Trade

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Trade is increasingly international, beyond the control of individual governments. Many companies operate out of different countries, meaning that capital and production moves around the world, often looking for the cheapest environments where controls are loosest. For many workers around the world this has meant lower labour standards and a decline in their rights at work.

Co-operation and solidarity between trade unionists, unions, national centres (such as the TUC) and international trade union organisations play an increasingly crucial role in safeguarding workers' rights. The TUC works with a large number of international trade union organisations [link to section on this site] to campaign for a trade system with a social element – not tacked on to the end, but at its heart.


Congress welcomes the TUC’s engagement with the Ethical Trading Initiative, and supports the principle that consumers, companies, and organisations should consider the position of workers in the supply chain of goods and services before making purchasing decisions. The TUC’s commitment to ethical supply was demonstrated by the highly effective Playfair...
23 September 2014
Congress is extremely concerned about the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) free trade treaty, a wide-ranging trade deal giving unprecedented power and influence to transnational corporations that would become the benchmark for all future trade agreements, currently being negotiated between the EU and the USA and recognises the...
23 September 2014
As part of the debate on sustainable jobs at the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) world congress in Berlin in May, TUC General Council international spokesperson Sally Hunt explained the TUC’s concerns about the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), and how unions can maximise their impact in the EU...
04 June 2014
TUC General Secretary Frances O'Grady has written to the Business Secretary Vince Cable urging him to exclude ISDS and public service liberalisation from the terms of the EU-Canada trade deal (the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement -CETA) currently under discussion.
10 March 2014
TUC General Secretary Frances O'Grady has written urgently to the Prime Minister of Cambodia urging him to ensure that a peaceful protest planned for Phnom Penh tomorrow (Saturday) is allowed to proceed, allowing Cambodia's textile trade unionists - mostly women - to express their concerns about wage levels on International...
07 March 2014
As a global campaign launches to persuade corporates sourcing from Bangladesh to compensate the Rana Plaza factory disaster survivors and victims' families, TUC General Secretary Frances O'Grady has written to the Chairman of Benetton asking the company to make an appropriate donation to the Rana Plaza Arrangement fund, managed by...
24 February 2014
Speaking after meeting EU Trade Commissioner Karel de Gucht about the forthcoming Transatlantic Trade & Investment Partnership (TTIP) in Davos today (Thursday), TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said:
23 January 2014
TUC General Secretary Frances O'Grady has written to Trade Minister Vince Cable MP to press the case for next week's World Trade Organisation Ministerial meeting in Bali to reflect global trade union demands, and in particular decent work, workers' rights and public services, as well as taking account of the...
29 November 2013
The TUC General Secretary has written to the Korean Ambassador on the de-recognition of the Korean Teachers and Education Workers Union
30 October 2013
TUC Evidence to BIS on Trade and Investment for 'Balance of Competences' Review
05 August 2013

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