Education International
Education International

Global unions demand that TiSA negotiations be stopped

published 14 October 2016 updated 17 October 2016

Following the release of new leaked documents exposing the details of the secret Trade in Services Agreement, six global union federations are calling for all talks to be brought to a halt.

Together, Education International (EI), Public Services International (PSI), the European Public Service Union (EPSU), International Union of Food workers (IUF), the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) and UNI are calling on all countries participating in the negotiations to immediately publish information about their position and demands on other countries, including the US, Japan, Turkey,  Australia and New Zealand, and begin national consultations with social partners and civil society.

The demand comes on the heels of the release of Wikileaks documents which reveal the wide scope of the deregulatory agenda and attack on democratic governance. The EU is attempting to wrestle control of every level of governance from the municipal to national levels of partner countries. The leaked documents demonstrate that the EU is demanding other TiSA parties to include and commit to the liberalisation of public services in the trade pact.

“These leaks give a clear indication of the dangerous direction of the TiSA negotiations. The fact that citizens and civil society are still obliged to rely on leaks for getting a sense of the direction of the negotiations is deeply unsatisfactory,” said Fred van Leeuwen, General Secretary of EI. “It is outrageous that the EU is demanding other TiSA parties to commit to the liberalisation of education, particularly in the case of developing countries where public education systems are still being established, or where privatisation has clearly failed.”

Delayed since 2013, negotiations to finalise the trade deal by the end of the 2016 are set to continue Monday, 17 October in Washington, D.C. The unions do not want that to happen. The federations are urging their national member organisations to contact their governments and demand both that they do not trade away sovereign, democratic rights, or rob the rights of other countries.

Click here to read the press release in full.