Weekly Update: A Gold Standard?

A Gold Standard?
New Report on TPP Labor Provisions says otherwise.

Earlier this week, Cathy Feingold, AFL-CIO Director of International Affairs and Celeste Drake, AFL-CIO Trade Policy Specialist, discussed a new report on the lack of adequate labor rights provisions in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

“Calling the TPP’s labor rights provisions a gold standard is a mirage,” said Drake. “We know from experience that the discretionary dispute settlement model does not work for vulnerable workers, and the highly touted ‘new’ labor provisions do not provide meaningful new protections for abused and exploited workers.”

Feingold also talked about the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit that President Obama is hosting and the TPP implications.

“The consistency plans fall woefully short of ensuring that all 12 TPP countries will be in full compliance with the TPP’s labor standard on Day One of the agreement,” said Feingold. “Vietnam will get a five-year free pass to deny freedom of association and there is no plan for Mexico at all. This problem would be compounded if countries such as Thailand and Cambodia join the TPP without first affording all of their workers fundamental worker rights and acceptable conditions of work.”

Click here to read the report, and click here to send a letter to Congress demanding fair trade policies that put working people ahead, instead of shipping our jobs overseas. It only takes a few minutes to send your letter!


Minimum Wage Legislation Moves to
Oregon House of Representatives

Tomorrow, Oregon’s House of Representatives votes whether or not to raise Oregon’s minimum wage. Working people in Oregon will be positively impacted in many ways by a minimum wage increase, and one of the most important issues facing families statewide is hunger.

Many Oregonians work hard every day, but still have to rely on public assistance and food pantries to feed their families. In fact, nearly half of the families that go to a statewide Oregon Food Bank Network agency have an adult in the household who is working but who clearly does not earn enough wages. On average, the statewide Oregon Food Bank Network serves 260,000 people per month. These are the folks caring for our relatives, maintaining our buildings, and serving our meals, and they deserve to be paid a fair wage that allows them to afford the basics.

Raising Oregon’s minimum wage means recognizing that all Oregonians deserve to earn a living wage that allows them to provide for their families, no matter how old they are, where they live, or what industry they work in.

Are you ready to speak up? Click here to tell your State Representative that it’s time for Oregon to raise the minimum wage.


The Passing of Supreme Court Justice Scalia

By now you’ve probably heard the news of Supreme Court Justice Scalia’s passing. Across the country, unions are trying to understand the exact impact that Justice Scalia's death will have on cases currently before the Court, especially Friedrichs V. California Teachers Association.


There’s a lot of speculation and analysis of what happens next, both to cases currently before the court and about who will replace Justice Scalia. Here is a roundup of the latest news regarding the Supreme Court: