More than 40 North American labor unions file charges against North Carolina's anti-union policies

I have been following this story for a while at UnionReview, heres the original "North Carolina Violates NAFTA ?? - Right to Freely Associate/Organize/Bargain Collectively" from 11/08

North Carolina is guilty of breaking a NAFTA side agreement which covers labor rights. One of those rights is freedom to form a union. North Carolina has not been in compliance. Now 40+ labor groups in the continent have filed suit against the US and North Carolina.

The complaint charges that the state of North Carolina and the United States are violating the NAFTA, by denying 650,000 public employees the right to engage in collective bargaining.

From Canada's NUPGE - National Union of Public and General Employees (4/22/08):

Labour groups charge U.S. with violating NAFTA labour standards

NUPGE one of 40 Canadian, U.S., and Mexican labour bodies filing formal charge under side agreement to international trade deal

Ottawa (22 April 2008) – The 340,000-member National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE), along with more than 40 other labour organizations in Canada, the United States and Mexico, will file a charge Wednesday against the U.S. under the North American Agreement for Labour Cooperation (NAALC), the labour side agreement to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

The complaint will be lodged formally in Ottawa on Wednesday on behalf of the labour groups by members of the Canadian Association of Labour Lawyers /Association canadienne des avocats du mouvement syndical (CALL/ACAMS). (Participating organizations are listed below.)

James Clancy

The complaint charges that the state of North Carolina and the United States are violating the NAALC by denying 650,000 public employees the right to engage in collective bargaining.

The agreement requires the United States, Mexico and Canada to provide for “high labour standards” in their laws, and lists freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining among its core principles.

Labour ministers meeting

The complaint is being filed on the eve of a high-level political meeting in Ottawa between the labour ministers for the three countries. Members of the CALL/ACAMS will deliver the message personally to the ministers when they gather in Ottawa on Thursday April 24 for a luncheon to discuss the NAALC.

Susan Philpott, an executive board member of CALL/ACAMS, says all three NAFTA countries must take the complaint seriously.

“It is deeply troubling that the U.S. is willfully violating NAFTA labour standards,” says Philpott. “The Canadian government must seek to ensure its fellow NAFTA members honour their commitments and the rule of law, otherwise the integrity of NAFTA and the NAALC will be seriously compromised.”

NUPGE national president James Clancy is calling on Canada’s Labour Minister to step in personally and to forcefully remind his U.S. counterpart of their obligations under NAFTA.

“The government of North Carolina is trampling on NAFTA labour standards which Canada, the U.S and Mexico are obliged to respect and uphold,” says Clancy. “The Canadian government can’t turn a blind eye to such flagrant abuses. Canada must respond vigorously and at the highest levels.”

The North Carolina public employees are represented by the North Carolina Public Service Workers Union. The union, Local 150 of the United Electrical, Radio & Machine Workers of America (UE), represents state and municipal employees across North Carolina. It has been pressuring the North Carolina government to respect workers’ human rights and allow public employees to bargain collectively.

'International disgrace'

Local 150 President Angaza Laughinghouse has expressed his union’s gratitude for the showing of international support.

“We are very pleased with the solidarity being extended to North Carolina public employees by unions from across the three NAFTA countries and around the globe. This shows that North Carolina’s continued denial of basic worker rights is an international disgrace. It’s an injustice and an embarrassment to this state that our elected officials must correct,” he said.

The NAALC complaint is being filed with the National Administrative Office (NAO) within Canada’s federal ministry of labour. Under NAFTA’s terms, the U.S., Canada and Mexico each established an NAO to act on complaints of violations of the NAALC.

The petitioners are asking the Canadian NAO to investigate North Carolina’s labour rights violations, and issue a report and recommendations for action. The actions requested by the labour organizations include North Carolina immediately repealing General Statute 95-98, replacing it with legislation that will guarantee public sector workers the right to organize, bargain collectively, and full freedom of association.

A similar complaint regarding the North Carolina bargaining ban was filed in October 2006 by a Mexican union, the Frente Auténtico del Trabajo (Authentic Labour Front or FAT) along with 53 other labour organizations, mostly from Mexico, the U.S. and Canada.

In October 2007 Mexico’s NAO accepted the complaint and launched an investigation. Mexico and Canada are North Carolina’s largest international trading partners. North Carolina’s combined annual exports to Canada and Mexico total $6.5 billion. NUPGE

Check out the NUPGE site to read more, and view a list of organizations involved in the suit

2 comments:

BlueBerry Pick'n said...

Amazing that people can't seem to see...

that the *union* is our path to reclaiming humanist changes in domestic & foreign policies...

...& for bringing trans-national corporations into *domestic* controls...

In Toronto, the transit union is striking.

But the *membership* goes out of its way to be barely tolerable to the average rider.

The outshot? that the Toronto Transit union membership actually *shoots themselves in the foot* by popularizing the belief that unions screw over the Public.

BEST YET?

The freaking UNION membership is demanding TASERS.

you heard me. The union membership wants the ability to tase members of the general public.

Oh yeah, this is going somewhere bad in a hurry.

Worst? The Mayor *was* union.

Somehow... someone has convinced the Toronto Transit union that the PUBLIC is the enemy... while the PUBLIC has been convinced by the drivers that nobody gives a damn about the individual rider.

*voila*
everybody has been

& the cops get to say, "gee, tasers aren't that bad, look! even the TTC gets to use them!"

BUT WAIT! TaserCorp LOVES us!!
"The Drive to Remember" is a TaserCorp-INITIATED & SPONSORED 'drive-by' promotional supporting tasers for municipal officers.

I kid you not:
TaserCorp is driving a freaking HUMMER, plastered with 'pro-police' emotion tugging propaganda across Canada & the USA ... to convince us that TASER CORP LOVES YOU... & that TASER CORP takes care of you...
I think cops are great.
but I dislike the idea that tasers are harmless & should be promoted in my country.

& I dislike corporate propaganda that sells such military weaponry to my DOMESTIC COMMUNITY PEACE OFFICER who is gonna yank it out the first time their pulse races.

gee... I wonder if their executives tase their children into compliance?

But wait!

tasers aren't painful! really, they aren't. all those people who DIE from them, or experience seizures, immobility or as on 17 year old girl who was tasered in her BEDROOM described "your body burns like an open wound"...

if the Mountie Commissioner gets a 'planned tasering' ... its doesn't knock you off your feet.
doesn't muss your shirt.
it doesn't really hurt AT ALL
!


~~~
Spread Love...

BlueBerry Pick'n
can be found @
ThisCanadian com
~~~
"We, two, form a Multitude" ~ Ovid.
~~~
"Silent Freedom is Freedom Silenced"
"do no harm"

Joe638NYC said...

Wow, thank you BlueBerry Pick'n, for your very informational comment, it actually deserves a story or two of it's own. I'll keep an eye out on your blog, or contact me if you want something added here.

*shooting ourselves in the foot isn't the answer ever

Joe

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