The Lead

AFL-CIO president will host NAFTA town hall in Pittsburgh

By: - June 12, 2019 11:28 am

Richard Trumka. (Linh Do/Flickr)

By Derek Robertson

The president of the nation’s largest labor union announced Tuesday that he will hold a series of town halls about “union members’ struggles under NAFTA, and what working people want to see from the administration’s proposed USMCA [United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement].”

The AFL-CIO’s Richard Trumka will travel to Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Michigan over the course of three days in mid-June to speak with union members as the President Trump administration pushes Congress to ratify his replacement for the much-maligned North American Free Trade Agreement.

Trumka gave the keynote address at the Michigan chapter of the AFL-CIO’s annual nominating convention in May, where he railed against the USMCA, saying it “does nothing to address outsourcing.”

“It’s a repeat of the old NAFTA and fails to stop the hemorrhaging of good-paying American jobs to Mexico,” Trumka said. “The new NAFTA also has no effective way to enforce its rules. It literally allows a party accused of violations to stop a settlement panel. It’d be like giving an accused thief the right to shut down their own trial.”

The town halls will be held in Pittsburgh, Cleveland, and Taylor, Mich., on June 17, 18 and 19, respectively.

A version of this piece originally appeared in The Michigan Advance, a sister publication to the Capital-Star.

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