Saying No to Corporate bill of rights in trade agreements made easy by online tool

(EPSU Press release - 20 May 2015) EPSU and many unions like GdG-KMSfB were amongst the 150.000 people and organisations that participated in the EU public consultation on investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) in forthcoming trade agreements between the EU and the US called TTIP. We and 97% of those responding said No to ISDS in the agreement.

We want the Members of the European Parliament to respect this position and express themselves in the same way. That is why EPSU and its Austrian affiliate GdG-KMSfB have engaged with the environmental organisation Friends of the Earth and with the Austrian workers' organisation Arbeiterkammer in an easy online tool to allow people in Europe to express themselves towards Members of the European Parliament.

With this online tool at http://www.no2isds.eu we ask you to demand the MEPs to reject special rights for corporations and in particular to reject the right that corporations can complain against democratic decisions of states at international tribunals seeking to extract exorbitant sanctions. On the website you can contact your MEP or a group of MEPs asking to take position against ISDS.

EPSU General Secretary Jan Willem Goudriaan "Europe's public service unions do not want public services covered in trade agreements which would open these services for commercialisation. Similarly we reject the inclusion of investor state dispute settlement which could be a Trojan Horse for corporations to run profit-making schemes in public services."

Thomas Kattnig, Head of International Unit of GdG-KMSFB adds: "The leaked texts do not show how workers' rights in the EU or US are improved or how collective bargaining in such a Transatlantic market would be strengthened. But the US and EU negotiators do want special rights for corporate interests via ISDS that will undermine health and safety protection and other workers rights. Hence ask MEPs to say No."

The European Commission has the mandate to negotiate trade agreements. It gets that mandate from the EU governments. The European Parliament can only accept or reject the final result. To ensure the points of view of the EP are taken into account by the Commission, the EP adopts a report which goes to the Commission. That report should give a clear signal to the European Commission: a trade agreement with the US that includes ISDS and public services will not receive the support of the European Parliament.

That is why we call on all people concerned to be in contact with the MEPs. Please go to http://www.no2isds.eu and forward it to friends and colleagues to engage as well.

For more information on the positions of EPSU on trade. It includes our positions on CETA, TTIP and TISA.
Please also check the information provided by our global sister federation PSI at http://www.world-psi.org/en/issue/trade

For further information, please contact:
Pablo Sánchez Centellas +32(0)474626633 psanchez@epsu.org





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