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Fri Jun 15, 2012, 10:21 PM

How Can Labor Combat Obama's Secret 'NAFTA of the Pacific'?

The latest project of corporations seeking to ease movement of capital around the globe is the Trans Pacific Partnership, known by activists as “NAFTA of the Pacific.”

Text of the proposal that leaked this week, released by the consumer group Public Citizen, indicate the free trade proposal will continue strong rights for investors and weak protections for labor, the environment, and local democracy.

The agreement is drafted to include Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam, and the United States. Discussion of inviting Canada, Mexico, and Japan has inspired protests in all three countries.

The TPP is being negotiated in secret. While the public has no access to the full text, 600 representatives from lobby groups like the American Petroleum Institute and corporations like Johnson & Johnson do have access, and negotiators seek those representatives’ advice.
...
http://labornotes.org/2012/05/labor-combat-obama-secret-nafta-pacific


This Trans Pacific free trade deal is a steaming pile of poop.


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Response to limpyhobbler (Original post)

Fri Jun 15, 2012, 10:30 PM

1. By getting its own house in order, so that it speaks with authentic Solidarity.

That means power-sharing in order to respond to economic justice, gender, and race issues.

Figure out how to deal with differences like those we saw in Wisconsin last week.

Background:

http://books.google.com/books/about/Stayin_Alive.html?id=h9acQrZmpmAC

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Response to limpyhobbler (Original post)

Fri Jun 15, 2012, 10:34 PM

2. How dare you bring this up during "election season"? nm

 

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Response to rhett o rick (Reply #2)

Fri Jun 15, 2012, 10:39 PM

3. What better time to talk about how Solidarity must be REAL, not just an empty totem. nt

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Response to patrice (Reply #3)

Fri Jun 15, 2012, 11:32 PM

5. Please elaborate on how to make Solidarity Real. nm

 

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Response to rhett o rick (Reply #5)

Sat Jun 16, 2012, 11:23 AM

11. Labor has had internal issues for a VERY long time. We refer to it like it's one, but it isn't.

I could go back to Howard Zinn's A People's History of the U.S. (and I think I will, eventually) to get the whole vine that was planted in the Constitution and its assumptions of sub-human status for Indigenous People & African Americans & Women that divided the people. It only got worse from there, with certain notable historical marker-events (which I should collect) that illustrated the essence -tial divide in what came to be known in a VERY generic way as Labor.

But all of it was/is about access to THE DEAL, who is in and who isn't. All of that goes under the heading of Economic Justice now, but it applies not only to American Indians and African Americans, but also women and any of the other less than politically-correct genders, and a certain particularly problematic subset, for its basic racial pathologies and trust issues, poor Whites.

So working toward authentic Solidarity is going to be a long hard process. As a teacher, I have a prejudice that is about how the process is a LEARNING process and my experience teaching America's teenagers is that this process MUST begin with honest power-sharing amongst everyone involved, so that everyone's free choices CAN be respected. Ignorance and hidden stuff is anti-freedom, anti-choosing, i.e. dysfunctional for everyone involved. Honest power-sharing means NO false-equivalencies in these hierarchies; those with more power must share more and I hope everyone can commit to what is appropriate to wherever everyone involved is trying to go with this effort. Does this sound familiar to you? I know about it from being around Quakers and some Occupys were trying to do it more or LESS successfully.

Here's some more current Labor background I have been reading, for illustration of what the ISSUES are that Labor must address:

http://books.google.com/books/about/Stayin_Alive.html?id=h9acQrZmpmAC

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Response to patrice (Reply #3)

Sat Jun 16, 2012, 01:15 AM

8. solidarity against deceit and corporate whorism, that's quite a struggle nt

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Response to msongs (Reply #8)

Sat Jun 16, 2012, 11:46 AM

12. Freedom requires diligence. I have never known anything but the struggle in one way or

another and, yes, it would be GOOD if there were less struggle, or, better yet, only the struggle that is absolutely necessary to valid human issues. There will never be an end to deceit and whoring of various kinds, no matter who is in ascendency, but we can do better with deceit and whoring, and that's going to require coherent diligence amongst all of those who are making the effort, so that they become a gestalt: each different parts, but through their honest commitment to the struggle, greater than their sum.

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Response to limpyhobbler (Original post)

Fri Jun 15, 2012, 10:48 PM

4. This agreement is yet another attack on our experiment with democracy.

We cannot allow that agreement to happen. It is a real threat to our national sovereignty. Check the information at Tradewatch.org, a part of Public Citizen.

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Response to limpyhobbler (Original post)

Fri Jun 15, 2012, 11:43 PM

6. "representatives from lobby groups like the American Petroleum Institute ..." - The A team lobbyists

 

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Response to limpyhobbler (Original post)

Sat Jun 16, 2012, 12:37 AM

7. Pretty much all corporations only exist because we buy their stuff

"voting with our wallets", so to speak, renders them our elected leaders.

Not buying their stuff is a pretty fast way of getting their attention, and lack of sales or profits could bring most corporations down within a few weeks.

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Response to limpyhobbler (Original post)

Sat Jun 16, 2012, 09:58 AM

9. When in a hole....stop digging

One thing labor unions can do is stop supporting candidates who back things like TPP.

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Response to Teamster Jeff (Reply #9)

Sat Jun 16, 2012, 11:02 AM

10. Welcome to DU.

The obvious example of a candidate who backs TPP is President Obama. Unfortunately, the other guy is even more hostile to labor. So we have a classic dilemma- a choice between bad and worse.

The most important thing we can do is change the choices available to us- and that is a long-term project, not something that is going to be accomplished in this election cycle.

One of the first things we have to do is challenge and discredit the narrative espoused by our corporate-controlled media that pretends that trade agreements spur growth and that trade agreements negotiated by corporate interests behind closed doors will somehow serve the needs of the people and not just their own. We need to discredit the mass media generally and create and use new channels to gather and broadcast information. A bamboozled electorate will never make the needed changes.

In the short term, I plan to work on a local congressional election- the opponent is Allen West. For the reasons discussed (and others) I will not be working on the presidential campaign.


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Response to hay rick (Reply #10)

Sat Jun 16, 2012, 12:10 PM

13. Thank you. Re: Classic Dilemma

Another option for union financial support is to sit one out. Take all that bad or worse money and support good local congressional candidates or other progressive/protest movements. I believe long term that might help move the Democratic party back to the left because they would no longer take union support for granted.

If by supporting bad over worse we still get devastating trade agreements like TPP, it's time to change the game plan.

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