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On International Women’s Day, AFL-CIO Talks Of How TPP Will Negatively Impact Women

AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler Highlights TPP’s Negative Impact on Women 

AFL-CIO Releases Fact Sheet on International Women’s Day 

Women and TPP(Washington, DC, March 8, 2016) – On a press call in honor of International Women’s Day, Liz Shuler, AFL-CIO Secretary Treasurer and Thea Lee, AFL-CIO Deputy Chief of Staff, discussed the negative impact the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) will have on women across the world.

“This International Women’s Day, the labor movement recognizes that while women in the workplace have gained a great deal, the harsh reality is too many of us continue to struggle when we shouldn’t have to,” said Shuler. “The bad policies of the TPP are another corporate attack on women and we will continue to fight for policies that lift all women up and recognize the immense contributions we make to the economy.”

“There is no question that flawed trade agreements and policies have cost America’s working women good jobs and have contributed to stagnant wages and growing inequality,” said Lee. “We need to address unfair trade practices like currency manipulation, illegal subsidies and workers’ rights violations and must defeat TPP so we do not accelerate the race to the bottom that benefits global corporations.”

Read the fact sheet: Bad Trade Deals and Their Impact on Women Globally
Lower Wages, Reduced Access to Lifesaving Healthcare and Human Trafficking

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka Blasts Trump As An Anti-American Bigot

(Fort Lauderdale, Florida – March 3, 2016) – In a speech today to the Plasterer’s and Cement Workers union (OPCMIA), AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka challenged Donald Trump’s appeal to working class voters:

Trumka said:

Richard_TrumkaWe must come together to elect a president who will raise wages, so working people can build better lives…

That is the choice we face in this presidential election.

On the one hand, Republican candidates have used some of the ugliest, most racist and destructive language I have heard in my lifetime… 

On the other hand, the Democratic candidates have engaged in a substantive and vigorous debate about how best to raise wages.

Donald Trump is tapping into the very real and very understandable anger of working people. 

A majority of people in this country are living paycheck to paycheck.  It’s a precarious way to live…

Listen, I know real down-home talk when I hear it, and I know a load of baloney and bluster, too, and I don’t think I have to tell you that Trump is full of baloney and bluster.

He is also a bigot.  From his anti-American proposal to ban Muslims to his horrendous comments about women and immigrants, Trump is running on hate.  It seems the only group he won’t criticize is the KKK.

Those statements and positions are bad enough.  But what’s getting less attention is how Donald Trump really feels about working people…

First, Trump loves right to work.  He said it is “better for the people” and his position is “100 percent.”  Meanwhile, he is fighting tooth and nail against workers at his hotel in Las Vegas. 

Second, Trump was a major financial backer of Scott Walker and says he admired the way Walker took on public unions in Wisconsin.

Finally, and most disturbingly, Trump says our wages are already too high.  Can you believe that?  Trump is advocating the polar opposite of our raising wages agenda.

You see, Trump says he’s with the American working class, but when you look close, it’s just hot air.

For the full speech click here: http://www.aflcio.org/Press-Room/Speeches/At-the-2016-OPCMIA-West-Coast-Business-Managers-Meeting

“Gig” Or “On-Demand” Workers Should Be Considers Employees Under The Law

AFL-CIO Asserts that Gig Economy Workers Are Employees

Read Gig Economy Council Statement Here

uber-logo

One example of the “gig” economy workers are those who drive for UBER

(Washington, DC) –The AFL-CIO Executive Council affirmed that working people in the gig economy share a single common designation: employees.

The Council further affirmed that working people deserve the full benefits that come with that status. On-demand economy companies are increasingly leaving workers without the full rights and protections of regular employees. 

Innovation and technological progress have bolstered productivity, yet too many working people have not reaped the benefits of their labor. In a statement passed by the council labor leaders noted that:

“Making the right policy choices begins with ensuring people who work for on-demand companies enjoy the rights and protections of employees.  Under current law, only workers who are defined as ‘employees’ are protected by the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) and enjoy minimum wage, overtime, unemployment insurance, workers’ compensation, and family and medical leave.”

“Unions have long been fighting back against employers who misclassify working people and create precarious, vulnerable work. This is what we do.  The AFL-CIO is committed to ensuring new technology – and new forms of employer manipulation – do not erode the rights of working people. Rest assured that if employers get away with pretending their workers aren’t employees, your job could be next.”

