05 December 2002
NZ and Australian Unions To Meet On Trade Issues
New Zealand and Australian unions are meeting in Sydney on Monday to discuss the implications for workers of the GATS (General Agreement on Trade in Services) negotiations in the WTO.
Council of Trade Unions secretary Paul Goulter is leading the New Zealand delegation attending the meeting on Monday and Tuesday next week.
“There are major issues for unions as many of the proposals in the GATS negotiations threaten core public services,” said Paul Goulter today.
“The CTU position is to expressly exclude education and public services from the GATS negotiations.”
Attending the meeting will be union representatives from education, public broadcasting, telecommunications, postal services, local government, environmental services/water and aviation services from both sides of the Tasman.
“Although the CTU supports rules-based international trade, there is widespread criticism of the way the rules are developed, the failure to include key worker issues, and the ineffective enforcement of rules,” said Paul Goulter.
Paul Goulter said that business interests and government officials were constantly meeting to advance their proposals on trade in services.
“It is essential that unions meet on an international basis to discuss ways we can campaign to protect public education and vital public services,” he said.