Does the TPP Work for Workers?

Analyzing the labour chapter of the TPP
July 21, 2016
377.8 KB20 pages

This study examines the Trans-Pacific Partnership’s labour chapter and finds it cannot adequately protect, let alone enhance, labour rights across the TPP region, as promised by the Canadian and U.S. governments. This is because the TPP chapter largely reproduces the NAFTA model, with its escape clauses for national governments accused of violating worker rights, and its ineffective and complicated dispute process for challenging labour violations.

As the International Labour Organization recently pointed out, “no [labour] complaint has given rise to a decision of a dispute settlement body or even led to sanctions.” In contrast, investors were granted an easily accessible, binding dispute process in the TPP with a proven track record for undermining workers’ interests and public policy. As the authors conclude, labour organizations across the TPP region had produced an alternative labour chapter that would have better protected workers, but Canadian unions were given little opportunity to participate in the TPP process.