At the briefings, activists talked with trade representatives from Australia, Chile and other countries; the U.S. Trade Representative's Office, Department of Labor and State Department, and journalists, among others. The issue of workers' rights specifically was raised with the chief negotiator from Vietnam; it was no real surprise that the negotiator sidestepped the question of Vietnam guaranteeing workers' rights to form free trade unions.
At the afternoon rally, CWA Chief of Staff Ron Collins said, "The TPP is shaping up to become one of the biggest and most destructive trade agreements because it could lead to even more offshoring of our manufacturing and service sector jobs, downward pressure on wages and benefits, and the subversion of our labor rights and environmental protections. But the public is unaware that the TPP even exists because negotiators are keeping their proposals hidden. Americans deserve the right to know what's being proposed in our names."
Chamber of Commerce lobbyists and other business representatives have seen all the texts, but millions of Americans facing a big upheaval in jobs, environmental standards, consumer rights and other areas are being kept in the dark.
The next round of negotiations will be in December.
Below: About 200 activists from CWA, Sierra Club and Citizens Trade Campaign joined the latest round of the trade talks.
Original article on Communication Workers of America