Union Leaders Disapprove of Full TPP Text

WASHINGTON —Union leaders gave the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) a thumbs down as being too pro-corporate and not guaranteeing workers’ rights, after their first look at the text.

The U.S. and the other TPP nations formally released the text on Nov. 5, starting a mandated congressional review that will stretch into next year. The review gives workers limited time to mobilize against the TPP.

Then, lawmakers will be forced to vote not on the TPP itself, but on legislation to implement it. And fast-track trade authority bars solons from either changing the TPP’s terms or revising implementing legislation that President Barack Obama (D) will send to Capitol Hill.

Unions and their allies contend that the TPP lacks workers’ rights and would give corporations huge profits and incentives to move high-paying U.S. jobs overseas. Nothing they saw on Nov. 5 alters that.

“The plan negotiated with Vietnam would allow this country to receive up to seven years of reduced tariff benefits while still violating worker and human rights and negotiators failed to get Mexico to agree to specific and much-needed reforms in its labor laws. There is no formal plan to ensure that U.S. engagement and enforcement in this critical area would change at all,” the Steelworkers said.

While CWA is reviewing the TPP text, “based on what we’ve already seen and learned about this deal, we’re not likely to change our position that this TPP is a disaster for working families and communities,” they stated.

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said, “The threats of this expansive new agreement outweigh its benefits — for good jobs, for democracy, for affordable medicines, for consumer safety, and for the environment. The hardworking families of the AFL-CIO will join with our allies to defeat the TPP,” he said.

Worker allies agreed. All three Democratic presidential hopefuls criticized the TPP even before Obama released its text.

Source: PAI