Prior to the meeting, TUAC will have consultations with the chair and co-chairs of the meeting, Dr. Peter McGauran, Minister of Science of Australia. At this occasion TUAC delegates will emphasize the importance that trade unions attach to innovation policy. Involving workers and their unions is crucial in any innovation strategy. Numerous studies have noted that the relationship between skill development, working conditions, workplace organization, and investment in research, development and technology is vital to innovation and sustainable development. They will urge OECD Science and Technology Ministers to give a clear commitment of their determination to work with other government Ministers, business and trade unions to:
- reverse the relative decline in R&D expenditure in a great number of OECD countries and to i increase R&D expenditure as well as related employment ;
- re-orientate R&D to more efficiently contribute to the goal of sustainable development;
- avoid the concentration of knowledge and intellectual property in a few hands;
- give confidence and security to research workers ;
- rebuild public confidence in Science and Technology through transparent and open systems of technology assessment;
- support knowledge based clusters of economic activity in order to re-orientate industrial location strategies;
- integrate Science and Technology policies with employment strategies based on raising skills and productivity;
- promote the development of participatory strategies involving employees and their unions in the introduction of new technology and organisational change at the workplace;
Policies aiming to promote R&D, technology and innovation must link growth, development, sustainability, standards of living and appropriate global governance to one another. The real innovation bottleneck is not the supply of new knowledge but external factors surrounding the process of innovation and technology transfer. Managing information overload, social acceptance of new technologies, environmental concerns, and workplace change often pose a far greater challenge to businesses than the underlying innovations or technologies themselves.
Innovation, technology, design and creativity come from people. Thus, the social shaping of innovation and technology must be seen as playing a positive role in integrating economic and social concerns; in offering a greater understanding of the relationship between knowledge, technological innovation and economic and social well-being; and in broadening the policy agenda, for example in the promotion and management of technological change. Workers must be given a voice in the process of innovation and managing change.
UNICORN, a Global Unions Anti-Corruption Network managed by the TUAC has produced a new report that analyses the anti-bribery policies and practices of the Export Credit Agencies (ECAs) of the major industrialised countries.
Click to read the full report, and to see how your government's ECA ranks and its anti-bribery efforts.