15 Apr 2009

Calls for NZ and Australia to make sure PACER is balanced

10:10 am on 15 April 2009

An umbrella group for Pacific trade unions is calling on the Australia and New Zealand Governments to ensure that any revamp of the Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations promotes balanced, sustainable economic development.

The South Pacific and Oceanic Council of Trade Unions, or SPOCTU, made a submission to both the Australian and New Zealand Trade Ministers last week in Tonga.

Simon Crean and Tim Groser were called on to ensure decent work for all in the Pacific Island countries if Australia and New Zealand sign up.

The metropolitan countries have launched negotiations on joining the PACER scheme but there are some fears that their dominance will be too great.

SPOCTU wants assurances that social impact assessments will be conducted on the small island economies.