May 13, 2015

UFCW President Perrone in the Washington Post: The Trans-Pacific trade deal is bad news for workers


The following letter from International President Marc Perrone appeared in the Washington Post.

Edward Alden’s May 7 op-ed, “Why unions need a new trade strategy,” did not detail the devastating impact that unfair trade deals have on hard-working men and women. Mr. Alden was correct that workers need more than talk. They deserve good wages and benefits, fair and reliable schedules, respect on the job and a secure retirement — none of which would come from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement.

The bluster Mr. Alden mentioned has been coming from supporters of trade. For 40 years, U.S. trade policies have devastated families and led to lost jobs, stagnant wages and rising levels of income inequality. Mr. Alden seemed to ignore this brutal reality in favor of tweaks to a trade model that is flawed at its core.

The truth is that no elected official truly interested in making the economy better and fairer can support the Trans-Pacific Partnership. This trade deal is bad for our workers, families and shared future.

The Washington and Wall Street establishments say this deal will be different. It will not be. So the labor movement, workers and all those who want a fairer and more just America should not be fooled into supporting it.

Marc Perrone, Washington