No real protection for labour rights or migrant workers
Despite promises that the TPP would contain enforceable labour rights, governments only commit 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, meaning public sector workers and others in non-traded sectors are not covered.
The enforcement process requires lengthy consultation and has not been effective in other agreements with similar clauses.
The TPP also removes labour market testing for vulnerable temporary migrant workers from eight TPP countries, meaning there’s no requirement to test if Australian workers are available.
- Trans-Pacific Partnership Labour Chapter scorecard: fundamental issues remain unaddressed, International Trade Union Confederation, November 2015
- Berg L. and Farbenblum, B. (2017) Wage theft in Australia: findings of the national temporary worker survey
- Report of the Senate Reference Committee on Education and Employment 2015 A National Disgrace
- New visas threaten Australian jobs, Sydney Morning Herald, June 6 2016
- “One in five migrant workers on 457 visas could be underpaid or incorrectly employed,” Sydney Morning Herald May 29, 2015.
Updated: July 2018