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Commenting on the UK-Australia trade deal announced by the government tonight (Thursday), TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said:

“Trade deals can be a vehicle to improve workers’ rights and protections, while providing new jobs and investment for communities that need it most. But because unions weren’t properly consulted or listened to, this deal poses a threat to working people while contributing almost nothing to our economy.

“Yet again the UK government has agreed a trade deal with no effective means to enforce fundamental labour rights or protections for migrant workers from exploitation. And there are other serious issues which could threaten workers’ rights and conditions, like the failure to protect our public services and the lack of safeguards for how workers’ data or NHS data is used.                                                                                              

“While there may be no sign in this agreement of ISDS, which is a court that would allow foreign investors to sue our government, there is still a very real risk UK-Australia trade will be subject to this court if we join the CPTPP as the government has indicated. 

“It’s time for ministers to listen to unions and start delivering trade deals that protect and improve workers’ rights and deliver better job opportunities.”

Editors note

- 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.


TUC press office  
020 7467 1248 

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