Union Members Deliver TPP Petitions to Negotiators

IAM Legislative and Political Action Director Matt McKinnon (far right) leads a contingency of IAM members to help deliver petitions against the next big free trade mistake, the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Left to Right: Retired Local Lodge 1125 member Sigvard Anderson; LL 1125 member Tom Rhodes; LL 389 member Peter Zschiesche; behind him, District Lodge 725 AA Leo Terhune-Loomis; LL 1125 member Carl Cobb; DL 725 Business Representative and Area 1 Director Virginia Cobb.

The IAM joined hundreds of union members and activists at the Hilton Bayfront Hotel in San Diego to protest a secret meeting of negotiators working on what could be the biggest free trade mistake since NAFTA, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

Protesters, banging pots and pans, marched to the hotel to deliver a stack of petitions with nearly 90,000 signatures demanding a trade deal that works for America. U.S Trade Representative Carol Guthrie accepted the petitions on behalf of negotiators.

Negotiations thus far are being conducted in unprecedented secrecy. Access to TPP draft language is limited almost exclusively to a handful of government negotiators and deep-pocketed corporate advisers.

“If corporations have been granted a seat at the table, so should the American public,” says IAM International President Tom Buffenbarger. “The American people will be the ones most impacted by the final language. They deserve to know how this trade agreement could potentially change their lives forever.”

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