THE BLOG
01/20/2015 10:49 pm ET Updated Mar 22, 2015

Davos Man Sitting on a Volcano Fuelled by Inequality

On the eve of the Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, an avalanche of reports from the likes of Oxfam to the ILO point to the fault lines in our global economy - fault lines opening up from jobs to inequality to falling trust in political institutions. We need a call to action at #wef15 and a Magna Carta for the 21st Century.

The evidence is irrefutable that the jobs crisis will continue to deepen as inequality rises. We are living in a world transformed by the insatiable greed of the 1% and the failure of governments to act on the concerns of people.

We can expect seismic shifts in the political landscape this year. We have seen an upsurge of growing unrest across the globe as people take to the streets to demonstrate against inequality and attacks on democracy. They are right to protest.

Politicians and business leaders at Davos are sitting on a volcano of legitimate discontent fuelled by unemployment, inequality and austerity. Collectively we have a responsibility to face-up to the need to change course.

'Keep Calm and Carry On' is no solution to the urgency and anxiety of the times. The labour movement has constructive solutions to offer - a future built on a living wage, decent jobs and collective bargaining where workers have a seat at the table.

At UNI we call it "Including You," at Oxfam they say "Even It Up"; it amounts to the same thing, growth geared to social inclusion, a fair share of profits, young people given training and job guarantees, quality jobs and a living wage.

This year at Davos we will celebrate the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta, a cornerstone of modern democracy. We should not forget that democracy has been hard won and we should not let it leak away by continuing down the path of inequality for the benefit of a handful of multi-billionaires.
We need a new 'Including You' Magna Carta to address the urgency of our times. A Magna Carta for equality, jobs and sustainable growth. 'We the people' have spoken and Davos must listen and act.