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.


Posted In: Union Matters

Union Matters

Get to Know AFL-CIO's Affiliates: National Association of Letter Carriers

From the AFL-CIO

Next up in our series that takes a deeper look at each of our affiliates is the National Association of Letter Carriers.

Name of Union: National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC)

Mission: To unite fraternally all city letter carriers employed by the U.S. Postal Service for their mutual benefit; to obtain and secure rights as employees of the USPS and to strive at all times to promote the safety and the welfare of every member; to strive for the constant improvement of the Postal Service; and for other purposes. NALC is a single-craft union and is the sole collective-bargaining agent for city letter carriers.

Current Leadership of Union: Fredric V. Rolando serves as president of NALC, after being sworn in as the union's 18th president in 2009. Rolando began his career as a letter carrier in 1978 in South Miami before moving to Sarasota in 1984. He was elected president of Branch 2148 in 1988 and served in that role until 1999. In the ensuing years, he worked in various roles for NALC before winning his election as a national officer in 2002, when he was elected director of city delivery. In 2006, he won election as executive vice president. Rolando was re-elected as NALC president in 2010, 2014 and 2018.

Brian Renfroe serves as executive vice president, Lew Drass as vice president, Nicole Rhine as secretary-treasurer, Paul Barner as assistant secretary-treasurer, Christopher Jackson as director of city delivery, Manuel L. Peralta Jr. as director of safety and health, Dan Toth as director of retired members, Stephanie Stewart as director of the Health Benefit Plan and James W. “Jim” Yates as director of life insurance.

Number of Members: 291,000 active and retired letter carriers.

Members Work As: City letter carriers.

Industries Represented: The United States Postal Service.

History: In 1794, the first letter carriers were appointed by Congress as the implementation of the new U.S. Constitution was being put into effect. By the time of the Civil War, free delivery of city mail was established and letter carriers successfully concluded a campaign for the eight-hour workday in 1888. The next year, letter carriers came together in Milwaukee and the National Association of Letter Carriers was formed.

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There is Dignity in All Work

There is Dignity in All Work