In a development with real implications for the upcoming Congressional debate over the corporate-friendly TransPacific Partnership (TPP), an international coalition of labor and consumer groups on Thursday filed "double-barrel," cross-border complaints to challenge workers' rights abuses by a Mexican retail giant in both the U.S. and Mexico.
If his lack of response to Wisconsin's 2011 assault on labor is any indication we know precisely how Obama will react to these complaints.
When President Obama took office, both he and Hillary Clinton were against the Colombia Free Trade Agreement. Hillary changed her mind, however, if strong workers' rights protections were inserted into the agreement. After the deal was signed, many workers rose up to form unions and to fight for better pay, fair treatment, and safer working conditions. The Colombian corporations hired Pinkerton type military brutes who began murdering the workers - in one year the body count equated to one person per week. Clinton, as Secretary of State could have done something about it - but she did nothing. Just kept giving them that "gold star" of compliance. Workers rights protections mean nothing in these trade deals if it negatively impacts the corporations profits. Clinton and Obama both failed the Colombian workers. Failed them miserably.
The TPP is Obama's baby just as much as the Iran nuclear deal. He finally got his desired fast track legislation in place and he will be pushing hard for Congress to vote yes. I imagine the Republican congress-critters are in a state of emotional turmoil - a vote for the TPP is a vote for their corporate buddies and their campaign funds but it is also a vote for Obama's legacy.
NAFTA, CAFTA...just building blocks to lay the foundation for the MASTER PLAN: TPP and all the ancillary parts thereof to ensure corporate hegemony worldwide. Workers rights be damned, exportation of jobs is built in, virtual elimination of corporate culpability to consumers, abolish all environmental constraints on corps both inside and outside US borders, wipe out taxes of any kind while allowing bloated offshore accounts to grow exponentially, usurpation of natural resources with water at the top of the list, etc.. Something to look forward to with the passage and implementation of this despicable piece of mierda.
I am really disappointed about the discussions concerning recent free trade agreements: NAFTA, CAFTA, and soon to be approved TPP, in particular.
Granted, these agreements have a very negative affect on jobs and workers in the U.S. However, they also have negative affects to the workers in the other countries included in these agreements as well.
Example: A corporation moves its manufacturing operations to Country XYZ because the labor costs (and other costs directly related to labor like Workers Comp, unemployment taxes, etc.) are lower in Country XYZ.
This has a direct negative affect to U.S. jobs and workers.
The U.S. corporation's manufacturing operation was moved to Country XYZ because they are (currently) the low-cost producer. Since the cost of materials and other non-labor related expenses tend to increase, the corporation must increasingly exploit the workers (through wages, benefits, speed-up requirements, etc.) to maintain its low-cost status to retain the business of the corporation in Country XYZ.
This has a direct negative affect on the workers in Country XYZ.
The only entity (or class) that benefits are the corporate stockholders ... most of which are the capitalist ruling class! The workers -- regardless of the country they are in -- are the victims of ever-increasing loss and exploitation.
Why are the discussions centered only around the workers in the U.S.?
Are the lives of the workers in U.S. worth more than the workers in the other countries?
I angrily say no! We must understand that workers everywhere in the world are fighting the same global capitalist system ... an economic system of tyranny!
Limiting the discussion to U.S. jobs and workers is another example of American exceptionalism and it is divisive and evil to its core.
They are probably linked to US workers because that is about all a US citizen can see. Most of them don't even want to hear about the horrors of free trade much less worry about workers in other countries. I have tried to pass out flyers on the subject and I might as well hand them to a brick wall. Several of the bigger groups like People Demanding Action (PDA) have been discussing human rights and human trafficking in other countries. It is all a horrible mess.
And neither one of them care about American workers either. They talk the talk but don't walk the walk.
Hillary says she is against the TPP but she also recently told a Spanish Chamber of Commerce that it has a lot of good parts and she could tweak the bad ones which is BS. Once it passed Fast Track it could not be altered. They all lie and misrepresent so bad.
Boycott Nike and Apple!-they should raise workers pay and standards in other countries and bring some of the manufacturing jobs to the US. These companies reap major profits and should be setting the example. You buy these products your part of the problem!