The union confederations of Argentina, the two CTAs and the CGT, reject the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the Common Market of the South (Mercosur) and the European Union (EU).
Negotiators of Mercosur and the EU are holding meetings until March 2 in Asuncion, Paraguay, to resolve differences and sign a FTA. The unions of Argentina have taken a unified stand against the agreement.
“Signing this agreement would be a death sentence for our national industry”, said the workers.
In the release, they alert the public to the negative impact that the agreement will have on national production in general and on certain strategic industries in particular, such as technology, sea and river transport, public works, government procurement, medical laboratories, the auto industry and regional economies.
The Argentine union representatives held a meeting with the chief negotiators of the Bi-regional Association Agreement between Mercosur and the EU on 23 February in parallel with the meeting of the European Economic and Social Committee and the Economic and Social Advisory Forum with negotiators of the EU-Mercosur association agreement at the headquarters of the Industrial Union of Paraguay in Asuncion.
The members of representative bodies of organized society, both of the EU and Mercosur (consisting of chambers of commerce, unions and civil society organizations) presented their legitimate concerns. For their part, they called for the establishment of a joint follow-up committee to ensure the involvement of the public in the final phase of negotiations and subsequent monitoring of the agreement.
In addition, they called for the inclusion of a social-labour chapter to make it possible through the social dialogue to resolve the imbalances that may emerge for labour as a result of the agreement.
The Mercosur and the EU labour representatives, consisting of the Coordinating Committee of Union Confederations of the Southern Cone and the European Trade Union Confederation, also submitted a letter to the chief negotiators in which they listed the reasons why they did not accept the agreement.
Finally, in the letter they asked to participate as fundamental actors in the present negotiations to ensure that the Agreement benefits the working class of both trading blocs.