NAFTA Should Lift Working People

From the AFL-CIO

The United States, Canada and Mexico wrapped up the first round of renegotiation talks on the North American Free Trade Agreement, yet the focus isn’t where it should be, which is on making sure working people across the continent can earn a living wage.

Political and workplace repression in Mexico have artificially depressed wages across North America and sped up a race to the bottom for working families and communities.

Mexican assembly-line workers earn a dime for every dollar made by U.S. manufacturing workers. That difference amounts to tremendous leverage, allowing corporations to offer take-it-or-leave-it jobs in the United States and Canada.

Violations of workers’ rights in Mexico are common under NAFTA, and the result is clear: Wages remain flat, and autoworkers in Mexico earn some of the lowest pay in the world.

The violations are a main reason why NAFTA benefits investors, not working people. We must change that.

The AFL-CIO stands with the working people of North America as we all demand fair trade rules that lift up working people.

85 years: That’s how long it’s been since corporate profits have been this high, as NAFTA inflates profits and holds worker pay near historic lows.

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Posted In: Union Matters

Union Matters

California Protects Precariat Workers

From the AFL-CIO

In a historic win for California’s workers, the California Legislature approved a bill Sept. 13 that makes the misclassification of employees as independent contractors more difficult.

Sponsored by the California Labor Federation, Assembly Bill 5 codifies and expands on a 2018 California Supreme Court decision.

The bill also will help curb the rampant exploitation of workers by unscrupulous employers and give California’s working people the basic rights and protections we all deserve. Gov. Gavin Newsom is expected to sign the bill into law.

 “The time is up for unscrupulous employers who claim their workers are ‘independent’ in order to cut corners on costs,”  California Assembly member Lorena Gonzalez said about A.B. 5

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