From the TUC

Mrs May goes to Washington. Here’s what unions want to hear

27 Jan 2017, by in International

Later today, Prime Minister Theresa May will meet with US President Donald Trump in the White House. Ahead of their meeting, the leaders of the UK and US trade union movements, Frances O’Grady from the TUC and Richard Trumka of the AFLCIO, have issued a joint statement setting out what they’d like the result of the talks to be in the area of jobs, wages and trade, as well as attempts to divide working people.

A possible UK-US trade deal after Brexit is one of the key issues that the PM and the President are likely to discuss today, and the trade union statement says:

“We would welcome a realistic trade agreement between the US and the UK after Brexit, but it needs to benefit British and American workers, not multinational corporations or foreign investors. And it needs to foster globally-recognised worker protections – rights American workers want and British workers don’t want to lose.”

Concerns have been raised in Britain about the possibility that a bad UK-US  trade deal could see further privatisation of public services, threaten the BBC and undermine consumer, environmental and workplace protections. TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady added:

“Working people didn’t vote in the referendum to allow further privatisation of the NHS, attacks on our much-loved public service broadcaster, lower standards of food safety or the loss of rights at work. Any trade negotiations between the UK and the US must put people first, not corporations.”

The AFLCIO-TUC statement, which builds on over a century of friendship and solidarity between American and British trade unions, also calls for action to promote sustainable investment in industry, and a boost to stagnant or falling wages. And it calls for:

“an end to divisive political rhetoric that attempts to pit working families against each other on the basis of race, nationality or immigration status.”

One Response to Mrs May goes to Washington. Here’s what unions want to hear

  1. Free trade: what would it take to get union backing?
    Feb 27th 2017, 11:11 pm

    […] why the TUC has joined forces with our sister union centre in the US, the AFL-CIO. We would welcome a realistic trade agreement […]