Teamsters recognize pa. fair trade champions

May 10, 2010

Rally on Behalf of Legislation To Reform U.S. Trade Policy

PHILADELPHIA, May 10 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The Teamsters Union joined a rally today to support a bill requiring bad trade deals to be renegotiated and future trade deals to protect workers’ and citizens’ rights.

Today at the rally Sen. Arlen Specter announced his co-sponsorship of the bill, H.R. 3102, the Trade Reform, Accountability, Development and Employment (TRADE) Act. The bill is also co-sponsored by Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Casey and Reps. Jason Altmire, Robert Brady, Christopher Carney, Kathy Dahlkemper, Mike Doyle, Chaka Fattah, Paul Kanjorski and Patrick Murphy.

“The TRADE Act would rewrite the rules on global trade,” said Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa. “It would prevent agreements with countries that offer up their workers and their environment in exchange for investment deals that benefit a few of their richest citizens.”

Among other reforms, the bill aims to shrink the trade deficit with China, which has devastated Pennsylvania workers. Between 2001 and 2008, Pennsylvania lost 95,400 jobs to China alone.

“For too long, U.S. trade policy has been a disaster for workers and a tragedy for communities throughout Pennsylvania,” said William Hamilton, president of the Pennsylvania Conference of Teamsters and an International Vice President for the union. “The TRADE Act will help reverse some of the damage done by ill-conceived trade deals such as NAFTA, CAFTA and PNTR.”

“Sen. Specter’s support for trade reform is a major reason why Pennsylvania Teamsters endorsed him for re-election,” said Danny Grace, Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Local 830 in Philadelphia. “We have witnessed far too many plants and warehouses closed and work shipped to foreign countries. It’s high time we changed the way we do business with the rest of the world. We appreciate the leadership that the Pennsylvania Fair Trade Coalition has shown on this issue.”

Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.4 million hardworking men and women throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico, including 250,000 workers at UPS.

SOURCE International Brotherhood of Teamsters