WIN Week In Review July 7-9, 2017
By Doug Cunningham
[Thea Lee]: “While NAFTA has provided tremendous benefits to CEO’s and global corporations, it has on net failed the working people of North America.”
Former AFL-CIO Deputy Chief of Staff Thea Lee, during testimony at U.S. Trade Representative North American Free Trade Agreement re-negotiation hearings. Lee left no doubt where labor stands on any NAFTA re-negotiation. It must serve labor, not just capital. Lee articulated the damage NAFTA has done to workers.
[Thea Lee]: “NAFTA has increased trade flows. But it has also increased the U.S. trade deficit, accelerated the outsourcing of good jobs, depressed wages, weakened worker power, undermined democratic decision making and de-stabilized communities.”
Lee says under NAFTA workers have seen money flow from them to the top of the economic ladder and labor wants that changed.
After two years without a state budget the Illinois House Thursday voted to override Gov. Bruce Rauner’s budget veto.
Severe damage was done to the people of Illinois all because Rauner tried to force his anti-worker agenda on the state legislature before he would approve a budget.
Illinois AFL-CIO Political Director Bill Looby.
[Bill Looby]: “It’s a good thing the General Assembly was able to step up. Things had gone pretty far. The bond rating agencies were pushing us toward junk bond status.
People were hurting. That’s the more important thing. Seniors, students and some of the most vulnerable in the state were really in dire straits and I think this will be a strong step toward putting things back on the right track.”
The Farm Labor Organizing Committee (FLOC) says North Carolina’s Far Bill S615 is “a shameful abuse of power that
takes aim at our union in a blatant attempt to stop farm workers from achieving union agreements that include wage increases, job security, benefits, and improved working conditions.”
FLOC says North Carolina politicians who are also growers are trying to use their legislative power to stop workers on the politicians’ own farms from organizing for better wages and working conditions.
FLOC’s Justin Flores says the ability to organize unions is the best chance farm workers have of improving their wages and working conditions.
[Justin Flores]: “We’re talkin’ about people doing backbreaking work for long hours, working 50, 60, 70 hours during the harvest season out on that hot sun each week. They certainly should have a wage high enough so that they don’t need charity.”
Health care activists in Oregon are not only fighting to defeat Trumpcare, they have their eyes on a much bigger prize. Universal single payer healthcare for their state. Wes Brain hosts The Brain Labor Report on KSKQ in Ashland Oregon. Brain is active in the healthcare For All Oregon coalition of approximately 120 groups, including labor unions.
[Wes Brain]: “We’re gonna be voting in 2020. We’re gonna need 20-20 vision, we’re doin’ the education now for a statewide vote in 2020 to bring us single payer here in the state.”