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On October 14, a statement proposed by PSI members on TISA (The Trade in Services Agreement) was approved by the Workers' Group which attended the meeting.
The statement, which can be read in full below, was read by Luis Lara, from Guatemala, during the special briefing session on the monitoring of the Tripartite Declaration of Principles concerning transnational enterprises and social policy.
On the same day, during the feedback session after the Director-General's report, the problems of PSI members, as representatives of the public sector, were presented by Luis Isarra, from FENTAP - Peru and by Marcelo Di Stefano, from APUBA-CONTUA, both members of the PSI Regional Executive Committee, IAMREC.
Both interventions, which were based on the document below "The Americas before the challenges of the XXI century: full employment, productive and decent work ", were applauded and recognized by those attending the meeting.
We should also mention that on 10 and 11 October the Andean Network of Judicial Workers had its own meeting, the participants remained in Lima for the ILO meeting. In the same way, the members of the PSI Public Administration Group, present at the ILO meeting, also met between 13 and 15 October.
Workers' Statement concerning the Trade in Services Agreement "TISA"
The group of workers present at the 18th American Regional Meeting of the International Labour Organization, ILO, declares our rejection to the negotiations which 50 countries – nine of them from this region – are advancing in order to deregulate furthermore the trade of public services.
This new Trade in Services Agreement, TISA (for its acronym in English), follows, largely, the business strategy of using "trade" agreements to bind countries to a program of liberalization and extreme deregulation in order to ensure greater profits to the companies at the expense of workers, farmers, consumers and the environment. The proposed agreement is a direct result of systematic advocacy work of transnational companies in the banking, energy sectors, insurance, telecommunications, transportation, water and other services, through lobbying as the Coalition of Services Industries (USCSI, for its acronym in English) and the European Services Forum (ESF, for its acronym in English).
To us, workers, it is unacceptable that these negotiations are carried on the back of the people and in great secrecy by the countries involved in this adventure. Likewise, we reject the way these negotiations are being conducted outside the World Trade Organization, WTO, in order to constitute a pressure block within this multilateral body. It is no exaggeration to think that once TISA is concluded, the signatory countries can try to act as a bloc in the negotiations of the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) within the WTO, pressuring other countries to comply with the level of liberalization and deregulation of TISA, contradicting the guidelines for negotiations on services that WTO members agreed by consensus.
We have known that in the Trade in Services Agreement “TISA” clauses known as provisions of "Stato quo" and "ratchet" that undermine the democracy of the countries preventing public authorities to reverse the privatization of services, although these privatizations fail.
From the region are part of these negotiations, which are led by the United States and the European Union (with its 28 member States) Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru – and Uruguay has been invited to participate in the TISA talks. It is essential to alert other countries and governments, because their intention is to build a pressure group within the WTO. In addition, this initiative deepens the trend of trade agreements that have been signed by several countries in the region with the European Union and the United States and others which are under discussion.
In adopting this Declaration, the Workers' Group urges governments and employers to be aware of the harmful effects it will have the Trade in Services Agreement “TISA” on migrant workers' rights, as well as on the non-inclusion of compulsory labor standards or the protection of the workers' rights in the TISA.
Workers' Group – 18th American Regional Meeting of the International Labour Organization, October 13, 2014.