Friday, November 14, 2014

Inaction on Fast Track as Stop Fast Track Week of Action comes to a close

Congress is unlikely to pass Fast Track in a lame duck session, three leading Democrats said Wednesday in the midst of the Stop Fast Track Week of Action. Teamsters took active roles during the week of rallies, petition deliveries and social media. Our union believes Fast Track legislation will cost more good American jobs because it allows Congress to rubber stamp bad trade deals like the TPP.

Our friend Mark Gruenberg at Press Associates reported:
The Communications Workers, the Teamsters and CTC led the anti-fast-track drive. Other backers include the Steelworkers, the Bakery Confectionery and Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers, the AFL-CIO, the Denver Area Labor Federation, the Machinists, the Service Employees, Public Citizen and Democracy for America.

They followed their initial drive with the “#StopFastTrack Week of Action” to produce more calls, e-mails and rallies. Details are at

Besides the letters, e-mails and petitions, the anti-fast-track campaign hosted a community forum in Sacramento, demonstrations outside lawmakers' offices in Chicago, Elgin, Ill., Portland, Ore., Boston, Allentown, Pa., San Diego, Seattle and Olympia, Wash., Denver and elsewhere and a phone bank in Chicago.
The hashtags #StopFastTrack and #TPP made it into the top 25 hashtags for Nov. 11, 2014.

Teamsters in Allentown, Pa., rallied outside Rep. Charlie Dent's office on Wednesday to urge him to vote against fast track in the lame-duck session. Dennis Hower, president of Teamsters Local 773, led the rally.

Teamsters in Allentown earlier this week.
In New York, Twitter tells us:
NYers sport a rockin #TPP banner at #StopFastTrack action in Albany -> call your Rep at
Anti-fast track demonstration in Albany, N.Y.
And here's more good news: TPP talks got nowhere this week. Inter Press News Service reports:
For the third year in a row, government negotiators for 12 Pacific Rim countries have missed an internal deadline to reach agreement on a controversial U.S.-led trade deal. 
And though negotiators for the accord, known as the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), say the process is nearing completion, critics of the deal are expressing optimism that both public opinion and political timing are increasingly against the deal. 
“The reason the Obama administration keeps missing deadline after deadline, year after year, is that it’s pushing an extremely unpopular agenda that benefits a handful of big corporations at the expense of the economy, environment and public health in each TPP country and beyond,” Arthur Stamoulis, executive director of the Citizens Trade Campaign, an advocacy group that opposes the TPP, told IPS.