Genl. Sec.-Treas. Bob Clark has urged UE locals to act
quickly in opposition to renewed attempts by big business to enact legislation
that will ease the way for further U.S. manufacturing job loss.
The Clinton Administration is working with Congress on
legislation that would renew the president’s fast-track trade negotiating
authority without any linkage to workers’ rights or environmental
protection. (Fast track allows trade deals to be rushed through Congress
without amendment or little debate.)
The "NAFTA for Africa" bill (HR 434/S. 666), which
passed the House of Representatives in March of last year, is back before
Congress. The bill was reported out of the House Ways and Means Committee last
month. Also known as the African Growth and Opportunity Act, this legislation
would allow big business to develop a vast network of sweatshops in 48
sub-Saharan African countries at the cost of hundreds of thousands U.S.
Corporate lobbyists are also pushing expansion of the
Caribbean Basin Initiative (HR 984), which would send more U.S. factory jobs
to sweatshops offshore.