Monday, February 3, 2014

Momentum building against Fast Track; Thank you, Teamsters!

Our Teamster brothers rallying against Fast Track in Hartford
Tens of thousands of people are taking action to stop politicians in Congress from pulling a fast one and passing a Fast Track bill. Fast Track would make it easier for job-killing trade deals like the TPP to win approval. In fact, it's the only way the TPP will be approved.

Over the past few days, thousands of Teamsters across the country signed a petition, contacted their representative in Congress by phone or email, or participated in the 50-plus rallies in North America. Here's a shoutout to our brothers and sisters from the following Teamsters locals:

  • Local 639 from Washington, D.C., rallying in Gaithersburg, Md.
  • Local 745 from Dallas, who rallied in Dallas.
  • Local 769 from N. Miami, rallying in that city.
  • Local 232 in Portland, Ore., rallied outside the Smith Center in Portland before leafletting and meeting with U.S. representatives. 
  • Local 597 from South Barre, Vt., rallied in Montpelier (it looked cold, too).
  • Local 200 from Milwaukee, Wisc., made phone calls to representatives in Congress. 
  • Local 671 from Bloomfield, Conn., rallied in Hartford.
  • Local 1150 from Stratford, Conn., rallied in Hartford. 
We're still hearing from locals about their actions over the past few days, so if you have photos or news reports, please let us know. We want to acknowledge all the hard work by Teamsters to defeat Fast Track and the TPP.

We learned about our brothers and sisters in Connecticut from the Hartford Courant,
In Connecticut, a group called Activate CT was joined by members of Move On, Teamsters Local 1150 and Local 671, and others for a rally at the corner of Broad Street and Farmington Avenue on Friday afternoon. ... "This so-called trade agreement has been negotiated in almost total secrecy - it's being kept from the public, the media, and even Congress. However, over 600 'corporate advisors' have free access to the text, and in fact, are even helping to write it. Because of the lack of transparency, a majority of the public doesn't even know about the TPP, and how it will impact their lives."
Here's an example of the momentum building against the bill: Fight for the Future launched a '10 Days of Action' campaign with 30 organizations (including the Teamsters). At the end of 10 days, 100 more organizations had signed up.

Local 769 in Miami.
Even the news media is (finally) starting to wake up to the overwhelming opposition to Fast Track. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's announcement that he opposes Fast Track caught reporters' attention, and now they're realizing the breadth and depth of opposition to these so-called trade deals. In These Times reported:
... the American Jobs Alliance and the United States Business and Industry Council—pro-business groups wary of trade’s impact on America’s national interests—joined with Tea Party Nation and the socially conservative Eagle Forum to rail against the TPP.
The fight is far from over, and we'll be keeping up the pressure on our representatives in Congress to oppose this very bad idea.

If haven't taken action yet, you can email your representative in Congress here or sign a petition here.

Remember, when you fight, you can win.