For decades, precarious and vulnerable work – such as part-time and temporary work with few benefits – have been the reality for a significant part of the workforce, especially for people of color, women and immigrants. The council is calling on companies to accept their responsibilities as employers and provide jobs that pay enough for working people to sustain themselves and their families.

“The AFL-CIO is committed to working with our allies, businesses and community partners to enact policies that will prevent gig economy workers from falling through the cracks,” said AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler. “If we act now, we can build a future of work that promises working people a better life.”

To read the complete statement, click here.

Labor Innovations for the 21st Century (LIFT) Fund Announces 2015 Grantees

$585,000 given to 17 worker center-union partnerships nationwide, highlighting innovations and success in new forms of organizing 

Today, the LIFT Fund announced its 2015 grantees, awarding $585,000 to 17 worker centers partnering with labor unions nationwide – from Mississippi and New Mexico to Tennessee and New York – that support building worker power using new, innovative forms of organizing.

Grantees span regions, sectors and size—from seafood workers at Centro Comunitario de Trabajadores in Massachusetts, to hospitality workers at Nashville’s Workers Dignity Dignidad Obrera, to construction workers at the Los Angeles Black Workers Center.

At a time of unprecedented income inequality, precarious work and depressed wages, workers are more atomized than ever. Yet those at the edges of the economy are finding strength in numbers and discovering promising new ways to advance worker justice. They are building at the grassroots, organizing through campaigns that combat wage theft and discriminatory hiring practices, and creating strong enforcement mechanisms. These efforts are raising the living wage, improving labor standards across supply chains, and providing models for how to do it sustainably and at an increasingly larger scale. 

Through a partnership between foundations, including the Ford Foundation, General Service Foundation, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Solidago Foundation, and the AFL-CIO, the LIFT Fund is identifying and supporting these new worker-organizing models in order to facilitate broad impact and shared knowledge. The goal is to build infrastructure for the long haul: resources, spaces for relationship building, academic research and collaborations that produce strategies to drive industry-wide changes and support worker justice. These efforts aim to increase worker power, build nonunion-worker organization, and improve the living conditions of communities that are majority people of color and immigrants. 

“Black workers are leading the struggle for economic justice in Los Angeles, and this partnership is a powerful example of how to fuel the fight for a fair economy that puts our families first,” said Lola Smallwood Cuevas, Co-founder and Coordinating Committee Chair of the Los Angeles Black Worker Center. “The LIFT Fund’s grant is a recognition of what works and a model of how to create fertile ground for organizing for years to come.”

Centro Comunitaro de Trabajadores is working with the National Guestworkers Alliance and United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) to better the working conditions throughout the seafood supply chain in the second-most profitable seafood processing port in the country; the Los Angeles Black Workers Center is working with the LA County Labor Federation to fight for a world-class Office of Labor Standards and Enforcement to address exclusionary practices in the construction and garment industries, push for fair wages, and combat a host of other worker issues through a racial justice lens. Workers Dignity Dignidad Obrera is working with the Iron Workers International to fight some of the nation’s worst labor conditions at publicly subsidized construction sites and hotels by building workplace organizing committees and launching public-pressure campaigns around municipal funding cycles. 

“In Nashville, we are pioneering new forms of organizing to combat truly abhorrent labor conditions, so the LIFT Fund’s support is vital,” said Garrett Stark of Ironworkers International Union. “Our close working relationship with Workers Dignity Dignidad Obrera will have implications for workers across the country. We are proud to be part of it.”

Established in 2011, the LIFT Fund is a first-of-its kind partnership between worker centers, labor unions, academics in the field, and philanthropic institutions to support investment in projects that build worker power through collaboration between worker centers and labor unions. To date, it has awarded more than $1.5 million in grants to 38 worker centers in 15 states. The Fund documents ongoing innovations and successes and sponsors cross-sector, field-level gatherings to share what has been learned. 

“The LIFT Fund creates an exceptional space for grantees and partners to bring together emerging and sometimes experimental innovations with concrete, tried-and-true power building strategies,” said Aditi Vaidya of the Solidago Foundation. “It is at these intersections that we can lift up and amplify the most promising, ambitious models for the future of worker organizing.”

Trumka To Senate Republicans: Do Your Job

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka has some harsh words for Republicans who have vowed to obstruct the Constitution and block any Supreme Court nomination by President Obama until after the 2016 Presidential Election.

“The Supreme Court is not a game and the Constitution is not a toy,” stated Trumka in a press release earlier this week.

Trumka continued, “The stated intent of Senate Republican leaders to refuse consideration of a Supreme Court nominee is an appalling breach of their constitutional responsibilities.”

