Will the New NAFTA Make a Difference?

From the UAW

The following statement is from UAW President Gary Jones on the signing of the “New” NAFTA called USMCA:

“Before the ink hit the paper, General Motors has already signaled that the “New” NAFTA (known as USMCA) is not strong enough, as it stands today, to deter them from moving products and taking advantage of low cost labor. Quite simply, the “New” NAFTA needs more input and more work. We were hopeful that this new agreement would rein in the corporate greed that has bled manufacturing in the United States. Unfortunately, as GM’s idling of plants in Ohio, Michigan and Maryland this week showed – the “New” NAFTA, as it stands now, is not strong enough to protect American workers.

When we look at the “New” NAFTA through the eyes of workers in Lordstown, Detroit-Hamtramck, Warren, Brownstown and Maryland, do you see a better future? It is hard to see how, as the reality of the new measure failed to stop the flow of work from the US to Mexico in search of cheap labor.

Workers in Mexico are paid so little because they lack basic rights. Just yesterday, 6,000 workers at PKC – a wire harness maker – were brutally attacked for just trying to exercise their rights to join an independent union. This points out, once again, that Mexico’s labor laws are broken and demonstrates why it is so important to have an agreement that gives Mexican workers a voice on the job and better living standards to stop a wage race to the bottom.

Corporations, like GM, have revealed time and time again that they will continue to play by their own rules at the expense of workers, even after raking in record profits. Our elected leaders owe it to working families in the United States to go back to the table and make this stronger, tighter and enforceable. We need the “New” NAFTA to make GM and other auto companies rethink mass layoffs while they invest in exploited labor in other countries like Mexico.

The UAW is committed to offering suggestions and working with the Trump Administration and Congress so that no U.S. worker ever experiences the dark Monday that so many UAW members experienced this week.

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Reposted from the UAW

Posted In: Allied Approaches

Union Matters

What's Wrong with GM?

Corporations’ stranglehold on our economy was put on further display last week, when General Motors announced it was laying off up to 14,000 workers across North America.

On a special episode of “State of the Unions,” co-host Tim Schlittner talked with AFL-CIO Industrial Union Council Executive Director Brad Markell, a lifelong UAW member, about what the layoffs say about the state of the economy as a whole:

Tim Schlittner: “Reading the CEO’s statement, Mary Barra, where she says this is about making GM agile, resilient and profitable, then thinking about all the stock buybacks, thinking about some of the incentives they got in the tax law that just passed. Mary Barra made about $22 million last year—that’s 295 times more than the GM median employee—my feeling is like this is crap. That’s just a crap excuse for hoarding more at the top, at the expense of the workers that make GM go. Am I wrong to say that?”

Brad Markell: “I think there are a couple issues there from my point of view. Mary Barra makes a lot of money and executive pay is out of control in this country. Part of what’s the problem with executive pay is how is it incentivized? It’s not that Mary Barra making $22 million is going to kill the company. It’s what does she do to get there, right? What does she do to make those cuts and—and those things that Wall Street wants to see because so much of it’s stock options—so instead of playing to the real economy, you’re playing to Wall Street. That’s a problem.”

Tim Schlittner: “And the stock went up that day. So Wall Street saw this decision to close these plants and basically took that as a positive sign, which shows to me an economy that is completely out of whack.”

Take a listen to the full episode here.

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Who Really Pays for Tax Cuts?

Who Really Pays for Tax Cuts?