Fast-Track is Wrong Track for Workers

Fast-track legislation by the Obama Administration is a “free trade agreement” that if successfully passed will cause America to lose jobs and workers to lose rights.


The trade agreement combines the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) with 11 other Pacific Rim nations. In the past, trade pacts have cost the US millions of jobs, and not just industrial jobs.


Fast track could impact everything from minimum wage to economy recovery.


Unions and members are fight back to derail fast-track in the next six weeks before it’s passed. Three top leaders of AFL-CIO, President Richard Trumka, Secretary-Treasurer Elizabeth Shuler and Executive Vice President Tefere Gebre sent a letter to Congress on March 2nd that reads:


“As the leaders of almost 20 million U.S. workers and their families, we share your commitment to strengthening the middle class,” their letter said.  “To rebuild our economy for America’s hardworking families, we ask you to join us in opposition to ‘fast-track’ trade promotion authority, also known as TPA.


“Fast-track deals mean fewer jobs, lower wages and a declining middle class. Fast-track has been used since the Nixon administration to advance deals, like NAFTA, that are sold to the American people as job creation measures.  But these deals, written largely by and for the world’s largest corporations, don’t create jobs.


“Their main purpose isn’t even related to trade.  It’s to enshrine rules that make it easier for firms to invest offshore and increase corporate influence over the global economy.


“Fast-track is an undemocratic, unaccountable and completely unacceptable way to develop economic policies that affect us all.  America needs a new version of trade negotiating authority that brings the process out from behind closed doors and prioritizes making life better for people, instead of just making life easier for corporations.


“Working people have heard enough broken promises about the benefits of fast-track. It’s time to stop believing the fairy tale that passing one more fast-track trade deal is going to have different results.  If you stand for higher wages, more jobs and greater opportunities for America’s hard-working families, you must oppose fast-track.”


64 other union leaders signed the letter and hundreds of unionist lobbied lawmakers and made a case in Congress during the first week of March.


Source: PAI