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G8 Labor Ministers Address Needs of Working Poor

Labor ministry officials from the Group of Eight (G8) nations on Tuesday agreed to address widening income disparities and the needs of vulnerable workers amid globalization.

A maid hangs clothes on a balcony in Beirut, Lebanon

Globalization has turned many laborers into working poor

Senior labor officials issued a statement at the end of a three-day discussion in the central Japanese city of Niigata that called for effective career consulting and skills development for vulnerable workers, especially the "working poor."

The statement urged the member states to "promote local development and job creation by facilitating the effective use of local resources and policies" for the vulnerable population.

The participating members also adressed the need to keep a well-balanced lifestyle between work and leisure in the rapidly ageing societies through flexible job arrangements and job security.

They also agreed to improve compliance with occupational safety and health regulations, while educating workers about such issues, for a better quality of life after retirement.

Japan's labor ministry hosted the G8 members from Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Russia and the United States, as well as labor officials from the European Union and the heads of the International Labor Organization and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

Thailand and Indonesia were also invited to attend Tuesday's morning session.

Japan will host the G8 summit from July 7-9 in the northern Japanese city of Toyako.

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