Tuesday, June 9, 2015

UFCW: New TPP Ad Released Urging a “No” Vote on Fast Track

This just in from our International:

Letter Sent to All Members of the House of Representatives Asking: “Will you do what is right for America’s hard-working men and women who you are sworn to serve?”


WASHINGTON, D.C.—Highlighting the secrecy of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the reluctance of the Obama administration to release details, the 1.3 million member United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) today released a new ad urging members of the House of Representatives to vote no on fast track.

As part of its intense lobbying campaign, a letter was also sent to all 435 members of the U.S. House of Representatives where UFCW International President Marc Perrone made clear what is at stake. “Will you stand with the irresponsible corporations and special interests that are pushing fast track and the TPP?” he wrote. “Or will you do what is right for America’s hard-working men and women who you are sworn to serve?”

“America’s workers and hard-working families and their advocates have been completely shut out of the process,” Perrone added.

In the letter, Perrone decried President Obama’s strong-arm tactics on the trade deal and urged members of Congress to remember their obligation to their constituents.

“President Obama has regrettably made the vote about loyalty to him,” he wrote. “At the UFCW, our loyalty is to the 1.3 million hard-working men and women we represent and their families. Your loyalty should be to this country, to your constituents, and not President Obama, one party, or a secret trade deal.”

“The secrecy has gotten so egregious that when a group of concerned citizens went to the U.S. Trade Representative’s (USTR) office last week, not only were they prevented from reviewing the agreement, USTR staff locked the door to the visitor’s entrance,” the letter reads. “It leaves you to wonder: what are they hiding?”

“Our elected leaders must acknowledge what the President refuses to—that unfair trade deals have been catastrophic for hard-working families, driving down wages and benefits, shipping jobs overseas, and exploding income inequality,” Perrone concluded.

This week the UFCW will engage in a major blitz, reaching out directly to undecided members of Congress who will determine the outcome of fast track. This includes the ads in Politico, which highlight a bipartisan concern over the issue of secrecy and the right of the American people to know what is in this deal. A print ad ran today and digital ads are scheduled to run throughout the week.

The full letter is linked here and copied below.

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Dear Representative:

On behalf of the 1.3 million hard-working members of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), I am writing to strongly urge you, again, to oppose fast track legislation if and when it comes up for a vote.

Respectfully, you have a critical decision to make. Will you stand with the irresponsible corporations and special interests that are pushing fast track and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)? Or will you do what is right for America’s hard-working men and women who you are sworn to serve?

As you know, the TPP has been put together entirely in secret, with the advice and counsel of those who for decades have benefitted from bad trade deals. America’s workers and hard-working families and their advocates have been completely shut out of the process. The secrecy has gotten so egregious that when a group of concerned citizens went to the U.S. Trade Representative’s (USTR) office last week, not only were they prevented from reviewing the agreement, USTR staff locked the door to the visitor’s entrance. It leaves you to wonder: what are they hiding?

The American people deserve to know what is in this deal. And those considering supporting it should ask themselves how they will justify voting for a secret deal that would harm their constituents and the American people.

As we now see, President Obama has regrettably made the vote about loyalty to him. At the UFCW, our loyalty is to the 1.3 million hard-working men and women we represent and their families. Your loyalty should be to this country, to your constituents, and not President Obama, one party, or a secret trade deal. So while the President pulls out all the stops to sway undecided Members of Congress, he and you should remember the people who elected you to office.

If there is any doubt where the American people stand, you need to look no further than a recent New York Times/CBS News poll where over 55 percent of Americans oppose fast track, including 61 percent of independents.

Finally, this is more than just a vote about a trade deal so bad that it is kept in secret. This is about whether you will stand with the very workers who have paid the price from other bad trade deals. Some may choose to ignore this reality, but our elected leaders must acknowledge what the President refuses to—that unfair trade deals have been catastrophic for hard-working families, driving down wages and benefits, shipping jobs overseas, and exploding income inequality.

Enough is enough.

We urge you to do the right thing and vote no on fast track.

Sincerely,

Marc Perrone
International President

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