,
the expansion of foreign direct investment and the emergence of
massive cross border financial flows.
It is also increasingly characterised by the exploitation of the
developing world, the weakening of labour standards and a widening
gap between the world's rich and poor.
1.3 The roles of India and China in the globalisation
1.3.1 Recent globalisation trends have witnessed
an increasing integration of emerging markets into the world economy.
This has been possible largely as a result of the huge resource
of cheap labour available and the ability of large companies to
exploit advances in transport and technology. This phenomenon
necessarily brings economic advantages and human/labour rights
1.3.2 Amicus acknowledges that to compete
with such nations on an economic footing UK industry must evolve
its skill base and productivity levels, requiring innovation and
investment. Amicus welcomes the economic progress of such nations
as India and China as a means of lifting populations out of poverty
and enhancing living standards. Amicus is extremely concerned,
however, that human rights and labour standards are not being
1.3.3 Ineffective labour representation
can lead to the exploitation of labour within these rising economies.
Amicus expresses concern at the existencein both India
and Chinaof appalling working conditions which include
child labour, long working hours, poor wages, low levels of health
and safety and restrictions on organised labour.
1.3.4 Amicus strongly urges the UK Government
to contribute to creating a global frameworkworking in
conjunction with multinational corporationsthat raises
and protects labour standards and human rights, in line with guidelines
drawn up by the International Labour Organisation and United Nations
1.3.5 Amicus further believes that multinational
corporations investing in and benefiting from these emerging markets
have a duty of care to ensure that core labour standards are met
in line with OECD and ILO guidelines. Furthermore, the UK Government
must find ways to press multinational corporations to adhere to
these labour standards.
1.3.6 Amicus does not wish to see global
labour standards reduced through bad practice in regions where
organised labour is less developed or, in the case of China, not
1.4 The opportunities and challenges which globalisation
presents for the UK
1.4.1 Globalisation is a manageable concept,
and as such the opportunities it offers can be harnessed to serve
the needs of an inclusive global society. At present globalisation
is benefiting the few while increasing disparities of wealth at
home and abroad.
1.4.2 Globalisation presents a huge challenge
to the UK, most particularly for workers. If not managed correctly,
British industry may be rendered uncompetitive in a new dynamic
global marketplace. The implications of this in terms of job losses
and the movement of industry abroad are severe.
1.4.3 Amicus believes that British industry
must therefore evolve by up-skilling, improving production and
leading the way in innovation and enterprise. Management and employers
have a key role to play here. The challenge for government is
to ensure that the UK industry and labour market receives sufficient
investment, guidance and support to be able to adapt and compete
on this new level.
1.4.4 On a global scale the challenge is
twofold. Firstly, Amicus believes that global rules and institutions
must collectively ensure that developing nations are afforded
the opportunity to capitalise on globalisation and work their
way out of poverty. In this case, unfettered liberalisation is
not the answer.
1.4.5 Secondly, Amicus believes that labour
standards need to be protected through a global legal framework
reflecting the principals set out by the ILO and the UN Global
Compact. This demands the involvement of the labour movement and
business in ensuring that global standards are implemented and
remain intact across the board.
1.4.6 Capitalising on globalisationthrough
dedicated partnership between government, business and trade unionsaffords
the UK the opportunity to build a highly skilled workforce and
a dynamic and enterprising economy. On a global level it presents
a pathway out of poverty and a means of achieving an unprecedented
global framework for human rights and labour standards.
2.1 Business investment
2.1.1 In a competitive globalised marketplace,
where lower labour and operating costs encourage businesses to
locate abroad, investment in UK industry is put at risk. Investment
is crucial to productivity and is called for by Amicus on a number
of inter related fronts such as skills, enterprise, innovation
2.1.2 Investment in manufacturing is particularly
important in generating productivity and international competitiveness.
Between 1999-2002 private sector manufacturing investment in the
UK fell by 18.3%. Current investment figures are consistently
low. The revised estimate of investment for the fourth quarter
of 2005 was 1.3% higher than the same period the previous year
and 0.9% lower than the previous quarter.
The culture of short-termism in the UK and the risk premiums attached
to the cost of borrowing by lending institutions are compounding
2.1.3 Amicus welcomes the government's attempts
at addressing some of these issues in Pillar Two of the Manufacturing
Strategy on Investment. In particular, Amicus welcomes the establishment
of incentives for investment, Regional Venture Capital Funds,
Early Growth Funding, R+D Tax Credits and the Small Firms Loan
2.1.4 Amicus urges the government to ensure
that the Export Credit Guarantee Department (ECGD) continues to
offer competitive support for exporters, in line with provision
on offer in other countries. The US Export-Import Bank and Coface
in France are increasing their support within their respective
countries. Amicus welcomes the establishment of an ECGD Fund to
support the inherent risk involved in large projects.
