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



Labour: Little Announces New Shadow Cabinet

“Labour had an impressive intake of fresh faces after last year’s election and newest MPs have now had a year to show what they’re made of. This reshuffle rewards hard work and continues my drive to renew our Caucus line up." More>>


Because Reasons: Someone Reckons David Seymour Is Politician Of The Year

Trans Tasman's 11th annual Roll Call has thrown a curve ball this year, ignoring the likes of John Key, Bill English, and Winston Peters to pick its politician of the year from the ranks of the new generation. More>>


Whaling: NZ Deeply Disappointed By Japan's Decision

“New Zealand is strongly opposed to whaling in the Southern Ocean. We call on Japan to take heed of the 2014 International Court of Justice decision and international scientific advice concerning their whaling activities.” More>>


Relevant Consents Gained: Government Unveils RMA Reform Package

The government has formally hauled down the flag on its attempts to alter the balance of environmental and economic priorities in the Resource Management Act, unveiling a 180-page Resource Legislation Amendment Bill containing reforms that have been largely endorsed by most political parties. More>>


Closing Schools And Such: Interim Redcliffs Decision Announced

“While the school’s board has argued that circumstances that could give rise to potential disruption are extremely unlikely, advice from technical experts has shown these concerns cannot be ruled out." More>>


Jane Kelsey: High Court Can’t Make Groser Provide TPPA Information Faster

‘This week we went back to court to challenge Trade Minister Groser’s stalling tactics over the release of information on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement negotiations, following a High Court order that he reconsider the Official Information Act request I made last January’, said University of Auckland law professor Jane Kelsey, first applicant in the case. More>>

Werewolf 58: No Climate For Change

The last time the global community tried to take collective action on climate change the world’s leaders finally came to agree that every not-too-onerous effort should be made to hold global warming to 2°C above the pre-industrial average. At Paris, all 150 participant countries nations will have put forward their pledges... On the information available, New Zealand's is the second weakest contribution of any nation in the developed world. More>>


Lambton Quay Shutdown: Object Was Made To Look Like Bomb

Police cordoned off part of Lambton Quay Wednesday afternoon, saying that a suspicious package had been found. Buildings were evacuated and buses were detoured. The army’s explosive ordnance disposal unit was brought to the Quay. More>>


Public Sector Still Shrinking: Record Low Number Of 'Backroom Bureaucrats'

Ongoing restraint in the public sector and a focus on better frontline services has seen a further reduction in the number of core Government employees, State Services Minister Paula Bennett says. More>>


Get More From Scoop



More RSS  RSS News AlertsNews Alerts
Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news