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.


TUC General Secretary Frances O'Grady has written to EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom in response to an EU consultation on reviewing the free trade agreement between the EU and Mexico. Her letter calls for workers' rights to be central to negotiations and any new agreement.
28 August 2015
On Wednesday 8 July, the European Parliament is likely to take an important vote on the controversial TTIP trade agreement between the EU and the US (Transatlantic Trade & Investment Partnership). But a last-minute compromise deal poses a real risk that our MEPs give away too much at this important...
02 July 2015
TUC General Secretary, Frances O’Grady, will call time on ‘zombie trade deals’, when she addresses the European Commission Trade Policy Day in Brussels today (Tuesday).
23 June 2015
The TUC has written to MEPs today (Monday) calling on them to vote to make sure the European Parliament resolution on the Transatlantic Trade Investment Partnership (TTIP) clearly opposes Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS). The letter from TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady also calls for MEPs to back protections for public...
08 June 2015
The TUC welcomes the announcement today (Monday) that the Rana Plaza Donors’ Trust Fund has finally met its target of $30 million. The announcement means that full compensation can be paid to the victims of the collapse of the Rana Plaza factory in 2013, which killed almost 1200 workers.
08 June 2015
The General Secretary has written to MEPs today (June 8) calling on them to vote to make sure the European Parliament resolution on the Transatlantic Trade Investment Partnership (TTIP) clearly opposes Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS). The letter from TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady also calls for MEPs to back protections...
08 June 2015
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

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