América Latina y el Caribe

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the economies in Latin America and the Caribbean.  In January 2020, the region projected GDP growth of 1.6% in 2020 and 2.3% in 2021. However, by June 2020, the IMF projected that real GDP growth in Latin American and the Caribbean will be -9.4% in 2020 and 3.7% in 2021.

Employer and Business Membership Organizations (EBMOs) in the region have played a critical role in responding to the crisis and planning for the recovery.  ACT/EMP and its field specialists located in Lima, San José, Santiago, and Port of Spain worked with EBMOs to quickly identify priority areas for action, namely practical tools to help their members understand the severity of the crisis, to ensure business continuity, and maintain workers' health and safety, as well as tools for the EBMOs themselves in continuing to provide services to their members.

ACT/EMP created guides and manuals on managing the workplace with COVID, business continuity planning, teleworking, and on safe return to work. The Bureau also designed surveys so EBMOs could periodically evaluate the situation their members faced, focusing on issues such as level of business activity, employment and retention, and measures implemented to ensure the health of workers.

ACT/EMP also focused on continuing to support EBMOs so that they could actively participate in national and regional social dialogue processes to discuss strategies for overcoming the health emergency, economic reconstruction, business continuity and for the recovery of employment.  Indeed, EBMOs in the region have shown relevance and leadership during the pandemic by building partnerships with governments, workers organizations, and other actors to develop responses to the crisis.

In the coming year, ACT/EMP will work with EBMOs in the region to promote business resilience, increased productivity, and more effective social dialogue process to promote business development and the creation of more decent work.  The sustainability and resilience of business organizations themselves (member retention, income generation, diversification of digital services, etc.), will also be critical to ensure their continued participation in social dialogue in the search for productive, economic and social development, with sustainable enterprises and decent work for all.