The United Auto Workers is on-board for KORUS FTA (UAW statement on the proposed U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement):
The UAW joins Congressman Sander Levin in his statement that, “The changes announced to the U.S. – Korea Free Trade Agreement (FTA) today are a dramatic step toward changing from a one-way street to a two-way street for trade between the U.S. and South Korea. These changes represent an important opportunity to break open the Korean market for U.S. businesses and workers and boost American manufacturing jobs, particularly in the automotive sector.”
...we believe an agreement was achieved that will protect current American auto jobs, that will grow more American auto jobs, that includes labor and environmental commitments, and that has important enforcement mechanisms.
This agreement is an important step toward a global rule-based trade system, an important step in giving labor a real voice in trade negotiations. We look forward to working with the Obama Administration on the issue of global rights for workers -- especially the right to organize and bargain collectively.
What's the AFL-CIO going to do (UAW under file for trade deal support)?
Organized labor is in an uproar over the new free trade agreement with South Korea, with some union leaders accusing United Auto Workers president Bob King of embracing a deal to curry favor with a White House that saved the UAW with its $80 billion bailout of the auto industry.
King denied the charge in an interview Monday and said he would work to convince his fellow union presidents to support the agreement, predicting that “ they will see that this a good deal for our members, and they will respect that.”
AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka hasn’t rendered a verdict yet on the deal reached Friday between U.S. and South Korean negotiators, despite the labor federation’s longstanding position opposing trade deals that don’t include rules that would require other countries to improve workplace and environmental standards to slow the loss of American jobs overseas.
A draft statement criticizing the trade deal has been sitting on his desk since last week, as he continues to work the phones gauging whether to condemn the deal, or stay neutral.
Trumka has told at least one Democratic member in Congress that the AFL-CIO would might decide to skip a fight with the White House over South Korea to preserve its leverage in China policy, according to a source who spoke to that lawmaker.