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Lynn Boylan MEP: TTIP should be top concern for Irish labour movement

20 April, 2015 - by Senator Lynn Boylan

Dublin Sinn Féin MEP Lynn Boylan has drawn attention to the impact the proposed Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) will have on Irish workers.

Ms Boylan was speaking as a delegation of activists from across Ireland took part in a Sinn Féin-hosted delegation to the European Parliament on the theme of opposing TTIP, which included trade unionists, environmentalists and farmers.

Ms Boylan said:

“Much has already been said about the dangers of granting new rights to investors through an ISDS, an investor-state dispute mechanism. There is a deep and well-founded concern throughout Europe and the US about the power over public policy that this will hand to multinational corporations. But ISDS is not the only thing we need to be concerned about in TTIP.

“The fact is, this trade deal will be bad for Ireland and especially bad for jobs. The EU Commission’s own impact assessment carried out by the Centre for Economic Policy Research estimates that up to 1.3 million workers could lose their jobs as a result of the displacement caused by TTIP, most of these in Europe.

“Workers in Europe will also be forced to compete with the inferior conditions provided to workers in the US. For example, while European workers have a statutory right to a minimum of 20 days annual leave, in the US there is no statutory entitlement to leave whatsoever. The US also has anti-union ‘Right to Work’ laws in place in 25 states, which have resulted in dramatically lower wages and safety conditions in those states.

 “This forced competition will put a significant downward pressure on the rights, entitlements and income of Irish and European workers. It’s important for the European labour movement to build links with our counterparts in the US, who are also campaigning against TTIP.”

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