“At this time Republican leaders in and out of the Senate must act as U.S. leaders, regardless of party affiliation. The American people do not want them to politicize such a vital responsibility. They want them to carry out their constitutional duty to their country.”

In the video Trumka says it is time for Republicans to “Do Your Job.”

“We don’t just do the parts of the job that we like. Or only work with people we like.  Or choose when to show up on the job.”

Failure to appoint a new Supreme Court Justice could send the national into legal chaos. If the Supreme Court ends up in a deadlocked tie, 4-4, then the lower courts ruling would stand.  In the case of Friedrichs v California Teachers Association this would mean that the California Supreme Court ruling against Friedrichs would stand.

The same thing could happen if the court ends in a tie over the constitutionality of President Obama’s Executive Order stopping deportations, the Texas Supreme Court unconstitutional ruling would stand.

The chaos comes when two different lower court districts have challenged the same law and has resulted in two different rulings.  This would mean that what is constitutional in California would be deemed unconstitutional in Texas.

We need to fill the vacancy left by the untimely death of Antonin Scalia as soon as possible. The US Senate has a duty to vet nominees quickly so the Supreme Court can do it’s job.

It is time for the Senate to #DoYourJob.

 

Transportation Trades Department Says: Congress Should Endorse Amtrak Funding Request

(Image by Loco Steve FLIKR CC)

(Image by Loco Steve FLIKR CC)

Washington, DC—Edward Wytkind, president of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD), issues the following statement in response to Amtrak’s 2017 General and Legislative Annual Report:

“Amtrak has submitted a funding request for FY2017 that gives our national passenger railroad and its employees a chance to deliver faster and more reliable train service. Amtrak faces a backlog of major investments that are needed to propel its service and equipment to a new level. This includes safety and capacity upgrades such as the Gateway project between New York and New Jersey, which features century-old tunnels and severely eroded bridges that need major refurbishment or replacement. And as Amtrak seeks to overcome its major infrastructure challenges, the company’s front-line employees must be treated and compensated fairly for their work to keep the national system running successfully.

“When Congress included a long-term reauthorization of Amtrak funding in the recently enacted surface transportation legislation, the FAST Act, lawmakers wisely chose to provide Amtrak with funding certainty and stability and rejected privatization and outsourcing mandates. Congress must now invest in our chronically underfunded national passenger rail network by appropriating federal resources consistent with Amtrak’s FY 2017 funding request.

“Amtrak is a vital transportation link for millions of people across the country who are clamoring for more service, as evidenced by more than two years of polling in both red and blue states showing pent-up demand regardless of political affiliation or ideology. We urge Congress to listen to the voters and boost Amtrak funding in the upcoming appropriations legislation.”


The Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO, provides a bold voice for workers in every mode of transportation devoted to protecting middle-class jobs, expanding collective bargaining, and ensuring modern, safe, and secure transportation operations and infrastructure. For more information, visit us at www.ttd.org.

Is The TPP Really A Gold Standard For Workers Throughout The World?

The AFL-CIO released a new report highlighting the failures of current trade agreements and their ability to enforce worldwide labor standards.

 

Screen Shot of AFLCIO Report“Calling the TPP’s labor rights provisions a gold standard is a mirage,” said Celeste Drake, AFL-CIO Trade Policy Specialist, while on a nation wide conference call today. “We know from experience that the discretionary dispute settlement model does not work for vulnerable workers, and the highly touted ‘new’ labor provisions do not provide meaningful new protections for abused and exploited workers.”

Celeste Drake and Cathy Feingold, AFL-CIO Director of International Affairs, hosted the call to announce the release of the AFL-CIO’s blistering new report, to “shed the light on the state of labor rights and commitments among the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) partner countries.”

The report, “A Gold Standard for Workers? The State of Labor Rights in Trans-Pacific Partnership Countries,” talks in depth about the grim condition workers in TPP countries currently face and how the TPP fails to address these concerns in the new trade agreement.

Many of the countries involved in the TPP are currently known offenders of labor rights. Many are already “out of compliance” with current trade agreements. This brings even greater concern to enforceability of the new trade deal.

“The United States seeks to enter into the TPP with a number of Pacific Rim nations with troubling anti-worker practices. US Trade Representative gave away crucial negotiating leverage by not insisting that trade benefits be contingent on adherence and promotion of the core labor standards. To let the TPP enter into force without full compliance with all labor commitments from all 12 countries undermines the entire agreement,” wrote the AFL-CIO in their report.

