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Canada in NAFTA Negotiations: US Must Treat Own Workers Better Options
Hope123
Posted: Friday, September 29, 2017 9:49:18 PM

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Joined: 3/23/2015
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Location: Burlington, Ontario, Canada
Canada in NAFTA Negotiations: US Must Treat Own Workers Better

http://www.cnn.com/2017/09/29/opinions/nafta-canada-broken-labor-policies-warren-opinion/index.html

”The President promised to secure a fair deal for American workers. That sounds great. After all, we don't think Americans should be forced to compete with poorly paid workers from Mexico or elsewhere, and we can demand that companies that want to trade with us lift wages, benefits, and health and safety standards for their foreign workers.

”So it probably came as a shock that one of Canada's main goals in this renegotiation is to get the United States to treat our own workers better. Canada doesn't want its workers competing with poorly-treated laborers -- including workers in the United States. And they have a specific target in mind.

According to Canada's major newspaper The Globe and Mail, Canadian negotiators are urging the United States to roll back so-called state "right to work" laws that undercut worker power in the US...Instead of strengthening the rights of working people, the Trump administration has pushed in the opposite direction.

Since taking office, President Trump has signed several laws that directly undermine the wages, benefits, health and safety of American workers. The President and the Republican Congress have rolled back rules designed to make sure federal contractors don't cheat their workers out of hard-earned wages. They've delayed safety standards that keep workers from being exposed to lethal carcinogenic materials. They've given shady financial advisers a few extra months to cheat hardworking Americans out of billions in retirement savings. The list goes on...

The assault on America's workers didn't start with President Trump. For decades, armies of lawyers and lobbyists who represent a handful of giant corporations have pressed our federal and state governments to pursue policies that maximize corporate profits at the expense of the health, safety, and financial security of their workers. Over time, those laws have taken their toll. And now, instead of looking to America for the example of workers who enjoy the best pay, best benefits, and best working conditions in the world, our trading partners are complaining about working conditions in America that are falling below their own standards.“


A man must be excessively stupid, as well as uncharitable, who believes there is no virtue but on his own side. Addison
Hope123
Posted: Friday, September 29, 2017 9:58:30 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 3/23/2015
Posts: 7,685
Neurons: 44,389
Location: Burlington, Ontario, Canada
Just in case the claim is made that it is fake US news, here's the CDN Globe and Mail article.

https://beta.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/canada-demands-us-end-right-to-work-laws-as-part-of-nafta-talks/article36160015/?ref=https://www.theglobeandmail.com&

Canada claims that the American and Mexican labor laws give an unfair advantage to them against Canada 🇨🇦.

Do I guess correctly that American workers are with Canada on this? That they themselves need to be treated better.


A man must be excessively stupid, as well as uncharitable, who believes there is no virtue but on his own side. Addison
Andrew Schultz
Posted: Friday, September 29, 2017 11:11:26 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 7/7/2015
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Neurons: 1,716,136
Location: Chicago, Illinois, United States
NAFTA is tricky. I still don't understand a lot of it, and while it's been responsible for, say, cheaper food prices that mean we have to work less, it may also be responsible for some downgrade in employment with traditional jobs being outsourced. I think automation may be a bigger cause of this,, and even if more technical jobs are created, "those foreigners are taking your jobs" is a rallying cry for ... certain politicians.

And it's another wedge Trump used--and I suspect he will use the discontent to repeal the good parts and keep the bad. I know the Trans Pacific Partnership got a lot of scrutiny, and Trump and Sanders both were against it.

Many Americans would like to see the minimum wage raised for themselves, but a lot of lobbying goes into keeping the minimum wage down. Many state initiatives have passed, but the argument against it is that it loses jobs because there's less money to pay in salary. Again, politicians use the "maybe you deserve a better wage, but lazy people don't" trick. And they've also argued against, say, a state-wide minimum wage because (for example) you might need $3/hour more for a livable wage in the city, but if you raised it there, rural employers would find it harder to turn a profit. But then they flip flop against cities establishing their own minimum wage because--well, I don't know. People might see the extra $3/hour and get jealous?

"Right to work" politicians are good at using jealousy to divide people. They generally don't fully reveal their colors until they're in office. And the article is right--Reagan struck the first big blow when he fired the air traffic controller during a strike in the early 80s.

100th person on TFD to 1 million neurons.
Hope123
Posted: Saturday, September 30, 2017 9:30:59 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 3/23/2015
Posts: 7,685
Neurons: 44,389
Location: Burlington, Ontario, Canada
Andrew I always appreciate and learn about America from your viewpoints and explanations.

I think the main target by Canada was the "right-to-work" laws.

I didn't understand it till I read - but the state regulations that make union dues optional even when unions bargain and represent all the workers “are a powerful weapon in the war against working people. Twenty-eight states have passed these laws, whose main purpose is to make it harder for workers to have the resources they need to stand up for themselves. Because of these laws starving unions of resources, union leaders face an uphill battle when they try to help workers join together to advocate for higher wages and benefits. And the completely predictable consequences for workers in these states have been devastating.”

It boils down to the fact that Unions need money to work effectively and help the workers with wages and benefits. And such laws hinder them from getting it and so doing.

And when workers in Mexico and the US are paid less and get fewer benefits, the products are cheaper and that puts Canada at a disadvantage.

This is a point that the US itself is always harping on and has even levied a disputed 221 % tariff on Bombardier, trying to start a trade war with Canada and the UK. The US government has helped their aircraft companies such as Boeing as much or more than Canada has helped Bombardier. Boeing got 64 billion dollars in government aid. Edited - in fact only Lockheed Martin beats out Boeing in the top ten government contractors.

https://globalnews.ca/news/3773916/bombardier-boeing-subsidies/

Accusing someone else of what one is already doing oneself should be a no no. In NAFTA and life in general.

A man must be excessively stupid, as well as uncharitable, who believes there is no virtue but on his own side. Addison
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