Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Will working families be hurt by a TPPA agreement?

May 20, 2013

Will working families be hurt by a TPPA agreement?

Unions in Australia and New Zealand have united to call on governments negotiating the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) to protect the rights and living conditions of working families.

The TPPA is a proposed free trade agreement for the Asia Pacific being negotiated this week in Peru. Countries that are taking part include Australia, New Zealand, the United States, Singapore, Brunei, Vietnam, Japan, Canada, Malaysia, Mexico and Chile.

FIRST Union, the Service and Food Workers Union, the NZ Dairy Workers Union, the Engineering, Printing & Manufacturing Union, the NZ Meat Workers Union, the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union, the Australasian Meat Industry Employees Union and the National Union of Workers have passed a resolution through the International Union of Food with three key demands for participating governments.

The resolution demands the TPPA maintain the rights of working people to access affordable generic medicines. It also calls for the rights of governments to subsidise the costs of medicines not be jeopardized.

The resolution demands the TPPA respect freedom of association and the rights of workers to collectively bargain.

The resolution demands any TPPA not give foreign investors the rights to sue governments for millions of dollars if their investments are harmed by law or policy. Australia’s plain packaging laws would have exposed the Federal Government to such legal action if investors had these rights to sue.

Australia’s National Union of Workers assistant secretary, Paul Richardson, said unions are concerned about this proposed agreement.

“Any TPPA arrangement that erodes the right of workers to cheap medicine and to the right to collective bargaining is a bad deal for working families,” he said.

New Zealand’s First Union Secretary, Robert Reid, said a TPPA should not restrict a government’s ability to do its job.

“Governments should have the right to make laws that prioritise citizen rights ahead of investor rights,” he said.



© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines



Court Sends Back TPP Decision: 'Blanket Approach' In Turning Down OIA Not Lawful

"When the minister refused Professor Kelsey’s request, neither he nor his officials assessed each piece of information requested against the criteria in the act for withholding official information," Justice Collins said in his judgment. More>>


CTU Conference: Helen Kelly On Standing Down

So now I have left you a big list of jobs to do when I go, I do want to talk about leaving for a little bit. I am going to miss this job. It is, believe it or not – fun and interesting ... More>>


Members' Bills: Seymour Lodges Assisted Dying Bill

“The End of Life Choice Bill is a response to the anguish faced by a small but significant minority of people with terminal illness or who are grievously and irremediably ill, as they anticipate the prospect of intolerable suffering and the indignity of the final few days and weeks of their lives,” said Mr Seymour. More>>


Activism: SHAN Protest Against State Housing Sales

The State Housing Action Network (SHAN) led a protest in Wellington against the sale of state housing by the Government. At midday thirty to forty protestors marched from Civic Square to Parliament accompanied by the sounds of the Brass Razoo Solidarity Band. More>>

1080 Threat: Police Arrest 60 Year Old Auckland Man

New Zealand Police have arrested a 60-year-old Auckland businessman in relation to the criminal blackmail threat to poison infant formula with 1080, made public in March this year. More>>


Canterbury Transition Bill First Reading: Government Hiding From ECan Submissions

The Government has radically reduced the amount of time for public submissions on their controversial ECan bill, says Labour’s Environment spokesperson Megan Woods... “Their shortened timeline could mean that instead of the usual six weeks, Cantabrians get just one week to submit their views on the bill." More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Our Apparent Inability To Stand Up To Australia

Alas, and only days before the first meeting between our Prime Minister John Key and the new Australian leader Malcolm Turnbull, this country is showing no sign of standing up for itself. Quite the reverse. We seem to be rolling over, and making gestures of appeasement. More>>


Health Not-So-Many Benefits: Auditor-General On Scrapped Cost-Saving Plan

The Auditor-General decided to look into the costs and benefits of HBL’s work in the health sector and, where possible, identify lessons... We found that several factors contributed to the difficulties that befell HBL and, in particular, the Finance, Procurement and Supply Chain (FPSC) programme. More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news