FAST TRACK UPDATE … MAKE SOME CALLS!

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Dear Brothers and Sisters:


As you are no doubt aware, the final vote in the U.S. Senate yesterday on Fast Track was disappointing, with passage by a vote of 60 to 38. The Fast Track bill will now be sent directly to the President’s desk. President Loeb participated on a conference call yesterday with the AFL-CIO Executive Council and he has advised us that the moratorium on contributions to members of the House and Senate has been lifted. However, there is a list of 13 Senators and 28 members of the House who voted against us and will receive NO contributions going forward. Those in Washington who have received support from the house of labor need to be held accountable.

In addition, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka sent a letter to members of the Senate and the House expressing the Federation’s (and affiliates’) concerns, and President Loeb has asked that the letters be distributed to you for your information. The following is an excerpt from the letters:

Congress has now approved fast track authority, which will give the executive branch the opportunity to negotiate—in secret—as many trade agreements as it can through at least June 30, 2018 (and likely through 2021). Fast track 2015 fails to hold the executive branch accountable for achieving negotiating objectives, addressing the U.S. trade imbalance, or ensuring that trade deals adequately protect good jobs, workers’ rights, environmental protections, access to affordable medicines, food safety, and other vital protections for working families.

We will now redouble our efforts to shape and improve U.S. trade policy. We will vigorously oppose TPP if it continues on its current course – with problematic provisions on investor-state-dispute settlement, procurement and intellectual property rights; without any protections against currency manipulation; with weak rules of origin; and with inadequate protections for workers’ and human rights and the environment. We will continue to work closely with Congress and with our allies in the environmental, consumer, human rights, family farm, faith, development, domestic business, immigrants’, women’s and internet privacy rights organizations – among many others – to educate and mobilize our members and the American public about what a good trade policy ought to be and why this one falls short.

 

The following 13 Senate Democrats joined most Republicans in voting wrong on Fast Track.  Full list of House members and Senators who voted against is in the links below.

 

CA: Feinstein               
CO: Bennet               
DE: Carper and Coons               
FL: Nelson               
MO: McCaskill               
ND: Heitkamp               
NH: Shaheen               
OR: Wyden               
VA: Kaine and Warner               
WA: Cantwell and Murray       
        

LINKS:                               

 

Click here to see how your Senators voted:                                

http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=114&session=1&vote=00219   

                             
Click here to see the full roll call vote in the House of Representatives:                               

http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2015/roll374.xml                  

             

President Loeb has asked......

 

I notify the local unions in our District, to call their Senators to hold them accountable for voting for Fast Track, or thank them for voting no. I am also to encourage you to email your activists and members urging them to contact their Senators, and post information about how their Senators voted on your website, Facebook, and Twitter (and be sure to tag your Senator’s social media handles in your tweets and posts).

It is clear that this issue has brought labor together and showed a tremendous amount of strength on the part of all AFL-CIO affiliates, other labor unions and community allies. The AFL-CIO’s National Campaigns Manager is quoted as stating that “The massive engagement that happened across our region and across the country has activated and educated our members and we must be proud of that! Workers’ resolve is firmer than ever and the fight is far from over.”

We now await the next steps in the battle on TPP and as soon as there is more to report , I will get it to you.

Thank you,                

Chris Gauthier               
District 9 Secretary-Treasurer           
    
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