2.1.5 The Manufacturing Advisory Service
has proved a huge success, giving manufacturers advice on improving
their business. This success needs to be built upon with additional
funding needed to fulfil its objectives and extend its facilities
to manufacturers. A lack of funding still hampers Small to Medium
Sized Enterprises' (SMEs) efforts to invest. A government underwritten
dedicated investment bank for the manufacturing industry would
assist the SME sector in gaining access to funds.
2.1.6 Amicus urges the Bank of England to
take account of industrial and regional employment patterns when
making interest rate decisions.
2.2 Promoting innovation
2.2.1 "In an increasingly global world,
our ability to invent, design and manufacture the goods and services
that people want is more vital to our future prosperity than ever
[and] is absolutely essential to safeguard and deliver high-quality
jobs, successful businesses, better products and services"Tony
Blair, DTI Innovation report, Competing in the Global Economy:
The Innovation Challenge, December 2003.
2.2.2 Amicus endorses the view of the UK
government that effective innovation is crucial in ensuring that
British industry is able to meet global challenges and bridge
the gap in productivity with international competitors. Success
is dependant on investment in new products, new designs, new materials
and new production techniques. Research and Development is particularly
important to the future of the UK's manufacturing industries.
2.2.3 Government can play a key role in
promoting innovation, through direct investment in Research and
Development and the UK science base. Amicus welcomes announcements
by the government in this year's budget that there will be an
expansion in the R+D credit by doubling the size of company that
can claim the higher credit. Amicus also welcomes the implementation
of a comprehensive programme for the recruitment and retention
of 3,000 science teachers along with a new entitlement to study
the full range of science subjects at GCSE level and the funding
of after school science clubs.
2.2.4 Amicus welcomes government initiatives
to promote knowledge transfer from research institutions to businesses,
notably through the Higher Education Research Fund. Amicus also
welcomes the funding of SMEs through tax credits and access to
finance via the UK High Technology Fund and technology venture
capital funds. Amicus encourages regional authoritiessuch
as the Regional Science and Industry Councilsto play a
leading role in promoting business innovation.
2.2.5 Amicus supports the European Research
Framework Programme and the Labour Party's National Policy Forum
which has agreed to commit the UK to increase R+D investment to
2.5% of national income.
2.2.6 Amicus urges the government to implement
tax deductions for the cost of acquiring intellectual property,
and to increase funding within the scientific sector to further
encourage enterprise and dynamism within our economy.
2.3 Outsourcing by UK businesses
2.3.1 Offshoring is becoming increasingly
attractive to UK businesses who wish to reduce labour costs and
increase profits. Amicus welcomes the social and economic benefits
that offshoring brings to developing countries. However, Amicus
is concerned at the pressure British business is coming under
to outsource work abroad and in particular the damaging impact
this is having on the UK skills base.
2.3.2 Practically every modern office based
job is affected by offshoring; this extends beyond call centres
to highly skilled jobs such as software development, HR, and equity
research. HSBC (4,000 jobs), Aviva (2,350 jobs), LloydsTSB/Scottish
Widows (1,500 jobs) and National Rail Enquiries (700 jobs) serve
as examples of recent outsourcing by British companies. It is
predicted that two million jobs currently based in western economies
will migrate to India by 2008. Amicus is well qualified to discuss
this issue since offshoring has accounted for significant job
losses within the union's membership; not least through reorganisations
in the financial companies quoted above.
2.3.3 Amicus is similarly concerned that
offshoring is not producing the savings envisaged by companies.
A number of companiesnamely US giant Capital One, Dell
and UK insurer AXA PPP healthcareare already recalling
work from India because of problems relating to low customer service
standards and data protection. Nationwide Building Society has
responded to news that HSBC expects to double the number of jobs
it offshores by stating that while offshoring may save costs in
the short term, there is no evidence that such savings are passed
on to the customer in the form of better value products and service.
