Statement from IUE-CWA President James D. Clark on Passage of Fast Track for TPP
Today is a difficult day for our IUE-CWA members who have been fighting tirelessly to put a stop to yet another trade deal that benefits the 1% and leaves working people out in the cold – the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). Over the past two years, our members across the country have stood along-side our allies to fight this trade deal, which delivers more of the same broken promises we have seen under NAFTA, and other failed trade policies that have shipped our jobs overseas, and lowered our wages. We have been betrayed by our elected officials on Capitol Hill, who voted this week to Fast Track this trade deal – which is backed only by corporations. The message could not have been any clearer – thousands of calls and letters poured in to legislative offices, stating the public’s opposition to this trade deal. Yet members in both the House and Senate ignored the clear mandate from their constituents to vote No against granting Fast Track authority. Now President Obama has been given a green light to slam this massive trade deal through our Congress.
While it is an extremely disappointing outcome, we must not overlook the amazing work we have achieved. Though we did not win the vote, we made huge waves, and completely changed the national conversation about trade, and its impacts on workers. I want to thank each and every IUE-CWA member who took action to stop Fast Track for the TPP. Whether writing a letter, making a phone call, or visiting the office of their legislator – make no mistake, you did make a difference. Our members stepped up to the plate to get engaged and take action like never before – we are stronger for having fought this battle. Special thanks, to IUE-CWA’s Political Programs Manager Heather Atkinson, for a fantastic job in leading and coordinating our fight. Today we cannot change how these legislators turned their backs on working families, but we can and we will make them regret they did!!
So now it’s time to hold them accountable – the legislators who sided with the corporations, and voted to ship our jobs overseas with Fast Track for TPP. These people do not stand for us. We must let them know that we will mount an offensive, and vote them out of office come election time. I hope you will join me in educating our members about the voting record of every single legislator on the Fast Track for the TPP. Click here to view the vote record on the Fast Track bill in the House, and click here for the vote record in the Senate.
Please take the first step, by calling, writing, or emailing your elected officials to let them know your opinion on their vote on Fast Track. If they voted in favor of Fast Track, let them know that their vote was unacceptable - and that you will be spreading the word about how they voted on the TPP, and using the power of your vote to send them packing. If they voted against Fast Track, thank them for standing up for working people. To see who your Congressional elected officials are and to get their contact info click here. Below is a sample message you can use to tell your elected officials your opinion on their vote.
For all of us in the labor movement, we don’t stop – we have never stopped fighting for working families, and we will continue the fight to work with our allies to build our power, and make the system work for us.
James D. Clark