United Auto Workers: Reject the TPP

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To the Editor:

American families devastated by the outsourcing of manufacturing jobs and lower wages would be dumbfounded by Eduardo Porter’s March 30 Economic Scene column, “The Jobs Nafta Saved.”

Germany, Japan and other countries continue to have strong domestic auto industries while also paying livable, middle-class wages. American corporations take advantage of the North American Free Trade Agreement’s extraordinary investor protections, weak labor standards and low wages to outsource hundreds of thousands of jobs.

A fourth of American manufacturing workers make less than $11.91 an hour. America is in a vicious cycle pitting American wages versus the threat of jobs moving to Mexico at lower wages. Mr. Porter neglects to discuss why wages are so low in Mexico. Company unions there are more aligned with employers than with workers. Repressive policies keep Mexican workers from organizing in a meaningful way, maintaining wages and working conditions at very low levels, as the United States State Department’s Mexico 2014 Human Rights Reportconcludes.

Apologists for Nafta often support the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Yet even TPP advocates project that the manufacturing trade deficit will increase by over $55 billion and produce 121,000 fewer manufacturing jobs by 2030.

That’s why we should reject the TPP and enact trade policies that raise wages and improve working conditions here and abroad.

DENNIS WILLIAMS

President, United Auto Workers

Detroit

Reactions

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  • commented 2016-04-12 12:38:46 -0400
    It does not take a lot of BRAINS to understand that it is NECESSARY for MONEY to circulate to build up an economy. The best way to do that is to have people working AND pay them WELL. (shocking, I know) I am not happy with FORD sending work down to MEXICO in order to build up dividends for investors. 1. What FORD offers for DIVIDENDS ain’t that much. 2. I would rather get a few less cents per share and have production in the U.S. because that would do that nutty thing of causing more money to circulate, increase the job market, and would allow more people to be able to afford to buy new cars. It is without question that the UAW is a HELL of a LOT SMARTER THAN TOO MANY POLITICIANS IN D.C. that jump through the hoops for the 1% on command.

    I just learned that a COURT has over ridden WISCONSIN’S “RIGHT TO WORK” law.
    To the GOVERNOR OF WISCONSIN and all his GOP YES MEN I have this message for them.
    BITE IT SNOTTY!!!!
  • commented 2016-04-07 11:47:51 -0400
    The UAW bargained for short sighted gains again. But the UAW had their backs against the wall again and felt they got the best contract they could at the time and conditions. The one thing not mentioned is the fact that the NAFTA trade deal still stands and is one of the main reasons that Ford and other companies are allowed to do what they are doing. They are all building cars in Mexico but shipping the majority of them to the USA then calling them American made.The current trend to build in Mexico shows it is perhaps just as important to revise the NAFTA trade deal as it is to reject the current TPP deal. Why is there no push back on this?