As the next round of trade talks between the UK and Australia recommence this week, the three trade union bodies representing almost 8 million workers across over 110 unions have come together to call for the negotiations to prioritise decent jobs, the protection of workers’ rights and public services. In a joint statement they have called trade unions to be part of the negotiations.
Another key concern is the UK’s ambition to join the Comprehensive and Transpacific Partnership (CPTPP) and also the UK-EU Brexit talks on a trade deal which they say must lock in the highest standards of workers’ rights.
The unions are concerned that the UK government has suggested that joining trade deals such as the Comprehensive and Transpacific Partnership could substitute for a good deal with the EU. The CPTPP is already in operation and covers Canada, Australia, Brunei, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.
The three union bodies have serious concerns about the CPTPP as it contains no protections for workers’ rights or public services.