Words, Words, Words
G7 meeting on global unemployment
Each week in this section we'll be taking a look at some aspect
of language.Usually we'll base the discussion on a BBC English programme
which examines the kind of language you'll hear when listening to
the radio. The programme "NewsEnglish" , for example,
takes a short extract from a BBC correspondent or somebody in the
news and then looks at words and phrases which may be unfamiliar
in everyday speech but common on the radio.
Based on "News English"
Written and produced by Anna Jones
Topic: G-7 meeting on global unemployment.
i) Introduction to a report by BBC World Service Economics Correspondent James
The meeting of the G-7 countries on employment in the French
city of Lille is moving towards a compromise on the question of
global labour standards. Many governments in the developed world
have sought to include demands regarding minimum labour standards
in poor countries as a condition for receiving certain basic
international trade rights. India has led world-wide opposition
to the move and it is also opposed by countries such as Britain
G7 - The group of the seven most advanced industrialised
nations in the world. The leaders meet once a year to discuss economic
and financial matters. The USA, UK, Germany, France and Japan were
later joined by Italy and Canada. Russia now has observer status.
as a condition for - Here it means that if the poorer countriesdon't
introduce minimum labour standards then the richer ones won't buy
their goods - that is, give them " international trade rights
ii) Extract from James Morgan's report
As it moves towards its close it seems that this jobs meeting
is working out a compromise on labour standards .
A number ofcountries led by France want to see guaranteed basic
conditions for workers around the world. France is supported
by the European Union and to some extent the United States.
The phrasing now discussed speaks of core labour standards and of
examining the link between international trade and working conditions.
Some argue this is necessary to eliminate slavery and child labour.
But countries such as India see such ideas as a basis for future
protection is trade moves in rich nations, designed to keep
out the products. After all child labour has many facets
- it can be exploitative, but it can mean families working as units
with children participating and gaining valuable skills. This issue
has distracted attention from a similar argument between the members
of the Group of Seven on their labour conditions. Should jobs in
rich nations guarantee certain basic standards and welfare provisions
or do such provisions themselves create unemployment? The debate
here is between more deregulation and labour protection and
that is likely to remain unresolved even though the host, President
Chirac of France, opened this meeting with a call for a third way
between these two apparently contradictory alternatives.
as it moves towards its close - A phrase you will often hear in news
broadcasts. The meeting is nearing its end.
compromise - Each side will accept something less than it originally
labour standards - Hours of work, time off, holidays, safety standards
supported by - The European Union agrees with the view of France ,and
is trying to help it . So does the United States - to a
protectionist trade moves - If a country is protectionist then it tries
to impose conditions which prevent other countries from selling
theirproducts in it. These measures protect domestic manufacturers.
facets - There are many sides to the question of child
labour. (The word facet was originally used only to describe the
many sides of a diamond. It is now often used figuratively.)
deregulation - If a government deregulates an industry, then it lifts
rules designed to control the ownership or the way the industry
iii) Extract from an interview with the British Education and Employment Secretary,
The position is that the labour market everywhere in the world is changing
and changing rapidly as a result of new technology and the rapidity
ofthat impact. So of course people feel there's change in the workplace
and that is why we've put such stress on the importance of having
a flexible labour market.
labour market - You can have a fish market, a vegetable
market - so, in the same way, you can talk about the "labour
market" - people who are available for work and are looking
for a job.
workplace - Originally this meant the actual place: factory,
workshop, mine. Here it is used more figuratively: we think of people
at work rather than the actual places.
flexible - This means that people are prepared to work
as needed: not necessarily expecting a permanent job, or a job that
is full time.
[ Words in 1996 I
Words, words, words I Programmes
Tuning In I Classroom ]
BBC English Home Page