By Doug Cunningham, April 6, 2016
Ford Motor Company said Tuesday it's investing $1.6 billion in a new auto plant in Mexico, creating 2800 jobs there rather than creating them here in the United States.
United Auto Workers President Dennis Williams says that investment is very troubling and disappointing.
Williams says every investment in Mexico means jobs that could and should have been available right here in the U.S. Williams says it's an example of what's wrong with trade agreements like NAFTA and why the TPP trade agreement would be a disaster for workers in the U.S.
[Dennis Williams]: "When you look at what has occurred since NAFA, and the amount of jobs that we have lost to NAFTA and the fact that companies are - and not just the Big Three but Nissan and Toyota and Volkswagen and a lot of other companies - are investing in Mexico. There's another example (of) how employers will go to low-payin' nations and manipulate the process and start importin' into probably THE greatest market in the world - the United States of America. And that's unfair to the American taxpayer and that's unfair to the American people and it's unfair to UAW members."
Williams says the UAW needs to directly take on the issue of Mexico and how it factors into U.S. job loss - and get U.S. politicians to act on the problem.
[Dennis Williams]: "We need to be loud and clear about how we feel about our neighboring country Mexico. The Mexican auto worker needs representation. And we all know what a corrupt system they have in their labor system. And we want free unions down there. And the UAW can help them free unions organize as well as negotiate. We're gonna be involved in that.
The other thing is the American people look at NAFTA - now NAFTA has the United States, Canada and Mexico. Why are we not arguing about Canada? Canada is very similar to the United States both in wages and their labor rights. In fact Canada has a little bit better - a lot better - than the United States labor rights.
So why can't in NAFTA, in a trade agreement , why cannot the U.S. government guarantee the same thing so that Canada, the and the United States get a fair playin' field with our neighboring country, Mexico?
We need to quit soft-pedaling the fact that Mexico has a corrupt process. And we need to go ahead and start talking about that loud. And make our congressmen, our senators and the President of the United States do something about it."