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11 May 2022

Rosa Crawford, Trades Union Congress

Unions urge UK ministers to involve workers in trade talks

'UK-US summit in Aberdeen: trade talks must involve workers and support the Good Friday agreement', 11 May 2022

"UK and US unions have jointly urged the International Trade Secretary in Aberdeen to involve unions in trade talks - to ensure trade deals promote good jobs, enforce workers’ rights and protect public services

Two weeks ago, the TUC, our US counterpart the AFL-CIO and unions in Scotland gathered in Aberdeen to discuss what a truly ‘worker-centred’ approach to trade should look like with the UK international trade secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan and US trade Ambassador Katherine Tai. 

This was the sequel event to one that took place in Baltimore in March, which the TUC’s Deputy General Secretary Paul Nowak attended and blogged about. 

The UK government organised the Aberdeen event to continue a dialogue on trade with the US, even when prospects of full blown trade talks this year look very unlikely

Ahead of the event, the TUC highlighted that if the UK government wants a closer relationship with the US, it should follow the US’ lead in including unions in trade negotiations.   

In the US, trade unions are routinely consulted on trade negotiations - and they’ve had big wins, such as securing a strong enforcement mechanism for workers’ rights in the US-Mexico-Canada agreement. This allowed the US government to challenge union-busting in three companies in Mexico..."