US union heads meet with Trump over NAFTA
28 August 2018
Leaders of major US unions met with President Donald Trump last week to discuss terms of the renegotiated North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). A new trade pact solely with Mexico was announced by the Trump administration on Monday. The meeting with labor officials last week demonstrated the reactionary alignment of the unions with the “American First” nationalism of the White House.
A statement by AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka issued in advance of the meeting began by praising Trump. “From what we have seen up to this point,” the AFL- CIO chief declared, “it is clear that this administration has made some progress, yet there is more that must be done.” Trumka continued, “We are meeting with the president to reaffirm what a good deal for working people really looks like, starting with strong workers’ rights backed up by effective enforcement tools unlike those that have failed in the past and led to the unrelenting outsourcing of work to Mexico…”
The talk of “workers’ rights” is a cover for the anti-immigrant and nationalist program of the trade union bureaucracy. The new trade deal is aimed at giving US corporations even greater advantage and extracting concessions from Mexico and America’s other trade rivals. It will not lead to any lessening of the war on jobs and living standards of workers in the US, Mexico or any other country but an escalation of that war.
Far from defending workers’ rights, the unions have spent decades colluding with corporate America to destroy them. In the face of the globalization of capitalist production in the 1970s and 1980s, the nationalist and pro-capitalist unions abandoned any resistance to the employers and in the name of…