Jobs threat fight set for launch

8 July 2014 - 10:34am
Press release

NEWS PEGS

Tuesday, 8 July 2014
National protests begin against Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership

Monday, 14 July 2014
Latest secret EU-US talks on TTIP scheduled in Brussels

National campaign opposes EU-US deal

A national campaign against clandestine economic negotiations between the European Union and the US opens today, amid warnings from activists of the biggest shift of power to transnational capital for a generation.

Opponents of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) cite the European Commission's confirmation that the treaty is likely to bring "prolonged and substantial" dislocation to European workers.1

Many job losses are feared, with the EC admitting companies will be encouraged to source goods and services from US states where labour standards are lower and trade union rights non-existent.

In addition, TTIP threatens disaster for public services, such as the NHS in the UK, by allowing US firms to bid for contracts.

It could also entrench current privatisation, because a government that attempted to regain public control would risk being sued by multinational companies for lost profits, through a proposed investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) clause.

The ISDS clause is a hugely controversial concession to multinational corporate power, which seriously erodes democratic space.

The treaty would remove new protections introduced to prevent a repeat of the 2008 financial crisis that has thrown millions of people into poverty amid huge rises in unemployment, homelessness and hunger.

Food safety will be put at risk, and products now banned in Europe, such as hormone-treated beef, could make their way into UK supermarkets, with greater penetration of genetically modified imports.

The deal could secure EU market access for US companies involved in controversial fracking of shale gas, and allow US firms to challenge bans on fracking in Europe.

The coalition behind the "No TTIP" drive stretches from the charity War on Want and health service defenders to women's groups and the UNISON leading public service union.2

It launches this evening with a public meeting in Birmingham, followed by another in Manchester tomorrow and a third in London on Thursday, before a large number of demonstrations in England, Scotland and Wales on Saturday.3

The drive comes ahead of a further round of negotiations behind closed doors, starting in Brussels next week.

Jeff Powell, campaigns and policy director at War on Want, said: "It is a scandal that discussion of such a dangerous threat to jobs, public services and democratic safeguards is being held in secret.

"This campaign will show that people from all walks of life in Britain will fight every inch of the way to halt a deal that puts corporate greed before public need."

NOTES TO EDITORS

1     http://www.waronwant.org/attachments/HILARY_LONDON_FINAL_WEB.pdf

2     http://www.nottip.org.uk

3     http://www.waronwant.org/news/events/18143-no-ttip-national-tour-a-day-of-action

CONTACT: War on Want media officer Paul Collins (+44) (0)20 7324 5054 or (+44) (0)7983 550728

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