Such decisions against offshoring do not necessarily safeguard
UK jobs however. Broker AA Insurance services has announced that,
having abandoned offshoring plans, it could cut more than 1,500
jobs based in Cardiff and Newcastle in a bid to meet necessary
2.3.4 A recent report by Deloitte Consultancy
revealed that 70% of 25 "world class" case study organisations
felt dissatisfied by their outsourcing experiences. The key concerns
expressed were the unexpected hidden service costs and the inability
of a movement in operations to deliver on quality and cost savings.
2.3.5 The skills implications of the offshoring
phenomenon are considerable. It is vital that UK workers have
the opportunity to enhance their qualifications so that they can
find alternative employment, and so that the UK can maintain a
competitive edge. It is only possible for employees to have the
opportunity to make career choices in a rapidly changing employment
market if organisations take a long term view of training and
2.3.6 The 2005 White Paper Skills: Getting
on in Business, Getting on at Work, published by the Department
for Education and Skills suggested that "The UK's future
lies in producing goods and services with high knowledge content"
where the "skills capability of the workforce" comes
into play. Amicus would urge the government to implement specific
measures to ensure that the skills capability of the UK is fully
2.3.7 Specifically, Amicus urges the Government
to support work accredited learning and the development of Employer
Training Pilots across all sectors of the economy. Additionally,
the government should support the Skills Councils to develop professional
qualifications and assist the Regional Development Agencies in
ensuring they meet their aim of enhancing the "development
and application of skills relevant to employment".
2.3.8 Companies must be seen to be making
an investment in their staff. The current approach of many employers
to skills and development is having a detrimental effect upon
the UK's competitiveness, levels of customer service and ability
to compete on a global level. Only if skills and development are
invested in will sectors be able to compete and develop in tomorrow's
global environment. Amicus calls on the government to reintroduce
the training levy, compelling employers to provide a statutory
minimum amount of training every year for their staff.
2.3.9 The need to develop a strong and dynamic
skill base in the UK notwithstanding, Amicus believes that the
disappearance of a lesser skilled workforce can threaten the competitiveness
of industry further up the skills ladder. To this end, Amicus
calls on the government to acknowledge the importance of workers
with a lower skill base to the success of the UK's manufacturing
and service industries.
2.4 Corporate Social Responsibility
2.4.1 Amicus believes that Corporate Social
Responsibility is inextricably linked with the issues of offshoring.
Companies have a duty to their workforce and the communities that
host them regardless of where in the world they operate. Employees
in every part of the world should enjoy basic human rights, good
rates of pay and decent terms and conditions of work.
2.4.2 Globalisation threatens to undermine
labour standards of good business practice. Multinational corporations
should comply with global human and workers' rights guidelines
laid down by the ILO and OECD. This commitment must exist irrespective
of human rights standards in host societies.
2.4.3 The implications of a lack of such
commitmentin particular non-compliance to fair pay and
working hourswill not only see an abuse of workers abroad
but will cause a reduction in the global benchmark. This in turn
impacts on labour standards in the UK as pressure is put on workers
to match the cost efficiency of offshoring.
2.4.4 Amicus calls for companies acting
within the UK and overseas to be partners in the competency framework
established by the government's CSR Academy. Amicus urges the
government to implement a legally binding framework for Corporate
Social Responsibility, and also to push for the development of
a legally binding framework at the European level. A clear role
for trade unions exists in producing and monitoring such a framework
which should encompass social, environmental and financial aspects.
2.5 The design and level of business taxation
2.5.1 Amicus urges the government to ensure
that any increases in taxation are fair and equitable and that
progression is consistent within the European and Global context.
Amicus believes that such rises should in part contribute to achieving
the government's pledge of 0.7% of GDP to Official Development
Assistance by 2013.
2.5.2 As a member of the Stamp out Poverty
Coalition, Amicus advocates the implementation of innovative
taxation as a means of bridging the funding gap required to achieve
the Millennium Development Goals. Amicus further urges the Government
to look seriously at a swift implementation of such a tax.
2.5.3 Amicus welcomes the UK operation of
a tax on share prices and urges the government to implement further
taxation innovations. These include the Air Ticket Levy, levies
on financial transactions and a stamp duty on currency transactions.
The latter innovation alone has the potential to raise $3 billion
annually in the UK ($35 billion worldwide).
2.6 Reducing the burden of business regulation
2.6.1 Amicus warns against increasing flexibility
and liberalisation at the expense of employment standards. Amicus
believes that competition will only lead to innovation, productivity
and high quality goods and services if it has a social dimension.
Without a level playing field underpinning competition, market
forces will lead to firms competing on the basis of low quality,
low prices and poor, low paid jobs.
