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Michael E. Tigar, "Job Loss, the Clintons, NAFTA, and a New Progressive Labor Rights Agenda"

Started by Monthy Review, November 18, 2016, 11:00:42 pm

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Monthy Review

Michael E. Tigar, "Job Loss, the Clintons, NAFTA, and a New Progressive Labor Rights Agenda"

MRZineNow back to NAFTA, and to the workers who lost their jobs and who decided to flip the middle finger to the Clintons.  A disclaimer: there is nothing wrong with free trade.  The free movement of people and goods should be a part of any intelligent international policy.  But "free trade" has been a slogan applied to the machinations of industrial capital to drive down wages and erode working conditions.  NAFTA represents a neoliberal perversion of free trade.  Capital and industrial production move freely.  Standards for wages and working conditions do not move freely.  NAFTA has a toothless "side agreement" on labor rights.  Here is an excerpt from an official U.S. government report on that agreement: "[NAFTA's] companion 'side agreement,' the North American Agreement on Labor Cooperation . . . went into effect with NAFTA on January 1, 1994. . . . However, under NAALC, sanctions as an enforcement tool . . . are not applicable to three basic rights: the right to organize, bargain collectively, and strike." . . . As you can see, the non-enforcement relates to the most precious and historically effective weapons of workers -- the rights to organize, bargain, and strike. . . .  NAFTA is not only a single episode; it represents a paradigm of the transnational assault on worker rights.  The Clinton mantra was free trade and an open world.  The goal and purpose was otherwise.  We should not have been surprised.

Source: Michael E. Tigar, "Job Loss, the Clintons, NAFTA, and a New Progressive Labor Rights Agenda"