Interesting features include:
- Peace for Colombia
- Global unions call for release of union leader in Belarus
- Kazakhstan – stop repression against trade union leaders
- Cambodia – support abandoned workers in their struggle for lost wages and benefits
- Human Rights in Burma
- Securing decent work in tropical fruit export production
Well worth a read to find out about trade unionism and the challenges faced worldwide – internationalnewsletter2017
TTIP or the proposed Transatlantic Trade & Investment Partnership deal between the US and the EU continues to progress. There have so far been some thirteen rounds of talks, all behind closed doors between US and EU representatives to bring the proposals to fruition.
Many concerns still remain about this trade deal such as not protecting public services and in particular the NHS against full scale privatisation, erosion of consumer protections around food and environment and the opportunity under the investor dispute system for multinational corporations to sue governments where decisions made by governments may affect a company’s profits.
More recently a Freedom of Information request by pressure group Global Justice Now to the Department of Business Industry and Skills has brought to light that the trade deal is likely to have NO benefit to the UK.
The report by the London School of Economics commissioned in 2013 concluded the following.
- There is little reason to think that an EU-US investment chapter will provide the UK with significant economic benefits.
- There is little reason to think that an EU-US investment chapter will provide the UK with significant political benefits.
- There is some reason to expect an EU-US investment chapter will impose meaningful economic costs on the UK. Based on Canada’s experience under NAFTA, we would expect an EU-US investment chapter to be regularly invoked by US investors against the UK for governmental actions that would normally not be challengeable under UK law.
[The Investment Chapter of TTIP is the part of the trade deal that covers investor protection.]
The response from BIS also revealed that no risk assessment had been carried out for the inclusion of investor protection in CETA – the free trade deal between Canada and EU that is even further down the process of approval than TTIP.
Its little wonder that the UK government don’t really want this broadcasting from the rooftops as it’s obviously damaging to their view that we should embrace TTIP lock, stock and barrel.
Rest assured Unison along with many other likeminded organisations and trade unions will continue to campaign and highlight the very real dangers that this new style trade deal will bring to everyday life for us all. Let’s face it, if the deal was so good you’d expect a well respected institution like the London School of Economics to champion its cause. Perhaps it’s not such a good thing after all.
To learn more about the dangers of TTIP go to www.nottip.org.uk and to read the article from The Independent newspaper on this latest development go to http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/ttip-uk-government-only-did-one-assessment-of-trade-deal-and-found-it-had-lots-of-risks-and-no-a6999646.html