John Monks said that the ETUC expected European companies to contribute to decent work and sustainable development in their host countries. He pointed out that the European Union (EU) had consistently pressed for sustainable development chapters to be included in Free Trade Agreements (FTA) with third countries in line with those objectives.
The EU is planning to engage in negotiations with Vietnam on such an FTA. In a letter to Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht, he asked the Commission to ask EuroCham, which the ETUC understood received support from the Commission, “to desist from making such statements which can only undermine the development of proper trade relations with Vietnam”.
Sharan Burrow described the Eurocham’s position as “an offensive intervention in Vietnam’s wage-setting, at a time when many foreign companies are actually finding it hard to attract workers due to the low wages they offer. European companies should not be trying to export poverty wages to Vietnam or anywhere else - decent incomes are central to economic growth and development.”
- Link to ETUC’s letter: www.etuc.org/a/7880