(ATLANTA) – Dozens of members of Teamsters Local 728, the Sierra Club and other unions voiced their opposition to the appearance of U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Michael Froman and UPS CEO David Abney at the Commerce Club this morning, saying the two were promoting agendas that would lessen the power of unions and cause jobs to be shipped overseas.
The worker and environmental advocates took aim at Froman because he was there to tout the unfair, job-killing trade deal known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which the White House hopes to bring to a vote during a lame-duck session of Congress after the November election. The TPP will bring additional profits for big business but do little to help everyday Americans.
Meanwhile, protesters railed against Abney because he refuses to end the package delivery giant’s affiliation with the anti-union, corporate-funded American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). The Teamsters have been calling on UPS to end its membership, saying it is insulting to the hundreds of thousands of its members who work for the company.
“Here in Atlanta, the Teamsters and other unions have actively opposed the TPP because we understand the trade pact offers nothing but pain for not only our members, but all workers,” said Randy Brown, President of Local 728. “Similarly, we are here today to again make clear to Teamster employer UPS that it is time to break ties with ALEC if it wants to prove to its workers that the company values their input and their contributions on the job.”
Other union leaders agreed. “American workers are under attack from both domestic and foreign forces,” said Eric Richardson, who is political director for the Communications Workers of America’s Local 3204. “Union members have been combating the TPP for years because it’s a corporate boondoggle that will lead to thousands of U.S. jobs being shipped overseas. Meanwhile, ALEC and its big business buddies are trying to weaken worker rules that protect the rights of everyday Americans to organize and keep them safe on the job. Taken together, these tactics prove one thing — we need to put policy decisions back in the hands of the people again.”
Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.4 million hardworking men and women in the United States and Canada. Visit www.teamster.org for more information. Follow us on Twitter @Teamsters and “like” us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/teamsters.