2.6.2 Amicus believes that choosing competitiveness
over social protection and sustainable development is short sighted.
Such short termist strategies can only lead to damaging shareholders,
communities, consumers and, of course, employees.
3.1 Labour market and employment
3.1.1 In the absence of appropriate provision
and protection, the increasingly competitive world can render
UK workers at a global disadvantage in terms of employment security.
Amicus advocates a "level playing field"a framework
for affording British workers the same benchmark labour standards
as those in countries with better protection. Although this should
begin by aiming for a level playing field at the European level,
the goal should also be pursued at the wider global level through
the various international institutions, so that ultimately there
is a single floor of good labour protection around the globe.
3.1.2 It is generally cheaper and easier
to make British workers redundant than it is elsewhere in the
EU. Inevitably this makes British workers the first option when
it comes to cutting jobs. Stronger social legislation ensured
the Corus steel works in the Netherlands remained open. This meant
the end to thousands of jobs in the UK. In contrast, Amicus members
have experienced numerous closures and redundancies over the last
decade. Notable examples include Vauxhall at Luton, BMW/Rover
at Longbridge and Peugeot at Ruyton.
3.1.3 Amicus calls for a common European
social safety net where everybody enjoys at least the same basic
standards of social protection at work. In particular, Amicus
calls for equality in reference to redundancy costs and consultation
3.1.4 Amicus believes that a "long
hours" culture results in low productivity, reduced competitiveness
and economic success. Productivity in France, where there exist
higher standards at work and a maximum working week, is significantly
higher than in the UK. Amicus therefore calls for an end to the
UK opt-out of the Working Time Directive.
3.1.5 Amicus likewise calls for the government
to support the Temporary and Agency Workers Directive and work
for its swift and effective implementation.
3.1.6 Minimum redundancy pay in the UK is
amongst the lowest in the EU. Amicus urges the government to deliver
on promises made in the manifesto and honour commitments to increase
statutory redundancy pay in line with the levels of our European
3.1.7 State Aid in the UK is significantly
less than that allocated to other EU states.
This puts UK industry at a competitive disadvantage. Amicus calls
on the government to provide more support within EU rules and
develop a more imaginative approach to allocation of State Aid.
3.1.8 Amicus has been opposing the Services
Directive on account of the threat it poses to the minimum wage
and health and safety laws in Britain. Amicus calls for fair working
conditions and equal treatment for workers to go hand in hand
with any measures to promote an internal market for services.
Services should be regulated by the laws of the country in which
they are carried out while all Services of General Interestincluding
health, welfare services and educationshould be excluded
from the Directive. Similarly, Amicus calls for labour law, the
agency sector and provisions relating to the Posting of Workers
Directive to be excluded from the Directive.
3.1.9 Amicus urges the government to promote
a procurement strategy that enables companies to base investment
decisions on knowledge and be positioned to win work for UK businesses,
thus safeguarding jobs and skills.
3.1.10 Amicus also urges the Government
to support Global Works Councils as a means of backing core International
Labour Organisation Conventions on fundamental human rights at
work. Global Works Councils are a highly effective tool for encouraging
information and consultation exchange between trade unions and
management at a global level in MNCs. Likewise International Framework
Agreements are a source of protection for labour standards at
a global level and provide an essential check on the actions of
multinational corporations. Amicus members have experience of
negotiating and participating in Global Works.
3.2.1 Amicus welcomes the effects of globalisation
in facilitating increased cross border flows of people. Amicus
does, however, express concern at the negative implications of
such a trend.
3.2.2 Many low income countries are critical
of barriers to migration to industrialised countries. This concern
must be balanced however with the "brain drain" effect
which accompanies migration and undermines efforts to build national
capabilities. Sub-Saharan Africa currently has less than one health
worker per 1,000 people.
3.2.3 Amicus welcomes the efforts of the
Department for International Development (DfID) and the Department
of Health to ensure that the UK does not "poach" medical
personnel needed in developing countries. Amicus also welcomes
DfID aidmost notably in Malawidirected at increasing
staff numbers and salaries and ensuring effective capacity replacement.
3.2.4 Amicus urges the government to do
more to put pressure on fellow OECD countries to stop recruiting
skilled workers from vulnerable countries. Amicus strongly supports
efforts at capacity building in health and other crucial sectors
within these developing economies, in full consultation with the
trade unions in those sectors in those countries.
