We Can Win Better Trade

From the AFL-CIO

Key labor issues are getting worse, not better, because Mexico is moving backward on its labor laws, while the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement continues. And so American negotiators should not jump to sign an agreement on principles anytime soon, as some in the administration of President Donald Trump have indicated.

It’s time to hold Mexico’s feet to the fire to win meaningful labor reforms, so the new trade agreement can lift up working families and our communities throughout North America.

For 25 years, the North American Free Trade Agreement has tilted the economic playing field sharply in favor of powerful corporations by lowering pay, degrading our environment and killing jobs.

The murders of three striking miners in Mexico at the Media Luna mine, which is owned by a Canadian mining company called Torex Gold Resources Inc., put the labor issue into stark human terms: Workers and family members mourned and protested, while the police did nothing.

Before the company formerly known as Delphi Automotive, now renamed as Aptiv, moved from Warren, Ohio, it paid workers $30 an hour. After it moved to Juarez, Mexico, where workers are glad for the jobs yet have no hopes of better pay or a brighter future, the pay declined to $1 an hour.  

International trade agreements can be written to protect good jobs and the environment and to lift up our lives and communities, but that’s not where this process is headed if negotiators prepare now to sign an agreement in principle.

America’s working families are united in pursuit of better trade deals. Negotiators shouldn’t rush forward just to get a deal. We’ve waited too long. It’s time to get NAFTA right. We can win better trade.

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Posted In: From AFL-CIO, Union Matters

Union Matters

In New York, the Art of a Deal Gone Bitterly Bad

Sam Pizzigati

Sam Pizzigati Editor, Too Much online magazine

“If you gain fame, power, or wealth,” the philosopher Philip Slater once noted, “you won’t have any trouble finding lovers, but they will be people who love fame, power, or wealth.” Tell me about it, David Mugrabi might be thinking right about now. The billionaire art dealer and his wife Libbie Mugrabi are currently contesting a bitter divorce that has the New York couple in and out of the courts and the headlines. In July, the two tussled in a tug-of-war over a $500,000 20-inch-tall Andy Warhol sculpture. Libbie claims the incident had her fearing for her life, and a friend has testified that David angrily called her and Libbie “low-lifes” and “gold-diggers.” The latest installment: Last Tuesday, lawyers argued over how much Libbie should get for a vacation she and their two kids will be taking this Thanksgiving. Libbie’s lawyer asked for an amount commensurate with the couple’s “$3.5-million-a-year lifestyle.” The judge okayed $4,000, then added: “No one’s going to starve in this family.”

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