GMB Congress In Dublin Told That Leaks About New Trade In Services Agreement (TiSA) Reveal Plans For Free Movement Of Labour With No Social Standards Across 52 Nations
If implemented, TISA would allow multinational corporations to exploit migrant workers with impunity and governments would be powerless to do anything about it GMB Congress told.
GMB Congress in Dublin was told today (8 June) that proposed Trade in Services Agreement (TISA) leaked by Wikileaks on 3rd June would extend the rights of employers in 37 sectors to move labour across 52 countries including the EU and the US with no social standards whatsoever.
The leaked document shows secret plans to extend the scope and coverage of the existing General Agreement of Trade and Services (GATS) of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) across 37 service sectors including construction which is defined as a production industry in the UK.
TISA commits participating countries to enact non-reversible privatisations and deregulate a wide range of services for the benefit of transnational corporations. There are paragraphs on the removal of restrictions concerning the movement of ‘natural persons’, a reference to migrant workers who would have no legal protections for their labour rights.
The countries involved in the negotiations are the United States, the European Union, Australia, Canada, Chile, Chinese Taipei (Taiwan), Colombia, Costa Rica, Hong Kong, Iceland, Israel, Japan, Liechtenstein, Mauritius, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, South Korea, Switzerland, Turkey and Uruguay.
The 37 industries covered by the talks are as follows:
1. Accounting, auditing and bookkeeping services
2. Architectural services
3. Engineering services
4. Integrated engineering services
5. Urban planning and landscape architectural services
6. Medical & dental services
7. Veterinary services
8. Services provided by midwives, nurses, physiotherapists and paramedical personnel
Computer and related services:
9. Consultancy services related to the installation of computer hardware
10. Software implementation services
11. Data processing services
12. Data base services )
Research and Development services:
14. R&D services on natural sciences
15. R&D services on social sciences and humanities
16. Interdisciplinary R&D services
Other business services
17. Advertising services
18. Market research and public opinion polling services
19. Management consulting services
20. Services related to management consulting
21. Technical testing & analysis services
22. [CH propose: Services incidental to manufacturing]
23. Related scientific and technical consulting services
24. Maintenance and repair of equipment (not including maritime vessels, aircraft or other transport equipment)
25. Specialty design services
Construction and related engineering services:
26. General construction work for buildings
27. General construction work for civil engineering
28. Installation and assembly work
29. Building completion and finishing work
31. Sewage services
32. Refuse disposal services
33. Sanitation and similar services
Tourism and travel related services:
35. Hotels and Restaurants
36. Travel Agencies and Tour Operators services
37. Tourist Guides services
Bert Schouwenburg, GMB International Officer speaking at Congress, said “There have been 11 rounds of secret talks involving civil servants from 52 nations to undermine social standards that have been built up over generations. There have been no reports to elected politicians about these talks. Politicians needs to decommission these talks.
The movement of workers should be outside the competence of trade agreements and should be dealt with by nation states in line with ILO conventions.
If implemented, TISA would allow multinational corporations to exploit migrant workers with impunity and governments would be powerless to do anything about it.
The Agreement is the latest in a series of trade deals designed to lock countries in to a neoliberal agenda that gives the corporations unprecedented power and influence to shape the world’s economy for the benefit of their shareholders.”
Contact: Bert Schouwenburg, GMB International Officer on 07974 251764 or GMB press office 07921 289880 or 07974 2521823.
Notes to editors:
The Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) Annex on Movement of Natural Persons was released on the Wikileaks website on 3 June 2015 and available here: https://wikileaks.org/tisa/natural-persons/
It was 1 of 17 secret documents released from the ongoing TISA which dates from the 11th round of TiSA negotiations held 9-13 February 2015 in Geneva, Switzerland.