Study says collective bargaining helps communities: http://bit.ly/psisP8
Monday, October 10, 2011
This article by David Bacon, appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle:
President Obama broke one of his campaign commitments last week and put up three free-trade agreements for a vote in Congress. Business interests promise they'll bring us jobs. Experience tells us those promises are worthless.
Nineteen years ago, when the North American Free Trade Agreement was before Congress, supporters said it too would create jobs and protect labor rights. Before agreeing to new free-trade treaties with Colombia, South Korea and Panama, Congress should look at the dismal record.
This commentator gets it right. The article appears in the Huffington Post:
If you thought President Obama's expressions of sympathy for the Occupy Wall Street movement meant he was suddenly going to stand up for "the 99%," think again. Obama has just submitted to Congress the Chamber of Commerce-backed Colombia, Panama, and Korea Free Trade Agreements. And now, thanks to maneuvering by Obama and his business-friendly Chief of Staff William Daley and U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk, they're on an accelerated schedule in Congress. According to a report in The Hill, they will be voted on Wednesday, where they're expected to pass.
Obama's move is a brazen display of contempt for the Occupy Wall Street movement's calls for jobs, economic, and environmental justice as well as human rights. These trade agreements achieve a rare trifecta of progressive punching: it's hard to imagine a single initiative that at one time could so infuriate anti-corporate activists, labor unions, and environmentalists at the very moment that these disparate movements are finally finding solidarity and support in the streets.
Despite all the marching and protesting, Congress and this President are about to betray the 99% on behalf of the 1%. There was almost nothing said about by the left-wing media that has been so vocal in defense of the rights of working people. Free trade has devastated job creation in America and benefitted corporations that have outsourced our economy. Is it any wonder that Republicans, which opposes everything this President proposes, have supported this FTA. This is an unholy alliance directed at robbing Americans that which they have few of - jobs. And it happened under the very noses of the unions that claim to represent working Americans. This also shows that isn't enough to just march and decry the control Wall St. has over America. We need to stand for and against specific policies that the government is foisting on us:
Congress is expected to approve free trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama that have been pending since the presidency of George W. Bush. Supporters of the treaties -- the first completed in the Obama administration -- say the pacts could boost exports by $13 billion a year and foster tens of thousands of American jobs.
The House takes up the three agreements on Tuesday, along with legislation pushed by Obama and Democrats to help workers displaced by foreign trade. Both chambers could sign off on the measures by Wednesday night.
...Opponents argue that the currency sanctions would do little to help the U.S. job market because more expensive Chinese goods would simply be replaced by goods from other low-wage countries such as Vietnam and Bangladesh. They say companies such as Wal-Mart would continue buying Chinese items because they are deeply involved in investment in China, a fast-growing export market.
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