Brussels, 16/10/2013

We recognise that if the agreement is based on the best practices on each side of the Atlantic, it could have positive impacts on jobs and investment flows, supporting a sustainable economic recovery. However, we are extremely cautious, especially about hyped job potential and the scope of the agreement, as without safeguards for labour and public services in particular we don’t see the TTIP as a silver bullet for a quality recovery in Europe ”, warned Judith Kirton-Darling, ETUC Confederal Secretary, in her intervention. “We currently lack a comprehensive sustainability and employment impact assessment ”, she informed the audience.

The only European level TTIP study is that done by the Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) which is based on an assumption using wages as an indicator for job creation, alongside mass labour market flexibility.

The ETUC is concerned for 3 reasons: 1. Considering that stagnant or falling real wages across Europe are part of our current economic crisis – this is very worrying as a basis for analysis and policy. 2. There is no guarantee that jobs would be created, rather than profits fed to shareholders through dividends – further decreasing wage share. 3. As the regulatory barriers targeted explicitly include labour market, health and safety, and employment protection rules and agreements, the quality of jobs which result cannot be guaranteed ”, she elaborated.

The ETUC is calling for a comprehensive social and employment impact assessment as an urgency, alongside concrete proposals on labour rights and worker protection.

- See the ETUC position on TTIP here: http://www.etuc.org/a/11228

- Judith’s intervention is available here: http://www.etuc.org/IMG/pdf/16102013_speech_Judith.pdf