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.


The European Parliament is going to vote soon (maybe as early as 8 June) on a resolution on the controversial TTIP trade agreement between the EU and the US (the Transatlantic Trade & Investment Partnership). MEPs won't decide on TTIP directly, but this vote is a crucial opportunity for our...
27 May 2015
The European Parliament will vote soon on a resolution on the Transatlantic Trade & Investment Partnership (TTIP). The TUC believes this is a crucial opportunity for MEPs to hold the European Commission to account and make clear that they must negotiate trade deals in the public interest, not for private...
27 May 2015
There will be a rally at Leeds City Council Chambers on 28 April to examine the issues of Defeating Austerity, Free Trade Deals and Attacks on Trade union Rights. See our events page for full details of this free event.
22 April 2015
Last week Gail Cartmail, TUC International Development Spokesperson and Assistant General Secretary at Unite joined unions from G7 countries at a meeting in Berlin on the theme of ‘Decent work worldwide - a business model for the future?’ which featured representatives of the OECD, business and government, including German Chancellor...
31 March 2015
Welcoming the report on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) by the Business, Innovation and Skills Committee published today (Wednesday), TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “MPs are right to demand that the protection of the NHS and public services should be put beyond doubt by writing it in...
25 March 2015
Commenting on the publication today (Monday) of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) report Best Foot Forward, which contains its recommendations for the first 100 days of the next government, TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “Businesses and trade unions agree on the need to increase capital spending as a...
23 March 2015
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

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