Commenting on the UK joining the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), TUC General Secretary Paul Nowak said:
“Time and time again, ministers have turned a blind eye to egregious rights abuses in the pursuit of trade deals. This Pacific trade pact is just the latest example.
“Workplace exploitation is widespread in the countries involved in this agreement – from Vietnam and Brunei where independent unions are banned, to Malaysia where migrant workers are subject to forced labour.
“This deal also allows multinational corporations to sue the UK government in secret courts for introducing policies which threaten their profits – this could include an increase in the minimum wage or bringing energy companies back into public ownership.
“Make no mistake – this is a dire agreement for workers. And it is little wonder after unions were completely shut out of negotiations, despite promises of a seat at the table.
“Instead of treating trade deals as publicity tools, the UK government should be using its leverage on the global stage to promote decent work, deliver green jobs and protect our public services.
“It’s time to meaningfully consult with unions and listen to our concerns. That’s how you get trade agreements that work for working people.”
- About the TUC: The Trades Union Congress (TUC) exists to make the working world a better place for everyone. We bring together the 5.5 million working people who make up our 48 member unions. We support unions to grow and thrive, and we stand up for everyone who works for a living.
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