On September 30 the U.S., Canada and Mexico announced that they had agreed on a new “U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement” to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The new trade pact contains modest improvements for workers, but falls far short of the transformative changes demanded by the labor and progressive movements. It also includes new corporate giveaways, especially to banks, pharmaceutical companies, tech companies and the energy industry.
UE Political Action Updates
A new set of regulations being considered by the National Park Service would place serious hurdles in the way of organizing protests on the National Mall or at the White House, potentially making such demonstrations a thing of the past.
UE General President Peter Knowlton sent the following comment on behalf of the national union:
Statement of the UE Officers on the "US-Mexico-Canada Agreement"
The text of the proposed new “US-Mexico-Canada Agreement” released late on Sunday night reveals the stranglehold that corporate interests have upon our government, and underscores the absolute necessity of international solidarity among working people from all three countries in order to move forward.
On Monday, the US administration announced an outline of a possible trade deal with Mexico. The projected framework offers few details about improving workers’ living and working conditions and the enforcement of labor and environmental standards. Furthermore, it completely excludes Canada which means it is no longer a North American agreement.
UE's General Executive Board issued the following statement on August 24
In 2016, presidential candidate Donald Trump stood in front of the Carrier manufacturing plant in Indianapolis and promised Carrier’s workers that he would save their jobs. In 2017, as Republicans in Congress prepared a massive tax giveaway to corporations and the wealthy, they named their bill the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act,” promising that the beneficiaries of their largesse would turn around and invest that money in creating good jobs.
Declaración de la junta general ejecutiva de la UE
In 2003 the Bush administration took advantage of the climate of fear caused by the September 11 terror attacks to double down on attacks on immigrants. The Bush administration created the Department of Homeland Security and its Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) department to replace the functions and purpose of the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS). Instead of a service to support and manage immigration, ICE has become a military force that criminalizes immigrants and asylum seekers...
UE policy, passed by delegates to our 75th Convention last August, calls for “an end to mass incarceration.” The militarization of immigration policy, begun when ICE was established, has resulted in mass incarceration of immigrants, including children, in detention centers reminiscent of concentration camps. Therefore, we join the call made by immigrant rights groups and others to abolish ICE and replace it with a demilitarized immigration agency supportive of people’s civil, human, and asylum rights free from repression and persecution.
UE sent a letter to US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer on August 17, demanding strong labor standards that can actually be enforced in any renegotiated North American Free Trade Agreement. UE signed the letter, together with more than 30 other organizations, based on our experience filing complaints through the inadequate system available under the current trade deal.
The importance of rank-and-file political action was made clear on Monday afternoon at the UE Local 506 hall in Erie, as members of Locals 506 and 618 and other Erie unions packed into the hall to hear Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf, who the members of Local 506 have endorsed for re-election.