Oregon’s Unions Oppose Fast Track

As Congress prepares to consider Trade Promotion Authority, also known as Fast Track, workers and labor leaders from around the country, including Oregon, are in Washington, D.C. to meet with their representatives and urge them to oppose bad trade legislation that would hurt working families.

 “We are traveling to our nation’s capital today to tell Congress that Oregon cannot afford another fast tracked trade deal that undermines our labor, safety, and environmental protections. We have seen how our community has suffered in the past so we are urging Senator Wyden to stand with the working people he represents instead of the multinational corporations who will benefit from this legislation,” said Oregon AFL-CIO President Tom Chamberlain.

 Fast Track is a legislative procedure that forces Congress to give trade deals—negotiated in secret—an up or down vote. It bypasses standard Congressional rules that allow Members of Congress to offer amendments, removing the possibility of improving any provision of a trade deal that is bad for working people. The administration is heavily lobbying for Fast Track as it negotiates two major trade deals with countries across the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Congress is expected to consider Fast Track in the coming weeks.

On Monday, March 9th, the Oregon AFL-CIO, along with partner organizations in the fight for fair trade, will hold a rally at 5:30pm in Director Park in downtown Portland.   

“Every day, workers are struggling to scrape by and support their families. They need Congress to make investments in their communities that raise wages. They can’t afford for Congress to cede its constitutional authority over trade policy and pass Fast Track, which would outsource jobs and lower wages,” added President Chamberlain.