The Committee on Employment and Social Affairs (EMPL) at the European Parliament has deliberated against giving consent to the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) with 27 votes for and 24 against.

The Pirinski opinion, supported by GUE/NGL, calls on the Committee on International Trade (INTA) to recommend the Parliament to reject the Council’s proposal for approval of CETA. It added that the supposed benefits of the treaty are marginal at best and that scientific studies show the opposite, with net job losses in the EU.  

GUE/NGL MEP Patrick Le Hyaric welcomed the vote and said it sends a strong message in favour of protecting jobs and labour standards:

“This vote is a step in the right direction and I hope it will mobilise people further against this agreement which threatens decent employment, fair wages plus labour and social rights.”

“We must also remember that Canada has yet to ratify the ILO Convention 98 on the Right to Organise and Collective Bargaining, which is a precondition for the Parliament to give its consent.”

“CETA does not protect small businesses. In the liberalised environment created by CETA, small businesses will be exposed to the full force of competition from large North American transnational corporations thus endangering the millions of jobs they provide,” the French MEP said.

GUE/NGL MEP Tania González Peñas said that the Parliament must now consider carefully the concerns expressed in the EMPL opinion:

“MEPs have listened to the concerns of workers, trade unions, civil society groups and SMEs against CETA, which according to an economic study using the UN Global Policy Model would threatens to destroy more than 200,000 jobs in the EU and more than 20.000 in Canada, reduce wages and increase inequality.”

“CETA puts labour standards at risk and makes lasting changes to our legal system without democratic participation. Treaties such as CETA and TTIP will particularly affect countries like Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain – all of which already suffer from high rates of youth unemployment over a long period of time – but also low-income workers, those with temporary contracts and with precarious work.”

“We must do everything to stop CETA,” the Spanish MEP concluded. 

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