Today European trade unions’ concerns about the proposed EU-US Transatlantic trade deal (TTIP) were explained to the US Ambassador to the EU, Anthony L. Gardner, by Bernadette Ségol, General Secretary of the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC). The conversation concentrated on ISDS and respect of labour standards.
The General Secretary confirmed that the ETUC welcomes closer trade relations with the USA that are effectively regulated, guaranteeing labour, democratic and environmental standards.
She underlined in particular that:
- Trade unionists oppose the inclusion of an investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) provision in the agreement. Considering that both parties are advanced economies with well-developed legal systems, the ETUC sees no reason to create a by-pass to national courts for foreign investors.
- TTIP should include a comprehensive and enforceable labour/sustainable development chapter. The EU and US should commit to the ratification and the full implementation of the core labour standards of the UN International Labour Organisation.
- The ETUC has specific concerns about the lack of ratification of ILO conventions and the violations of fundamental labour rights in the US, notably on the right to organise and negotiate collectively.
The Ambassador offered to follow-up this conversation.
Commenting after the meeting Bernadette Ségol said “I welcome the US Ambassador’s interest in understanding the position of European trade unions. We want a TTIP that respects democracy and enhances workers’ rights and we will not back down on our demands.”
The ETUC has agreed a joint position on TTIP with its US counterpart the AFL-CIO: /documents/declaration-joint-principles-etucafl-cio-ttip-must-work-peopleor-it-wont-work-all