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Uniting Food, Farm and Hotel Workers World-Wide

"Trading Away Our Jobs" - UK charity War On Want challenges today's free trade model

Posted to the IUF website 26-Apr-2009

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The highly respected UK charity War On Want has issued a powerful report pointing out the dangers to all from the current free trade model. Under the sub-heading "How free trade threatens employment around the world" War On Want underlines the strong case that neither workers in the global North nor in the global South benefit from today's free trade model. They echo much of what the IUF has promoted for some time now and join our call with some other parts of the global labour movement for a complete dismantling of the current free trade model. In its introduction the report sets out its clear critique of the free trade system:

"This new report brings together, for the first time, both historical an projected data on the employment impacts of trade liberalisation. It analyses studies of past trade liberalisations in Africa and Latin America, as well as impact assessments from the current round of world trade talks and the new wave of bilateral EU trade deals. the report finds that trade agreements and policies which are designed to open up import markets have led to the collapse of entire industries and the loss of millions of jobs across the world."

War On Want goes on to point out:

"Significant sections of the global trade union movement have also called for a substantially new approach to globalisation. In the joint statement issues on the eve of the 2005 WTO ministerial in Hong Kong, seven global union federations [ed: of which one was the IUF] and numerous trade unions and national union confederations declared:

" the proposals to further liberalize agriculture, industrial production and services will lead to an immense new wave of unemployment and the worsening of existing jobs and livelihood in developed as well as developing countries at the expense of the profits of a few transnational corporations. This programme for the massive destruction of jobs needs to be stopped. The undersigned trade union and civil society organization call on the WTO members to put a moratorium on the present negotiations.""

The IUF takes no comfort in having been proved right in a world where the job destruction we were already witnessing in the name of "free trade" has now been massively compounded by the impact of the criminality and greed which has led us into the global financial meltdown.

For the full War On Want report go to their web site by clicking here.