Hundreds of IAM Members Storm Capitol Hill to Stop ‘Fast Track’

Hundreds of IAM members—including a large delegation from airline locals 846 (BWI), 914 (EWR) and 1759 (IAD, DCA)—today converged in Washington D.C. today to oppose granting the Obama Administration “fast track” trade authority for the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade agreement.

If “fast track” authority is granted to the Administration, TPP will be brought before Congress for a straight up or down vote with no opportunity to debate or propose amendments to an agreement that was largely negotiated behind closed doors.

“The TPP was negotiated in secret and we cannot allow the Obama Administration—or any administration for that matter—fast track authority to ram a trade agreement through Congress without knowing what’s in it,” said General Vice President Sito Pantoja. “From the little we know so far, the TPP is another bad deal for American workers, including transportation workers.”

The TPP is the largest free trade deal ever negotiated, covering twelve Pacific Rim countries. While the text has not been made public, leaked texts indicate that TPP seeks to undue recent financial reforms, end Buy American requirements and undermine labor, environmental, patent and copyright, food and safety and other U.S. regulations and incentivize U.S. based business to offshore production.

“We’ve seen what bad trade deals, like NAFTA and CAFTA, do to American communities and the airlines and rails that serve those communities,” continued Pantoja. “We’ve lost jobs, not gained jobs in the U.S. because of these deals. When communities suffer so do the airlines and railroads that service those communities.”

Please contact your U.S. Representative and Senators and tell them to oppose granting “fast track” authority to the Obama Administration.??