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Maritime workers add voice to TPPA opposition

Maritime workers add voice to TPPA opposition

Wednesday 3 February 2015

The Maritime Union strongly opposes the TPPA, and is supporting the mass action against the signing of the secretive trade deal in Auckland tomorrow (Thursday 4 February).

Maritime Union of New Zealand National Secretary Joe Fleetwood says union members have been campaigning for years against so-called free trade deals that undermine democracy and contain an anti-worker agenda.

“The Maritime Union does not support free trade, we support fair trade that is regulated to ensure workers and the environment are safe and secure,” he says.

He says that maritime workers around the Pacific had been strong opponents of so-called “free trade” deals such as the TPPA.

“We work in an industry that is based on international trade, but we are part of the international movement to defend workers from the negative aspects of corporate globalisation.”

Mr Fleetwood says the maritime industry was the world's first “globalized industry” and the effects of free trade and deregulation had a devastating impact on New Zealand.

“We have seen extensive exploitation in the fishing industry, the sell off of public assets, and the collapse of New Zealand shipping, together with the disease of casualization that has undermined security and safety on the waterfront,” he says.

“These issues are all part of the same neoliberal agenda that is behind the TPPA which will hit working class New Zealanders hard, while benefits accrue to a self interested minority.”

He says the Maritime Union is concerned that the TPPA could make it easier for New Zealand infrastructure such as ports to be sold off to global corporations, and would undermine any attempt to rebuild New Zealand's coastal shipping.

“It's not hard to understand what the TPPA is about, it is about handing more power to privately owned corporations away from workers and citizens.”

The Maritime Union says “TPPA – no way.”


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