Trumka Relies on Petitions That Are Routinely Ignored

By Harry Kelber | The Labor Reform Movement | June 26, 2012

While corporations continue to outsource good-paying U.S. jobs in search of cheap labor overseas that will increase their profits, the AFL-CIO relies on e-mails and petitions in a feeble and unsuccessful attempt to stop the practice.

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka is initiating a petition campaign to persuade the Obama administration to revise its international trade policies. Obama, as well as previous presidents since Bill Clinton, who helped to initiate the North Atlantic Free Trade Agreement, have dismissed labor’s request.

Right now, U.S. trade representatives are negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership Trade Agreement (TPP FTA), which will be the largest trade agreement in U.S. history. Judging from the impact of previous U.S. trade agreements, this FTA will cost American workers countless thousands of U.S. jobs.

So what is the AFL-CIO’s response? President Richard Trumka has called for a petition campaign to appeal to President Obama to "ensure the trade agreement works for American families. "We’re delivering an emergency petition from working families on July 8 in San Diego during the next round of the TPP FTA negotiations."

Does anyone believe (does Trumka believe?) that a petition campaign to Obama will stop foreign corporations from skirting U.S. laws to increase their profits? Why aren’t we using a series of non-violent actions to persuade corporations to stop their outsourcing and focus on providing jobs for workers, here in the United States, with the $1 trillion in cash in their vaults?

By the way, Trumka’s "emergency" has existed for nearly two decades without a real campaign to reduce outsourcing.

Right now, U.S. trade representatives are negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership Trade Agreement (TPP FTA), which will be the largest trade agreement in U.S. history. What are we doing about it? Are our leaders taking actual steps to be part of the negotiations?

The AFL-CIO position is to be on record opposing the Pacific free trade agreement, without doing anything significant to fight it. That is how it has been with past FTAs.


We’ve started the AFL-CIO Reformers because we believe our present leadership is focused only on their own self-interest and will not fight to protect and improve the lives of working people.

Unlike our present leaders, we will not let corporations continue their outsourcing of jobs. We have a plan that will make them pay a heavy price for sending our jobs abroad.

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