Workers' rights and environmental standards

Workers' rights weak and not enforceable

Despite promises of enforceable labour rights, Governments commit only to implementing their own labour laws, not recognised international standards, and the products of forced and child labour are not banned.

Complaints can only be made if there is a “sustained or recurring” violation of labour rights in a manner affecting trade or investment, which means that public sector workers and others in non-traded sectors are not covered.

The complaint and enforcement procedure requires lengthy consultations and has not been effective in agreements with similar clauses.

The TPP also removes labour market testing for temporary migrant workers from five TPP countries, meaning there is no requirement to test if Australian workers are available.This will create more exploitation of vulnerable workers as seen in 7-Eleven stores and other industries.

Despite promises that the TPP would include enforceable commitments by governments to at least seven international environment agreements, the text mentions only four, and only one, on trade in endangered species, has clearly enforceable commitments.

There is no mention of climate change. Global corporations could use ISDS to sue governments for taking action against climate change.