Secret trade pact gives ‘consolidated power’ to global transport firms warns ITF

The ITF warned that classified documents published today by Wikileaks on the Trade in Services Agreement (TISA) foresee consolidated power for big transport industry players and threaten the public interest, jobs and a voice for workers.

See the classified documents

It is alarmed that the deregulation envisaged in the text is about ideology not efficiency, and warns it would undermine ILO social and safety standards by failing to recognise them as minimum standards subject to continuous improvement.

Among the ITF’s concerns about such deregulation are that it will allow multimodal transport operators unfettered access to and rights to supply road, rail or inland waterways transport services – generally public infrastructure – and enable them to fast-track their goods through ports.

The deregulation aims to enhance the bargaining power of major shipping lines over port services and further consolidate the power of global port operators. It will create an aviation industry dominated by global giants while allowing flags of convenience to flourish, and increase potential safety risks by separating the safety regulation and economic regulation of international air transport.

This deregulation will also protect the position of the major, private global courier companies against the growth of those national or regional operators that are secured through historical or current monopolies in national postal services.

ITF president Paddy Crumlin said: “This text would supercharge the most powerful companies in the transport industry, giving them preferential treatment. What’s missing from this equation is any value at all for workers and citizens. It creates serious barriers for any state wanting to invest in, manage and operate its national infrastructure or – crucially – to defend decent work and decent terms and conditions across transport.

“TISA must incorporate an enforceable and binding labour and sustainability chapter. We will work with our sister organisations in the global union movement, civil society and other allies to oppose the harmful effects of TISA.”

Read the full ITF responses to the leaked TISA papers – civil aviation, maritime and global delivery

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