Unite warns “toxic deals” prioritise corporate interests over public good
July 3rd: Speaking in Waterford today, Unite Regional Secretary Jimmy Kelly called on the Government to hold a referendum on the proposed CETA and TTIP trade deals. Mr Kelly said that these deals – which incorporate the so-called investment court system – will undermine labour rights, consumer rights and environmental regulations.
“TTIP and CETA prioritise corporate interests over the public good.
“Both proposed deals include so-called investment court systems – unaccountable arbitration bodies which will allow private corporations to bypass Irish courts and sue governments for compensation in respect of policies which reduce current or anticipated profits. Such policies could include labour rights, consumer protections and environmental regulations.
“These unaccountable courts will essentially be corporate star chambers whose purpose is to protect profits at all costs”, Mr Kelly said.
“In addition, both TTIP and CETA pose a fundamental threat to public services. The so-called ‘negative list’ approach means that any public services not explicitly listed when concluding the deal are at risk of privatisation –and it may prove impossible to reverse that privatisation. The hands of future national governments, in Ireland and the rest of the EU, will effectively be tied.
“These toxic deals have largely been negotiated in secret, and the negotiators have been anxious to avoid any democratic scrutiny – whether by national parliaments or the European Parliament.
“The fact that TTIP and CETA would allow transfer of jurisdiction from Irish courts to the proposed new investment court system raises serious constitutional concerns, and Unite is calling on the Government to hold a referendum so that the Irish people can pass their verdict on these far-reaching deals”, Jimmy Kelly concluded.