TPP Countries from AFLCIO ReportFeingold also talked about the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit that President Obama is hosting and the TPP implications.

“The consistency plans fall woefully short of ensuring that all 12 TPP countries will be in full compliance with the TPP’s labor standard on Day One of the agreement,” said Feingold. “Vietnam will get a five-year free pass to deny freedom of association and there is no plan for Mexico at all. This problem would be compounded if countries such as Thailand and Cambodia join the TPP without first affording all of their workers fundamental worker rights and acceptable conditions of work.”

The AFL-CIO report focused a bright light on the anti-worker, anti-labor atrocities in these TPP nations but is willing to work with Congress to fix them now and for future trade agreements.

“The AFL-CIO urges Congress to only support a people-centered trade approach that will guarantee the benefits of trade can improve the working and living lives of millions of workers and their families in the United States and throughout TPP countries. Further, we stand ready to work with Congress and the administration to renegotiate the TPP so that it works for people who work.”

More Than 100 State and Local Governments Considering Anti-TPP Resolutions

Trans-Pacific Partnership

More than 100 state and local governments have introduced or passed resolutions opposing the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). In addition, more than 100 resolutions opposing the TPP were passed at recent precinct caucuses in Iowa.

State and local elected leaders have voted to officially oppose the TPP in New York, NY; San Francisco, CA; Seattle, WA; Nashville. TN; Miami, FL; Baltimore, MD; Oakland, CA; Columbus, OH; Springfield, MA; Kenosha, WI; Berkley, CA; St. Paul, MN; Toledo, OH; Eugene, OR; Duluth, MN; Brockton, MA; and Granite City, IL.

“The grassroots opposition to TPP at every level of government shows that working people in communities across the country are standing up and fighting back against corporate trade deals,” said AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka. “Last week two more plants in Indiana announced they’re shifting operations to Mexico, eliminating more than 2,000 family-sustaining jobs. TPP will bring more of the same and must be defeated.”

The AFL-CIO is partnering with groups like the Sierra Club and the Alliance for Retired Americans to pass additional resolutions and this effort will continue through the end of 2016.

State and local labor leaders and union activists traveled to Washington, DC last week for a national lobby day with members of Congress. The lobby day was preceded by a national drive for activists around the country to call Congress. It resulted in nearly 3,000 calls reaching 90 percent of the House members.

One Million Anti-TPP Petitions Delivered to Congress


image2

TPP Signing in New Zealand Overshadowed by U.S. Presidential Candidate, Congressional Opposition

U.S. Reps. Rosa DeLauro and Tulsi Gabbard, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, Sierra Club, MoveOn, CREDO and Other Online Activist Groups Kick Off TPP Protest Activities

Washington, D.C. – As representatives of the TPP countries meet in New Zealand to officially sign the trade deal, its prospects of going into effect remain uncertain at best. The pact does not enjoy majority support in Congress, and changes that some members are demanding are strongly opposed by other TPP nations. No U.S. presidential candidate polling over five percent in any state supports the deal. At a press conference today, speakers addressed the failings of the TPP, and the political environment surrounding the deal.

“The American people have been left out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership from the beginning and the results show. From an ISDS process that allows foreign corporations to overrule our domestic rule of law, to unenforceable labor and environmental protections, to no protections against currency manipulation, this deal helps the corporate class while selling out working Americans and their families. The American people deserve a better future that empowers our middle class and domestic economy; that protects people and our planet,” said Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02).

image3

Richard Trumka and Rep Rosa DeLauro

“The TPP agreement is toxic, and the American people are not buying it,” said AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka. “Working people are determined to end the era of corporate trade deals that lower our wages and kill our jobs. To all those on the ballot in 2016, we have a simple message: either you’re with us or against us.”

Debbie Sease, Senior Lobbying and Advocacy Director, Sierra Club, had the following to say at the event, “Signing the Trans-Pacific Partnership puts our economy and our climate on the line. Congress should reject the toxic trade deal and build a new model of trade that puts the health and safety of people before the profits of big polluters.” 

Also at the event, the following national on-line activist organizations delivered to Congress more than a million signatures on anti-TPP petitions: Avaaz (http://bit.ly/1o36deO), CREDO (http://bit.ly/20n5iHA), Care2 (http://bit.ly/1VHxoGD), Corporate Accountability International (http://bit.ly/1KUEP7I), Fight for the Future, Public Citizen, MoveOn, SumOfUs (http://bit.ly/1Qa21R6), and the Sierra Club (http://bit.ly/20Eyab0).

