With the unemployment rate at its highest point in decades, the U.S. economy continues to shed much-needed manufacturing jobs. The loss of manufacturing jobs can be tied directly to our so called “free trade” policies, which have facilitated the movement of production to cheap-labor sites across the globe.
The cheap-labor model of trade was instituted with the passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Democratic Mississippi Congressman Gene Taylor will soon introduce legislation withdrawing the U.S. from NAFTA and finally put an end to the worst polarization of wealth since the 1920s. The bill has already generated bipartisan support. But as the dream of a middle-class life slips further away for more and more Americans, IAM President Tom Buffenbarger is urging House members go one step further and co-sponsor the critical piece of legislation.
“Touted as the key to raising North American living standards, NAFTA has had the opposite effect,” writes Buffenbarger in a letter to House members, “as multinational corporations have shifted production to Mexico where wages are low, worker rights nearly non-existent, and little regard is paid to the environment.
“The Machinists Union has witnessed this movement first hand… And for the workers whose jobs have not yet moved, the threat at the bargaining table is always the same: take less in wages and benefits or the work will move south of the border.
“While much more needs to be done to correct our failed trade policies, this bill marks an important step towards a new day in trade, one that will finally benefit working families and not just multinational corporations.”
Join in the fight to withdraw the U.S. from NAFTA and save our jobs. Click here to write your congressional representative and ask that he or she become a cosponsor of Rep. Taylor’s bill.