3.2.5 Amicus is concerned that key terms
and conditions of employment in the UK are threatened as employers
and employment agencies seek to exploit migrant workers. The employment
of migrant workers at reduced pay rates at Cotham Power Station
is an example of such exploitation. Fortunately, in this instance
Amicus has been successful in negotiating more equitable terms
3.2.6 Likewise, Amicus is concerned at the
growing number of migrants being driven into the illegal economy.
3.2.7 Amicus urges the government to ensure
that labour standards remain uniformly high across the board and
that abuse of immigrant workers is detected and not tolerated.
3.3 Training and the Acquisition of Skills
3.3.1 There is no doubt that Trade Unions
play a vital role in training and learning both in and out of
the workplace. Amicus believes that skills and training should
be part of the collective bargaining agenda under statutory recognition
arrangements. The development of the Union Learning Representatives
system has already led to thousands of workers receiving training
and many more have been made aware of the importance of skills
to not just their job security and the wider economy but also
to their fulfilment both in and out of work.
3.3.2 The UK still lags behind our major
international competitors in terms of the workforce who are qualified
to NVQ Level 2 or equivalent, this impacts upon our productivity
and our ability to adapt to technological change. Developments
within the global marketplacenamely increased economic
competition, technological change and greater innovationmake
it essential for the UK to retain and develop skills within the
3.3.3 Amicus welcomes the role Sector Skills
Councils (SSCs) play in delivering skills. The SSCs have a key
role in shaping and driving the strategic skills agenda for their
industries and should seize the opportunity to work with all stakeholders
in bringing greater coherence into the system. Amicus advocates
that SSCs, and employers within those sectors, should be set strict
targets and action should be taken against sectors that underachieve.
3.3.4 Amicus welcomes the Government's commitment
to enhancing the link between supply and demand through Skills
Academies. However, it is essential that trade unions are able
to support and contribute to the work of Academies, as with SSCs,
throughout their structures.
3.3.5 Amicus is encouraged by the success
of Employer Training Pilots and more recently the development
and national roll out of Train to Gain initiatives in enhancing
productivity and competitiveness. However, Amicus is concerned
that this initiative is restricted to individuals undertaking
their first Level 2 course, which excludes those wishing to retrain
in another occupation. Amicus is also concerned that individuals
are prevented from undertaking courses above Level 2, which is
precisely where the greatest benefits to productivity and employability
3.3.6 Amicus welcomes the move to make manufacturing
related courses more accessible to those at school through initiatives
such as Connexions-Direct, Vocational GCSE in Engineering and
the creation of specialist engineering colleges. However, more
needs to be done to ensure that apprenticeships are fully available
3.3.7 Specifically, restrictions on apprenticeship
funding need to be removed while young people need to be made
more aware of career opportunities within the manufacturing occupations
with more funding for career advisors. In addition, initiatives
to re-skill older workers through mature modern apprenticeships
would be welcome.
3.3.8 Amicus is concerned that measures
should be put in place to ensure that the UK has the capacity
to meet the needs of a highly productive, high skilled manufacturing
3.4 The provision of support for those disadvantaged
3.4.1 Amicus' Offshoring Charter seeks to
ensure provision for workers in the UK disadvantaged by company
reorganisations. This Charter sets out standards of best practice
for companies intending to relocate operations abroad and advocates
meaningful consultation between company and union, clear business
rationale for relocation, a commitment versus compulsory redundancies
and site closures and a responsibility to nurture outgoing staff
through training and skill development.
3.4.2 Amicus has ensured concrete provision
for its members through Globalisation Agreements with Prudential
UK and Royal and Sun Alliance Insurance. These agreements are
not an attempt at protectionism; rather they reflect Amicus' efforts
to ensure that those disadvantaged in the UK are provided for
while those host workers in developing countries are afforded
decent labour standards.
3.4.3 Amicus urges the government to ensure
that employee provision is paramount in company decisions to offshore
and that correct procedures are followed and standards upheld.
This should include funding for retraining and acquisition of
alternative employment and a commitment to statutory minimum redundancy
pay referred to earlier in this submission.
3.4.4 On a global level, Amicus calls for
the government to honour its commitment to achieving 0.7% of GDP
in aid to developing countries in line with the Millennium Development
Goals. Moreover, Amicus calls for such aid to be deployed in a
prudent and focused manner.
4.1 In the 2006 Energy Review, the Department
of Trade and Industry predicted that by the year 2020 the UK will
be importing three-quarters of its energy needs. High global energy
prices and concern over security issues pose challenges to UK
macro economic stability.
