CWA activists and allies met with their members of Congress and staffs, and organized town hall meetings to push back against legislators who won't commit to stopping 'Fast Track' authority for the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
This week, CWAers and partners from the Sierra Club, PICO, Citizens Fair Trade, SEIU, UAW, and other unions met with Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX 30), who brought U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman along.
CWA and allies took on Froman, challenging his misstatements, and pressed Johnson to oppose "Fast Track."
CWA D6 Vice President Claude Cummings, who attended the meeting, followed up with this piece in the Dallas News. Cummings challenged Froman on his claims that the TPP will set new labor and environmental standards. In fact, TPP will push more U.S. jobs offshore and will make "buy American" provisions illegal.
Cohen Takes 'No Fast Track' Fight to Media
CWA President Larry Cohen is spreading the "No Fast Track" message. Listen to his interview with radio host Ed Schultz. (Cohen's segment starts at 9:56 into the broadcast.)
Queens, NY Town Hall
Nearly 300 people attend a town hall in Queens, featuring Nobel Prize winner Joseph Stiglitz, to urge Rep. Joseph Crowley to oppose Fast Track. "The Trans-Pacific Partnership risks fueling growing income inequality throughout the world while putting life-saving medication prices out of the reach of citizens in the affected countries. Today's trade agreements affect far more than just trade and are the wrong model to embrace. Congress has to step up to stop this bad deal," Stiglitz said.
Westchester Labor Roundtable
The Westchester Putnam Central Labor Body met with Rep. Nita Lowey, Democrat from New York's 17th district, for a Labor Roundtable. The big topic of discussion: Stopping Fast Track for bad trade deals, especially the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership with 11 Pacific Rim nations, including bad actors like Vietnam and Brunei.
Indianapolis Town Hall
Rep. Andre Carson (D-Ind) joined CWA activists and partners Sierra Club, Jobs with Justice, Soil and Water Conservation, UAW and others at a town hall meeting to focus on the critical need to reject "Fast Track" authority for the TPP.
Missouri Town Hall
CWA, Missouri Progressive Vote Coalition, Interfaith Committee on Latin America, Jobs with Justice, and the American Postal Workers Union held a town hall meeting and called on Rep. William "Lacy" Clay (D-MO) to vote against Fast Track authority for the TPP.
Los Angeles Press Conference
Coalition allies held a press conference in front of the Beverly Hills Hotel, which is owned by the Sultan of Brunei, the ruler of one of the countries involved in the TPP negotiations. Last year, Brunei adopted a new law that called for the stoning of LGBTQ persons and women accused of adultery. Organizations at the rally included CWA, Unite Here, IBEW, Los Angeles LGBT Center, Sierra Club, Food and Water Watch, Citizens Trade, 1 Billion Rising, Feminist Majority, National Organization for Women and The Wall/Las Memorias Project.
San Diego Rally
CWA Local 9509 member and political committee chair, Salomon Espinoza, demands that Reps. Scott Peters (D-CA) and Susan Davis (D-CA) vote "no" on Fast Track. CWA, Citizens Trade, IBEW, Sierra Club, San Diego Labor Council, Machinists and others rallied in downtown San Diego in front of the Federal Building to raise awareness about the dangers of the TPP.
The AFL-CIO hosted an Anti-Fast Track Town Hall in Atlanta, featuring Robert Reich, Pres. Clinton's Labor Secretary, who supported NAFTA but has changed his views on these trade deals and opposes TPP.
Meeting a Texas Member of Congress
On Friday, CWAers, Texas Organizing Project, and Sierra Club members met with Rep. Marc Veasey, Democrat of Texas's 33rd District (seated), calling him to reject Fast Track for bad trade deals, especially the TPP. Veasey committed to Vote No on Fast Track and said he has serious concerns about the TPP and how it could harm his constituents. Texas Organizing Project, along with Sierra Club, has mobilized their members around the TTP fight. Our own CWA activists are working daily in their workplaces educating fellow members, asking them to join PAF and write letters and make calls to Members of Congress.