The China FTA is a bad deal for workers.
The AMWU is strongly opposed to the signing of the China Free Trade Agreement (FTA). The agreement will result in potentially huge hits to Australian manufacturing jobs, and more broadly to all workers and taxpayers.
Under the FTA, Chinese corporations can bring in entire workforces if they make a 15% investment on projects worth as little as $150 million, under “Investment Facilitation Agreements.” These allow for so-called “increased labour flexibility”.
Our fight is not with foreign workers, it is with the Government and their business mates who benefit from this deal at the expense of workers.
This trade agreement that has been negotiated behind closed doors will allow:
- Chinese companies to bring in an entire workforce from overseas for projects worth over $150 million with as little as a 15% stake in that project and without even advertising for local workers first.
- It could cost as many as 158,000 local jobs because of cheap Chinese imports that are unfairly subsidised and do not meet Australian standards. Half of Australian businesses surveyed say the deal will hurt them and only 11% say it will help.
- The agreement will allow Chinese companies to sue Australian governments that pass laws which affect their profits. This is how Phillip Morris has been able to sue us for plain cigarette packaging laws that are saving lives.
- This trade deal has no commitments to respect workers’ rights. There are no inbuilt safeguards to guarantee that foreign workers would be employed under Australian labour standards, meaning that they could be underpaid, poorly treated and not properly trained.
Under the FTA, Australian jobs will be undercut and foreign workers will be exploited.
All workers deserve a fair deal.
Watch our video on the FTA below: