Canadian and U.S. Governments Must Reject TPP: Steelworkers

TORONTO, Dec. 11 2015 /CNW/ - Canadian and U.S. leaders of the United Steelworkers (USW), North America's largest industrial union, are calling on the governments of both countries to reject the proposed Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal.

The USW's International Executive Board has adopted a formal resolution urging rejection of the TPP deal by the U.S. Congress and the Canadian federal government.

The resolution will be disseminated to 1.2 million USW members and pensioners in Canada and the U.S. and will form the basis of a fully engaged TPP rejection campaign in each country.

"The TPP will only continue the failed trade policies of the past that have valued corporate profits, wherever obtained, over the interests of job and opportunity creation here at home. The USW will put every effort into defeating the TPP," the resolution states.

"Our members and all working families in our countries cannot afford more bad trade policies, flawed enforcement and misplaced priorities from which they have suffered for far too long from previous trade deals," said Ken Neumann, USW National Director for Canada.

"Working people need trade policies that lift wages up, rather than pushing them down. We need trade deals that reduce our trade deficits and promote domestic manufacturing and job creation, rather than more outsourcing and offshoring. We need policies that will reverse the widening gap of income inequality," Neumann said.

"The TPP fails to meet the promise that it would be a high-standards, 21st century trade agreement in the area of workers' rights," said USW International President Leo W. Gerard.

"It is not only a missed opportunity, but it limits the ability of workers to share in the very prosperity that they will be working so hard to create for multinational firms through their labour," Gerard said. 

The TPP threatens Canadian jobs by facilitating greater offshoring in the auto and manufacturing sectors, in value-added processing of mining and forestry resources, and in the telecommunications sector, Neumann said. The deal also will lead to higher prices for pharmaceuticals and increased costs for pensioners, workers and employers, he added.

"The TPP raises strong concerns in Canada that foreign companies could bring in an unlimited number of foreign workers under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program or the International Mobility Program, taking away jobs from Canadians, driving down Canadian wages and exposing vulnerable foreign workers to precarious work without fundamental protections," Neumann said.

"Our governments must reject the TPP and send it back to the negotiating table."

USW International Executive Board resolution rejecting the TPP

SOURCE United Steelworkers (USW)

For further information: Ken Neumann, USW National Director, 416-544-5951; Bob Gallagher, USW Communications, 416-544-5966, 416-434 2221


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