12 February 2007
U.S. and Korean Labor Unite to Protest Trade Agreement
Unions Call for End of Trade Agreements That Violate Workers’ Rights and
WASHINGTON, Feb. 12 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Leaders of labor
federations in the United States and Korea today joined forces to protest
the ongoing negotiations for the U.S.-Korea Free Trade agreement (KORUS
The leaders from Change to Win (CtW), the Korean Confederation of Trade
Unions (KCTU) and the Federation of Korean Trade Unions (FKTU) joined
together today at a rally in Washington, D.C. to voice their opposition to
the current form of the KORUS FTA, which follows the same failed NAFTA
"We cannot stand idly by and watch another trade agreement be passed
that violates workers’ rights and protections for the sole purpose of
allowing global corporations to profit at their expense," said Jim Hoffa,
Teamsters Union General President.
NAFTA’s negative impact, including the loss of more than 1 million jobs
and job opportunities in the U.S., and increasing downward pressure on both
U.S. and Mexican wages, is reason enough to stop passage of KORUS FTA. In
addition, economic problems in Korea have led to an increased speculative
investment and "jobless growth" and the proposed trade agreement could
accelerate and deepen these trends.
Fast-track presidential trade authority is at the core of the flawed
trade agreements that have been passed through Congress under the Bush
Administration. The current model has not worked and does not have
sufficient support in the new Democrat-controlled Congress.
The Teamsters will work to change the model, including how trade
agreements are negotiated, what criteria are met to ensure benefits for
American workers and businesses, and require Congress to vote before trade
pacts can be signed and finalized with other countries.
"It is time to end this cycle of free trade agreements that fail
workers in both countries it affects," Hoffa said. "We must not let the
KORUS FTA pass in its current form and this new Congress must change the
way these agreements are negotiated and approved."