Cardiff councillors to debate opposition to secret trade deal

‘TTIP and trade deals like it are a threat to public services and to public sector staff’

UNISON has welcomed the efforts of Cardiff Labour councillors in placing a motion before the council today that condemns the secretive Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) as a threat to the provision of local services in Wales.

At the council meeting early this evening councillors Dilwar Ali and Darren Williams are seeking to challenge the TTIP agreement being hammered out behind closed doors by EU and US negotiators, which increases corporate power at the expense of ordinary people and elected political representatives, undermining the concept of devolution in Wales.

TTIP would mean that a council could not insist on fair wage clauses in its contracts and neither could it ensure there are reasonable environmental protections. It would grant arbitration panels the power to overrule the UK court system and undermine health and safety standards.

Labour Councillor Ali said: “This motion sends an important message that local councils and decision makers will not roll over on TTIP. We will always put the welfare and interests of our constituents over the interests of big business.”

Michael Sweetman from UNISON Cardiff County branch said: “We congratulate Cardiff Labour councillors in taking a stand against this undemocratic trade agreement, which will benefit no-one except multinational corporations. TTIP would cripple local democracy.

“TTIP and trade deals like it are a threat to public services and to public sector staff, because they threaten to restrict the ability of democratically elected representatives to bring services back into public ownership.

“The idea of international corporations taking elected governments to court because they don’t like what they have decided is offensive to anyone who believes in democracy or national sovereignty.”

A series of local authorities have passed motions condemning TTIP, including Flintshire, Lancashire, Brighton and Oxford. UNISON is working with Global Justice Now to encourage other councils to follow this lead.

Contact: Alastair Gittins, UNISON Press Officer on 07816 538397.