“The Trans-Pacific Partnership is a corporate giveaway that’s bad for consumers, workers, and the environment. We don’t need our elected leaders to hand multinational corporations even more power over our daily lives. That’s why hundreds of thousands of MoveOn members have fought against the TPP and other deals like it over the years—and why we’ll fight it in Congress this spring,” said Ben Wikler, Washington Director, MoveOn.org Civic Action who spoke at the event. 

“Time and time again CREDO’s 3.9 million activists have demonstrated their opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership and other job-killing trade deals,” said Murshed Zaheed, CREDO’s Deputy Political Director. “The TPP is a massive giveaway to big corporations that will erode environmental, labor, and intellectual property standards and we are 100 percent dedicated to defeating it in Congress,” Zaheed continued. Since 2013, CREDO has generated more than  one million petition signatures and 40,000 phone calls in opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership and Fast Track Trade Promotion Authority.  

In 30 locations nationwide, activists are holding protests against the TPP to oppose the signing and energize local opposition organizing. TPP signing-day rallies are also occurring in Auckland, New Zealand and capitals of other TPP signatory nations.

“The TPP is a dream come true for the Monsantos of the world, but for regular people it will be a disaster — a tool for big business to attack our public health, internet freedom, and the rule of law,” said Joseph Huff-Hannon with Avaaz. “That’s why more than 860,000 Avaaz members are calling on Congress to reject this corporate giveaway.” 

Corporate Accountability International representative Cloe Franko had the following to say about their actions around TPP: “This corporate-driven trade deal not only fails people and the environment, it represents an enormous threat to the democracy and sovereignty of all twelve nations involved. Negotiated in secrecy behind closed doors, this deal is poised to rewrite trade rules in the name of corporate profits. With allegations of corruption of one of the lead negotiators now calling into question the integrity of the entire TPP, Congress must heed the demands of the people rallying here today and the millions more around the world opposed to this agreement and reject it when it’s up for approval.”

Care2, who also participated in today’s event, said that their members tend to be the most concerned about ISDS and the lack of enforcement for the wildlife and environmental protections in the TPP. “The TPP was negotiated in secret for seven years with very little congressional oversight, but a lot of corporate influence. As a result, we now have a trade deal that would allow corporations to sue the U.S. government. We have a deal that has sold out environmental and wildlife protections, food safety, and human rights. We have a deal that will turn democracy as we know it up-side-down. And that is why over 135,000 Care2 members are demanding that Congress vote ‘no’ on the TPP. We will never support a trade agreement that attacks everything we care about and have fought to protect,” said Lacey Kohlmoos, Care2 Online Organizing Strategist.

“The TPP signing today is largely theater. Everyone knows the real fight here will be in Congress, where this unpopular and anti-democratic deal faces fierce opposition from both sides of the aisle. A massive coalition of activists are gearing up to fight the TPP. Once we’ done with it, secret trade deals will be as politically toxic in DC as SOPA after the Internet Blackout,” said Evan Greer, campaign director, Fight for the Future.

And finally, Ledys Sanjuan, Senior Campaigner at SumOfUs.org, concluded “The TPP is one of the largest corporate power grabs we’ve seen. Not only will it cost hundreds and thousands of US jobs but it will significantly reduce internet freedom and give power to corporations to sue our governments for regulating them. We need to come together and stop our governments from ratifying this dangerous trade deal.”  

One Million Anti-TPP Petitions Delivered to Congress


image2

TPP Signing in New Zealand Overshadowed by U.S. Presidential Candidate, Congressional Opposition

U.S. Reps. Rosa DeLauro and Tulsi Gabbard, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, Sierra Club, MoveOn, CREDO and Other Online Activist Groups Kick Off TPP Protest Activities

Washington, D.C. – As representatives of the TPP countries meet in New Zealand to officially sign the trade deal, its prospects of going into effect remain uncertain at best. The pact does not enjoy majority support in Congress, and changes that some members are demanding are strongly opposed by other TPP nations. No U.S. presidential candidate polling over five percent in any state supports the deal. At a press conference today, speakers addressed the failings of the TPP, and the political environment surrounding the deal.

