Posted: Tue Sep 05, 2017 8:53 am Post subject: Canada demands US promote unions to keep NAFTA
Canada demands U.S. end ‘right to work’ laws as part of NAFTA talks
SEPTEMBER 3, 2017
Canadian negotiators are demanding the United States roll back so-called "right to work" laws – accused of gutting unions in some U.S. states by starving them of money – as part of the renegotiation of the North American free-trade agreement. The request is part of a push by Ottawa to get the U.S. and Mexico to adopt higher labour standards under the deal.
Mexico, meanwhile, is campaigning to include its oil and gas sector in the deal.
These major moves on the labour and energy files came over the weekend at the second round of NAFTA renegotiations in Mexico City.
One group of negotiators spent all day Sunday working on the labour file, according to a schedule of the talks obtained by The Globe and Mail. One source familiar with the discussions said Canada wants the United States to pass a federal law stopping state governments from enacting right-to-work legislation; the source said the United States has not agreed to such a request. Canada believes that lower labour standards in the United States and Mexico, including right to work, give those countries an unfair advantage in attracting jobs.
Jerry Dias, the leader of Canada's largest private-sector trade union, said Ottawa's negotiators are: pushing Mexico on its corporate-sanctioned unions, which are accused of negotiating collective agreements unfavourable to workers; agitating for both countries to offer a year of paid family leave, as Canada does; and targeting American right-to-work laws that allow workers in unionized shops to refuse to pay dues, draining money from unions.
I think this is incredible. That is, "ïncredible" as in UN-BEE-LEEVE-ABLE!
Why are they doing this? Why do our negotiators think think this is something that is reasonable, or even wanted by Mainstreet Canadians?
This will not allow us into American markets in a new way, or protect ours in a new way. It's a clear interference in American domestic politics. I wonder if the US Federal government can even make a law like this. They do have a real constitution down there, you know.
Why are they messing up the negotiations with this crap? If Trump scraps NAFTA, it will be because Trump thinks Canada and Mexico aren't serious about finding a solution.
In my opinion, we should (1) recognize the problem that Trump wants to solve, and (2) look for solutions through liberalizing trade, rather than creating barriers. And we should clean up where we clearly violate, like BC softwood lumber. But that's a provincial matter.
This is not a time to demand that Trump go 'green' or worry about transgender rights in Mexico, or any of the other dipsy ideas of our cabinet members responsible. (Chrystia Freeland.) Doing that will encourage Trump to tear up the treaty -- and then where are we?
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