Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Scary Story about Europe & Trade. You won't win an iPad - but read this anyway

There are a lot of things that its in the public interest to know - but aren't really of much interest to the public. Even when they matter, when they are really really worrying, even when they are really scary...

So let me tell you a scary story...

How does this sound...people elect a Government, the Government pases a law .. on say raisng the minimum wage, improving health and safety or environmental standards

A Big Company doesn't like the law because it interferes with their profits (I know, who could imagine such a thing ... but bear with me). So the Company takes the Government to court and gets the law overturned.

"That can't be right" you are probably thinking ... Well it might b not be 'right' but it happens in some places and it could be happening right here if we don't make an effort.

The reason is...
(and thanks for sticking with us so far folks.. here's where it manages to be both scary and a bit technical)

The EU and the US are negotiating a Trade Agreement called The Transatlantic Trade and Investment and Partnership (TTIP). That by itself isn't necessarily a bad thing.

But it may well include - because other agreements have - something called Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) - which is just that process where companies get laws they don't like overturned.

Scary huh?

It's no surprise that TTIP features as a topic in UNISON Scotland's take on the European elections Public Works in Europe

However Europe votes on Thursday - and btw the vote on Thursday is a vote across the whole of Europe about the future of the whole of Europe. TTIP is going to be an issue for all of us. That's why UNISON has produced a Campaigning Guide to TTIP which has everything people need to know about what we need to do about this.

So let's try not to be scared, let's be determined and organised.

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