GM Example Thumbs Its Nose at New NAFTA Before the Ink Dried
The following statement is from UAW President Gary Jones on the signing of the “New” NAFTA called USMCA:
“Before the ink hit the paper, General Motors has already signaled that the “New” NAFTA (known as USMCA) is not strong enough, as it stands today, to deter them from moving products and taking advantage of low cost labor. Quite simply, the “New” NAFTA needs more input and more work. We were hopeful that this new agreement would rein in the corporate greed that has bled manufacturing in the United States. Unfortunately, as GM’s idling of plants in Ohio, Michigan and Maryland this week showed – the “New” NAFTA, as it stands now, is not strong enough to protect American workers.
When we look at the “New” NAFTA through the eyes of workers in Lordstown, Detroit-Hamtramck, Warren, Brownstown and Maryland, do you see a better future? It is hard to see how, as the reality of the new measure failed to stop the flow of work from the US to Mexico in search of cheap labor.
Workers in Mexico are paid so little because they lack basic rights. Just yesterday, 6,000 workers at PKC – a wire harness maker – were brutally attacked for just trying to exercise their rights to join an independent union. This points out, once again, that Mexico’s labor laws are broken and demonstrates why it is so important to have an agreement that gives Mexican workers a voice on the job and better living standards to stop a wage race to the bottom.
Corporations, like GM, have revealed time and time again that they will continue to play by their own rules at the expense of workers, even after raking in record profits. Our elected leaders owe it to working families in the United States to go back to the table and make this stronger, tighter and enforceable. We need the “New” NAFTA to make GM and other auto companies rethink mass layoffs while they invest in exploited labor in other countries like Mexico.
The UAW is committed to offering suggestions and working with the Trump Administration and Congress so that no U.S. worker ever experiences the dark Monday that so many UAW members experienced this week.
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