No Labor Rights Protections Harm Exports, Too
Representative Sander Levin, Chairperson of the
At the National Press Club, Levin said:
I want to say a word about
Colombia….With and this was the battle we had over CAFTA. Latin American countries in too many cases, essentially, have these deep disparities in terms of income and opportunity. You can't grow middle classes under those circumstances. Middle classes are the ones who buy our goods basically. Colombia
So there's a basic point in worker rights and environmental issues, worker rights, it's not because anybody is standing up for any particular interest group in this country. We're standing up for our businesses and workers and for the workers in other countries who need to be part of the mix in order to buy our goods….
I went onto
Colombiamyself as I did when I went to myself, went to the CAFTA countries myself to see firsthand what the conditions were. China
I met with people who work in the sugar industry. There, essentially workers are totally deprived of their ability to be participants and have a say. They've set up these so-called cooperatives that are essentially dummy outfits and workers go from cooperative to cooperative being paid for by some entity, unable to be able to be a major part of the economy. That has to be fixed for their good and our good.
I fully understand the importance of opening up the Colombian market. I fully understand that for our workers, our businesses and workers. But we need to have trade agreements that essentially reflect our values and in the case of workers, basic international labor values.
Rep. Levin is right to be deeply concerned about the
Another way of looking at inequality in
By not protecting workers’ rights and allowing the violent suppression
of unions, the government of