The key debating point regarding the management of the economic crisis, is the role of the State in the economy.

Opposition to the linking of labour rights to trade, comes from two extremes: some argue that trade should be free and that social policy (i.e. labour rights) should have no place in this, whilst others maintain that free trade is disadvantaging poor countries. This policy document guides CONSAWU on the following policy areas:

  • Fiscal policy
  • Monetary policy
  • Trade & Investment policy
  • Labour market policy

Core principles

CONSAWU believes that the three main approaches to the economy are:

  1. Free Market – which helps the private sector increase profits
  2. Keynesian – which balances the welfare needs of the population with the need of business to make a profit
  3. Marxist – which replaces the capitalist system with a socialist system and promotes policies which redistribute from the wealthy to the workers and the poor;
  • An integrated macro-economic policy with poverty reduction will only work if it is accompanied by genuine ownership of the design, development and implementation of such a policy by government, organised labour and business;
  • broad-based consultation is fundamental to ensure a buy-in of such an economic policy;
  • the poorest 50% of the population receives 11% of the country’s total income. The richest 7% of the population receives more than 40% of the country’s total income. (Source)


CONSAWU shall:

  • promote debate on economic policies;
  • ensure that government embarks on genuine home-grown macro-economic and human resources develo pment policies that take into account poverty reduction;
  • monitor government with regard to state enterprises that are sold off to foreign multinationals.

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