4.2 High energy costs can lead to inflation
and harm economic growth with the consequence of high manufacturing
costs and a potential exodus of skills and jobs from the UK. Amicus
believes that a clear energy policy is essential to protect UK
economic, industrial and social wellbeing, ensure security of
supply and protect against environmental damage.
4.3 Amicus urges the government to set a
broad framework with the necessary fiscal and policy regimes to
provide for effective delivery and ensure security of energy supply.
The government should commit to a clear political lead on Nuclear
energy and support a structured Research and Development programme
for a clean coal commercial demonstration plant to fully explore
the options for carbon capture and storage. It is also necessary
for public awareness of the issues concerned to be raised.
4.4 Amicus calls for increased exploration
drilling in the UK Continental Shelf and fresh investment in clean
coal, nuclear and renewable energy sources. Likewise, investment
in skillsparticularly through the creation of adult and
youth apprentice schemesis necessary to ensure future enterprise
and dynamism within the sector.
4.5 Amicus welcomes the introduction of
the Renewables Transport Fuel Obligation.
5. WORLD TRADE
5.1 Although it was stipulated that issues
relating to trade were beyond the remit of this report, Amicus
strongly believes that no discussion of globalisation can take
place without reference to its global socio-economic implications.
5.2 Globalisation is a potential force for
delivering millions out of poverty. However, under the guidance
of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), the global economy is weighted
in favour of industrialised nations and impedes progress in the
5.3 Amicus is concerned at the pressure
exerted on developing countries to open their industrial and service
sectors to foreign competition. Amicus is also concerned at the
effect agricultural subsidies are having on the ability of developing
nations to compete both at home and abroad. Agriculture is a key
component in leading developed countries out of poverty; however
unfair trade rulesin particular the practice of export
dumpingare impeding such progress.
5.4 Amicus welcomed the developments at
Hong Kong which saw a commitment to end export subsidies by 2013.
Nevertheless, Amicus is concerned that this represents only 3.6%
of EU spending on agriculture.
Amicus calls on the government to utilise its influence in the
EU and WTO to ensure that greater reductions are made to agricultural
subsidies and that betterand unreciprocatedmarket
access is offered to developing nations as a means of reducing
the burden of poverty.
5.5 Despite representing members at each
end of the industry's spectrum, Amicus welcomes CAP reform in
the sugar sector. Similarly, inspite of being directly affected,
Amicus members support the ending of unfair EU subsidies. Through
compromise, Amicus advocates safeguarding UK industry while balancing
the needs of producers in the developing world.
5.6 Amicus expresses concern at the implications
for developing countries of the current negotiations at the WTO
relating to the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS).
GATS covers the provision of such services as banking, insurance,
construction, water, sanitation, health and education. Amicus
is specifically concerned at the threat public service liberalisation
poses to developing countries in disrupted services, failure to
provide for the poor, increased prices and corruption.
5.7 In light of the recent failure of a
DfID backed privatisation programme in Tanzania, Amicus is particularly
concerned at the potential impacts of liberalising such essential
services as water, health and education.
The Tanzanian examplewhich saw the host government terminate
its water supply contract with western firm City Water, citing
a deterioration in supply and a failure to meet investment obligationsserves
to highlight the dangers of such liberalising ventures.
5.8 Amicus believes that the tight schedule
agreed by the Hong Kong Ministerial Textalong with stringent
IMF aid conditions and plurilateral requests from rich nationsis
putting enormous pressure on developing nations to liberalise
without taking the time to assess the relative merits of such
5.9 Amicus urges the Government to use its
influence in the WTO to ensure that developing nations are given
the time and flexibility to pursue effective national development
policies. Amicus believes that access to essential public services
is a fundamental human right and as such should not be jeopardised
by neo-liberalist profiteering. Amicus therefore calls for essential
public services such as water, health and education to be excluded
from liberalisation commitments on the basis of security and fair
pricing of supply.
1 Keith Didcock, Whatever happened to Globalisation?,
HM Treasury, Responding to Global Economic Challenges, 2005 Back
International Labour Organisation, A Fair Globalisation: Creating
opportunities for all, 200 Back
Brown, G, Budget Speech, 200 Back
Deloitte Consulting, Calling for a Change in the Outsourcing
Market, 2005 Back
Stamp out Poverty, Submission to DfID, 2006 Back
www.dfid.gov.uk /news/files/world-health-day-2006.asp Back
Oxfam Briefing Paper, A Recipe for Disaster: Will the Doha Round
fail to Deliver for Development?, 2006 Back