TRANS PACIFIC PARTNERSHIP—True or False?
“TPP levels the playing field for our workers and helps to ensure countries abide by strong labor and environmental rules. “ – Pres. Barack Obama, August 2, 2016
Ask autoworkers in GM’s assembly plant in Colombia where many hundreds suffer workrelated injuries, are then fired and denied compensation, illegally ! Ask the valiant workers who’ve exposed these brutal labor practices via their protest encampment in front of the U.S. Embassy in Bogota, now into its 6th year!
President Obama in 2011 (with Sec. of State Hillary Clinton) pushed through the U.S.Colombia Free Trade Agreement (CFTA) that was rejected due to public outcry during the George Bush years . They did it by attaching a so-called “Labor Action Plan (LAP),” promising to make companies and the Colombian government respect worker rights (and protect the environment). Those are the same promises Obama is now making about the TPP, and echo – practically word for word – the promises made by Bill Clinton to push NAFTA through in 1993.
As the injured, fired GM workers will tell you, the LAP is not worth the paper it’s printed on! The AFL-CIO’s Richard Trumka agrees, issuing a report in 2015 blasting the LAP for its continued “failure to protect workers’ rights in Colombia.” While “investors and companies have received the benefits of these free trade agreements, workers in the U.S. and in countries that are our trading partners have not.” GM continues its illegal practices while the U.S. government looks the other way!
Pres. Obama is right about one thing: the TPP ad its phony labor protections will level the playing field for U.S. workers – downward!.