United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Major Group: Workers & Trade

COMMENTS OF MR. ERIC FRUMIN
UNITE HERE, AFL-CIO, CLC
Commission on Sustainable Development 13
United Nations, New York
April 12, 2005
Mr. Chairman:
The Trade Unions wish to recognize the conclusion in the Secretary General?s report that
implementation actions on Human Settlements offer substantial opportunities for job
creation.
We further thank the Chairman for his decision to preserve this recognition in the matrix
you have developed for this session. As Trade Unions, we have extensive experience
with job creation, and with the problems arising from the creation of bad employment
opportunities.
For several years, to assist governments, Major Groups and other stakeholders, the trade
union have developed a detailed series of profiles on a comprehensive criteria affecting
employment creation, such as ILO conventions, environment, health, gender as well as
the themes emerging from the World Summit like water and sanitation. We offer these
profiles again to all governments again this year.
We are also pleased to report that this year, we have expanded these profiles to cover the
major multinational Multi-National Enterprises (MNE?s) such as those in the FT Global
500, Global Compact, Global Reporting Initiative, etc. These new profiles allow all of us
to both recognize good practices, and to focus new awareness on those MNE?s which fail
to comply with the principles they profess.
Such criteria are essential to assuring that the investments in enterprise and job creation is
producing not just jobs, but good jobs. What are the qualities that characterize good jobs?
- stable employment relations
- living wages
- safe working conditions.
Absent such qualities, investments in both enterprise and job creations can produce
unsustainable jobs.
For instance, the MNC bank ing corporation ABN AMRO is a signatory to the GC and
GRI, and professes its loyalty to the goals of Agenda 21, etc., when it comes to its own
employees. However, its investment policies have supported employees with horrendous
working conditions.
My trade union represents workers at large-scale laundries that provide essential services
to hospitals throughout the US and Canada. ABN AMRO has supplied extensive credit to
the largest employer in the laundry industry which has had accumulated a long record
from the US Dept. of Labor of terrible violations of occupational safety and health
standards.
Mr. Chairman, it is vital that investments be used for creating good jobs, not just jobs that
fail to provide long-term solutions for human settlements.