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

No Money for Pensions, But Plenty for Parties

Sam Pizzigati

Sam Pizzigati Editor, Too Much online magazine

Private equity work has been sweet for Marc Leder, the numero uno at Sun Capital Partners. He’s parlayed his takeovers of troubled firms into a fortune big enough to make him a co-owner of the Philadelphia 76ers in basketball and the New Jersey Devils in hockey. New York’s tabloids, meanwhile, have come to dub the hard-partying Leder “the Hugh Hefner of the Hamptons.” The secret to his success? Private-equity firms, notes Center for Economic and Policy Research economist Eileen Appelbaum, plunder assets from the companies they buy, then send them into bankruptcy to sidestep their obligations to workers. Over the past decade alone, Sun Capital has bankrupted five firms and left their pension funds $280 million short. Leder, for his part, claims that the “vast majority” of Sun Capital deals have been successful. And he only parties hearty, the private-equity kingpin adds, 25 nights a year.

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How We Got Here

How We Got Here