Workers Uniting the global union created in 2008 by Unite in the UK and Ireland and the United Steelworkers in the USA and Canada say they will oppose the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) deal if Labour standards in the deal are not strengthened and other concerns about the deal are not addressed.
The three million member trans-Atlantic union at its board meeting in London on March 24th issued a call to European Union and U.S. trade negotiators to strengthen social and labour protections in the proposed Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).
â€śWe view TTIP as a threat to the rights of workers in Europe,â€ťÂ saidÂ Len McCluskey, General Secretary ofÂ Unite the Union in the UK and Ireland.Â â€śWe canâ€™t afford to import Americaâ€™s low labour rights standards.â€ťâ€¨â€¨
â€śAmerican and European workers deserve a better deal,â€ťÂ saidÂ Leo W. Gerard, International President of the United Steelworkers (USW), which represents workers in the United States, Canada and the Caribbean. â€śOur governmentsâ€™ narrow focus on greater protections for companies must be transformed to include expanded rights and protections for workers.â€ťâ€¨â€¨
Workers Uniting called for the TTIP to include a tax on financial transactions to support social programmes â€“ a measure already endorsed by 11 European countries.
They alsoÂ demanded that the European Works Council directive, chemical safety standards, and other European social legislation be expanded to include American workers andÂ that existing procurement regimes be left intact and that public services be excluded from TTIP.
The statement also rejected the proposed Investor-to-State Dispute Settlement, noting that Germany and France oppose this provision as well.
Workers Uniting joins a chorus of opposition from trade unions, including the powerful German metalworkers union, IG Metall to the current TTIP negotiations.