TORONTO, Oct. 26, 2017 /CNW/ - Unifor will join industry and government officials today at the Ontario Premier's auto roundtable, where the union will outline the failings of the North American Free Trade Agreement and the changes that must be made.
"NAFTA has failed to meet the needs of workers and communities in all three countries that are part of the deal," said Shane Wark, Assistant to Unifor National President Jerry Dias. "But, with stronger labour standards and higher wages in Mexico governments can help support greater balance in trade and production within North America."
Wark will attend the roundtable discussion this afternoon along with Unifor Researcher Angelo DiCaro and will be available for comment immediately following the meeting.
At the roundtable, Unifor will outline its call for tougher and enforceable labour standards within a renewed NAFTA, and for tariff-free access to be made conditional on fair labour practices and corporate investment proportional to each country's share of the North American market, among other recommendations. For more on Unifor's NAFTA position, go to unifor.org/NAFTA.
- WHAT: Premier's Auto Roundtable
- WHERE: Ontario Investment & Trade Centre, 250 Yonge Street, 35th Floor, Toronto
- WHEN: Thursday, October 26, 12:15pm, media availability to follow
- WHO: Unifor Assistant to the President Shane Wark, Unifor Researcher Angelo DiCaro
Canada's auto industry has shed 44,000 jobs since 2001, or about one in four jobs, and the auto trade deficit with Mexico has quadrupled to $12 billion. More cars are being made since NAFTA was signed, but Canada has not benefited, with two-thirds of the added production going to Mexico.
"The issue is not with Mexican workers, who are just trying to put food on the table for their families but are offered only poverty-level wages," Wark said. "The central problem is trade deals that prioritize the interests of corporations and investors and encourage a race to the bottom."
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 National Representative Stuart Laidlaw at email@example.com or (cell) 647-385-4054