(WASHINGTON) – In a letter sent to House representatives today, the Teamsters joined eight other labor unions in expressing their opposition to a bill that would renew Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) without protecting millions of public sector workers while raiding Medicare for funding.
Public sector workers, who were included under the 2009 TAA renewal, will be left vulnerable if any future trade agreements lead to the offshoring of their jobs. A 2007 report by the Congressional Research Service determined that more than 12 percent of government jobs are offshorable or highly offshorable.
“We can’t allow millions of public sector workers to be left out in the cold if their jobs are sent overseas as casualties of another failed trade agreement,” said Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa. “The TAA in this form is unacceptable.”
The letter also expressed labor’s opposition to the proposed funding plan which increases Medicare sequester cuts by $700 million to help fund TAA.
“We are alarmed that the Medicare program would be raided to pay for completely unrelated legislation,” the letter states. “Maintaining the financial integrity of Medicare is necessary to ensure that it is able to provide the services that seniors count on to keep them healthy and to safeguard their financial security in their twilight years.”
The letter, sent to representatives today, was co-signed by the Teamsters Union, the Amalgamated Transit Union, the American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees, the American Federation of Government Employees, the Service Employees International Union, the American Federation of Teachers, the National Education Association, the Communication Workers of America and the United Food and Commercial Workers.
Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.4 million hardworking men and women throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Visit www.teamster.org for more information. Follow us on Twitter @Teamsters and “like” us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/teamsters.