JCTU urges gov’t to postpone EPA signing

Jamaica Gleaner

JCTU urges gov’t to postpone EPA singing

2008-08-07

The Jamaica Confederation of Trade Unions (JCTU) has joined in the call for the government to postpone signing the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) recently negotiated with the European Union (EU).

Acting president of the JCTU, Wayne Jones, said the executive council discussed the matter recently and was convinced that the draft EPA contains inadequate provisions to safeguard and protect the productive sector, guard against import surge and ensure food security in the region.

Mr. Jones said the JCTU has since written to Prime Minister Bruce Golding on the issue.

In the letter, the JCTU states that the growing opposition to the EPA, if ignored, could do irreparable harm to the implementation of the Single Market and Economy.

It said the opposition could also hinder the JCTU’s efforts to protect the rights of workers, eradicate poverty and promote equality and social justice.

CARICOM countries are likely to sign the agreement on September 2.

The JCTU said that those opposed to the EPA have cited the absence of legally binding criteria, designed to measure the socio-economic impact of the agreement on key sectors and segments in the Jamaican society.

The JCTU believes the criticisms are worthy of further consideration.

According to the JCTU, government should table the provisions of the EPA in parliament for a debate.

It also said that there should be consultations with civil society on the issue.

source: Go-Jamaica