Video: Trans - Pacific Partnership Rally and Road Trip
Rally in Portland Oregon protesting the Trans Pacific Partnership, (TPP) a massive new international trade and investment pact being pushed by the U.S. government at the behest of transnational corporations, meeting in secrecy and refusing to release any of the negotiating documents.|
Trans-Pacific Partnership Rally
Organized by Oregon Fair Trade Campaign, a local chapter of Citizens Trade Campaign, as part of a national action protesting the TPP meeting in San Diego California, during the week of July 2nd 2012.|
The Rally began at Pioneer Square in downtown Portland before traveling to three of the main U.S. corporations involved in the Partnership.
Following introductory remarks by Elizabeth Swager of Oregon Free Trade Campaign, the gathering marched a few blocks to Verizon, where Madelyn Elder, President of Local 7901 of the Communications Workers of America addressed the crowd regarding the anti union behavior of Verizon.
"Verizon wants to send all of it's call center works to the Philippines, technical work, sales work, whatever. The union has given Verizon alternatives to outsourcing, and they don't care. What does this do? It shuts down call centers, putting 100's of people on unemployment, and soon, out of their homes.
"The ripple effect of sending these jobs overseas is that the community surrounding these workers, which is already depressed, gets even worse."
Following further remarks by Elder, the gathering drove out to FedEx on Barbur Boulevard for a few words from Ben Vedus, Business Agent for Teamsters, Local 162. This local represents the UPS workers in the Portland Metropolitan area, presently with about 1800 members.
Ben details predatory business practices of FedEx, one of the official advisers for the TPP negotiations.
According to Vedus, workers at UPS fall under the National Labor Relations Act, (NLRA) while FedEx employees continue to fall under the Railway Labor Act, which means that FedEx employees can only become union with a national vote by every employee.
"Under the NLRA, employees can decide on a terminal by terminal basis, which would allow us to organize the big areas first and then filter out to the smaller ones once we have a contract."
"This ability to organize by area is what the company fears most, and this difference is what enables them to keep a leg up on the competition."
Next, the group traveled to southeast Portland to a newly remodeled Walmart. Arriving late, I missed most of the talk given by Bob Marshall United Food and Commercial Workers, Local 555.
Talking about Walmart here in the Portland/Vancouver area, Bob says that "they're planning 17 stores, 12 of which have already been occupied."
One of these locations is the old GI Joe's on McLoughlin Blvd. where there is an upcoming rally this Saturday, July 14th at 12:00 noon. Information about this resistance can be found at No Oak Grove Walmart
The corporations supporting and cheering the TPP include a who's who of the 1%: Citigroup, JPMortan Chase, Wal-Mart, Newscorp, GE and Halliburton, and they are not at all interested in how this Trade Agreement will affect the other 99%, and any local labor or environmental regulations.
For reports on the action in San Diego, or to join in opposing this Free Trade Agreement, go to Oregon Free Trade Campaign
contribute to this article
add comment to discussion