“The American people have been left out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership from the beginning and the results show. From an ISDS process that allows foreign corporations to overrule our domestic rule of law, to unenforceable labor and environmental protections, to no protections against currency manipulation, this deal helps the corporate class while selling out working Americans and their families. The American people deserve a better future that empowers our middle class and domestic economy; that protects people and our planet,” said Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02).

image3

Richard Trumka and Rep Rosa DeLauro

“The TPP agreement is toxic, and the American people are not buying it,” said AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka. “Working people are determined to end the era of corporate trade deals that lower our wages and kill our jobs. To all those on the ballot in 2016, we have a simple message: either you’re with us or against us.”

Debbie Sease, Senior Lobbying and Advocacy Director, Sierra Club, had the following to say at the event, “Signing the Trans-Pacific Partnership puts our economy and our climate on the line. Congress should reject the toxic trade deal and build a new model of trade that puts the health and safety of people before the profits of big polluters.” 

Also at the event, the following national on-line activist organizations delivered to Congress more than a million signatures on anti-TPP petitions: Avaaz (http://bit.ly/1o36deO), CREDO (http://bit.ly/20n5iHA), Care2 (http://bit.ly/1VHxoGD), Corporate Accountability International (http://bit.ly/1KUEP7I), Fight for the Future, Public Citizen, MoveOn, SumOfUs (http://bit.ly/1Qa21R6), and the Sierra Club (http://bit.ly/20Eyab0).

“The Trans-Pacific Partnership is a corporate giveaway that’s bad for consumers, workers, and the environment. We don’t need our elected leaders to hand multinational corporations even more power over our daily lives. That’s why hundreds of thousands of MoveOn members have fought against the TPP and other deals like it over the years—and why we’ll fight it in Congress this spring,” said Ben Wikler, Washington Director, MoveOn.org Civic Action who spoke at the event. 

“Time and time again CREDO’s 3.9 million activists have demonstrated their opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership and other job-killing trade deals,” said Murshed Zaheed, CREDO’s Deputy Political Director. “The TPP is a massive giveaway to big corporations that will erode environmental, labor, and intellectual property standards and we are 100 percent dedicated to defeating it in Congress,” Zaheed continued. Since 2013, CREDO has generated more than  one million petition signatures and 40,000 phone calls in opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership and Fast Track Trade Promotion Authority.  

In 30 locations nationwide, activists are holding protests against the TPP to oppose the signing and energize local opposition organizing. TPP signing-day rallies are also occurring in Auckland, New Zealand and capitals of other TPP signatory nations.

“The TPP is a dream come true for the Monsantos of the world, but for regular people it will be a disaster — a tool for big business to attack our public health, internet freedom, and the rule of law,” said Joseph Huff-Hannon with Avaaz. “That’s why more than 860,000 Avaaz members are calling on Congress to reject this corporate giveaway.” 

Corporate Accountability International representative Cloe Franko had the following to say about their actions around TPP: “This corporate-driven trade deal not only fails people and the environment, it represents an enormous threat to the democracy and sovereignty of all twelve nations involved. Negotiated in secrecy behind closed doors, this deal is poised to rewrite trade rules in the name of corporate profits. With allegations of corruption of one of the lead negotiators now calling into question the integrity of the entire TPP, Congress must heed the demands of the people rallying here today and the millions more around the world opposed to this agreement and reject it when it’s up for approval.”

Care2, who also participated in today’s event, said that their members tend to be the most concerned about ISDS and the lack of enforcement for the wildlife and environmental protections in the TPP. “The TPP was negotiated in secret for seven years with very little congressional oversight, but a lot of corporate influence. As a result, we now have a trade deal that would allow corporations to sue the U.S. government. We have a deal that has sold out environmental and wildlife protections, food safety, and human rights. We have a deal that will turn democracy as we know it up-side-down. And that is why over 135,000 Care2 members are demanding that Congress vote ‘no’ on the TPP. We will never support a trade agreement that attacks everything we care about and have fought to protect,” said Lacey Kohlmoos, Care2 Online Organizing Strategist.

“The TPP signing today is largely theater. Everyone knows the real fight here will be in Congress, where this unpopular and anti-democratic deal faces fierce opposition from both sides of the aisle. A massive coalition of activists are gearing up to fight the TPP. Once we’ done with it, secret trade deals will be as politically toxic in DC as SOPA after the Internet Blackout,” said Evan Greer, campaign director, Fight for the Future.

And finally, Ledys Sanjuan, Senior Campaigner at SumOfUs.org, concluded “The TPP is one of the largest corporate power grabs we’ve seen. Not only will it cost hundreds and thousands of US jobs but it will significantly reduce internet freedom and give power to corporations to sue our governments for regulating them. We need to come together and stop our governments from ratifying this dangerous trade deal.”  

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