WINDSOR, ON, Jan. 23, 2018 /CNW/ - After learning the government agreed to sign a resurrected version of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), Unifor members rallied at the Ford plant where Minister of International Trade Francois-Philippe Champagne was scheduled for a tour.
"Despite a new name, there is nothing remotely progressive about the TPP, and Unifor remains opposed to this bad trade deal," said Unifor National President Jerry Dias. "Rebranding TPP as Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership is a joke. It isn't progress for workers—it's a broken promise by the government."
Reports surfaced earlier today suggesting that Canada has agreed to terms on a revised trade agreement deal. The union says the original pact, signed in February 2016, was deeply flawed and contained major concessions that would negatively affect Canada's auto and dairy industries, cultural sector, access to affordable medicines, and other areas of major concern. Although the details of the new deal are still sparse, Unifor said it is a deeply concerning development.
The President of Unifor Local 200 John D'Agnolo was in Windsor along with close to 100 other workers to express the union's opposition. "He signs a deal that compromises auto workers directly and can't even show up to his commitment and look us in the face. Is this the kind of transparency that the Liberals are offering?"
Dias who was in Montreal today at the sixth round of NAFTA talks, expressed his frustration with the government, citing today's news as a fundamental step backwards.
"Not only does the TPP fail to advance a progressive trade agenda, it moves us completely in the wrong direction. It is a slap in the face to trade unions and civil society activists pursuing an alternative that puts workers first."
Unifor is Canada's largest union in the private sector, representing 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy. The union advocates for all working people and their rights, fights for equality and social justice in Canada and abroad, and strives to create progressive change for a better future.
For further information: please contact Unifor Communications Director, Denise Hammond, [email protected] or 416-707-5794 (cell).