e-Team Report, March 6, 2015

March 6, 2015

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APWU Stands Firm with Allies – No TPP and No Fast Track

In the coming weeks, Congress is expected to consider a wrongheaded bill to "Fast Track" passage of the international trade deal known as Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).  TPP would be the largest trade deal in history, including countries from the United States to Chile to Japan and Vietnam, covering 40% of the world economy.  Fast Track legislation (also called Trade Promotion Authority, or TPA) is supported by the White House and most congressional Republicans and would make it significantly easier to pass the Trans-Pacific Partnership into law.

This week, APWU President Mark Dimondstein joined union presidents from across the country in issuing a letter declaring their firm opposition to Fast Track legislation for the Trans-Pacific Partnership.  "These deals, written largely by and for the world's largest corporations, don't create jobs," the union leaders wrote. Instead, they "make it easier for firms to invest offshore and increase corporate influence over the global economy."  Last July, delegates to the APWU National Convention adopted a resolution against Fast Track and TPP.

So what exactly is in the Trans-Pacific Partnership and what does it mean?  In the video below, noted economist and former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich offers a two-minute crash course.

Click here to watch Robert Reich's TPP explanation.
(Okay, two minutes and fifteen seconds)

As Secretary Reich highlights, TPP has been devised in secret with the help of Wall Street and corporate lobbyists, far from the eyes of the American public.  Under TPP, corporations would get a new international tribunal to grant payments for lost profits incurred by laws and government regulations.  Like trade deals of the past, TPP has too little worker or environmental protections and will result in even more US jobs being outsourced and shipped overseas.

Adoption of TPP is a very real threat to jobs, wages, human rights, and the environment -- and as such, the opposition building against TPP is broad and fierce.  Similarly, bipartisan opposition to Fast Track is brewing over the dangers it poses to our democracy.  By limiting debate, preventing amendments, and lowering the number of votes needed to pass the trade deal, Fast Track proponents seek to dismantle our democratic process in order to make TPP unstoppable.

While TPP negotiations are still being conducted in secret, approval of TPP threatens to undermine a growing national movement for postal banking.  Much like the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act (PAEA) of 2006, TPP could forever stifle postal innovation and the ability of the Postal Service to expand its services.  “TPP isn’t just ‘NAFTA on steroids,’ said Dimondstein, “it’s PAEA on steroids.”

Financial reform groups and organized labor recently announced the creation of “The Campaign for Postal Banking,” a joint effort to expand access to affordable financial services through the United States Postal Service’s 31,000 retail branches. Under TPP, foreign countries and corporations could impose payments or sanctions against the United States if the Postal Service offered new products or services, including postal banking.


Bruce Pearson and Ric Barreto, Legislative Directors of thee Boston Metro Area Local and Sacramento Area Local, respectively, helped organize Anti-Fast Track Coalition meetings with their congressmen, Reps. Joe Kennedy (D-MA) and Ami Bera (D-CA).
LEFT PHOTO: Bruce Pearson - 2nd from the left.      RIGHT PHOTO: Ric Barreto - 1st row, 2nd from the left.

APWU members have taken that message to members of Congress, urging them to oppose Fast Track and TPP.  In town halls, personal meetings, calls and letters to lawmakers’ offices, APWU activists have made it clear – this deal threatens our future and the future of the Postal Service.  Putting corporations ahead of government and the people it serves is a recipe for disaster and that’s why we stand firm with our allies against Fast Track and TPP.

Please click here to take action against Fast Track legislation.

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