(3 February 2021) The European and Mercosur trade unions reject the agreement in its current form. The agreement does not include strong and binding safeguards regarding trade union rights. There is no mechanism to uphold International Labour Standards. Unions are not recognised in monitoring the impact on rights and the labour market. Unions are concerned how the agreement undermines domestic industries in Mercosur countries and the agricultural sector in the EU. The chapter on liberalisation of services in the Agreement does not establish a general exemption for public services. These are just some of the concerns EPSU shared. The ETUC and the Coordination of the ConoSur unions call the parties to renegotiate the Agreement to duly take into account the concerns of workers and trade unions on both sides. They will establish a Labour Forum with the objective to lobby for renegotiating the Agreement.
The agreement was reached 28 June 2019, after 20 years of discussion. The last negotiations happened without the input of the social partners or organized civil society, resulting in a continuity of opacity that covers the Agreement in the last five years. Nor has there been any impact study of the economic, social, employment and development consequences of the Agreement as a prerequisite before its adoption.
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