Hoffa: Trade Deals Set Their Sights on Public Workers

Posted: September 15, 2014
Source: James P. Hoffa, Huffington Post
For much of this decade, Tea Party-backed lawmakers have been at war with public sector employees across the country. They’ve tried, and in a few cases succeeded, in taking away public servants’ ability to collectively bargain. But now the battle is going abroad.

Under the guise of crafting trade agreements, big business — which bankrolled many of those same elected officials — is looking to impose provisions across the globe that open up government services to the private sector. Other language would limit the ability of democratic governments to regulate in the public interest. Simply put, corporations are looking to put their interests above the public’s interests in an effort to further fatten their wallets.

Recognizing the problem, union leaders from 25 nations will be heading to the International Brotherhood of Teamsters headquarters in Washington this week to discuss strategies to sustain public services throughout the world while confronting secret deals that seek to trade essential services for guaranteed corporate profits. The conference, sponsored by Public Services International (PSI), will look at how the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and other so-called “free” trade deals have increasingly rigged the system and threaten government services globally.
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