March 5TH, 2014. There is a lot going on in Germany right now. Yesterday we reported that a leaked document from inside the Ministry for Environment warns about the potential effects of TTIP on consumer protection and environment legislation. Now, IG Metall, a german trade union with roughly 2,4 million members (making it the largest trade union in the world), has called for an immediate halt to the ongoing negotiations on TTIP.
The IG Metall chariman, Detlef Wetzel, considers the agreement to be "dangerous", and fears how it may damage consumer protection and workers rights, as well as undermining democracy and the sovereignity of the state.
Considering the growth and jobs promised by the European Commission, Wetzel calls these projections for overly optimistic and disputes that TTIP will have any noticable benefit whatsoever. Wetzel considers the conclusions in the report from
the Bertelsmann Foundation, arguing that TTIP will give houndred of thousands of new jobs in the EU, to be based on "pure speculation". "The weather will most likely have more of an impact on employment than this agreement", he says.
IG Metall also adresses the issue of Investor-State Dispute Settlements (ISDS), highlighting how this mechanism may undermine democratic decision-making.
Remarking on the current halt of negotiations on the investment chapter in TTIP, Wetzel says that even if ISDS were to be excluded from TTIP, IG Metall would most likely still oppose the deal, due to their other concerns, listed above.
Finally, Wetzel points out that IG Metall do not oppose the removal of tariff barriers. However, this non-transparent process has lead to an agreement which includes way more than only the removal of tariffs. Negotiations should be halted to give way
for a proper debate including the public.