Global Plague Global Plague Global Plague Global Plague Nadir

Document Sample
Global Plague Global Plague Global Plague Global Plague Nadir Powered By Docstoc
					       May 1999
                         The morning NAFTA
                           Labour's Voice on Economic Integration                                Issue No. 14



Global Plague
We’re sorry, really!
      sorry,
Canada is the first NAFTA country to
pay off a foreign investor
(Virginia-based Ethyl Corp.) and
apologize for legislation protecting health.
Three more US corporations are lining up
demanding over $200 million because of NAFTA’s
Chapter 11, the investment chapter.

Cease and desist
Canada has become an international trade

                                                                          Catastrophically low commodity
criminal at the World Trade Organization. Meeting behind closed
doors, WTO trade dispute panels have ruled that Canada is                        prices have demolished Canadian
illegal on magazine rules, illegal on dairy marketing, illegal on         regional economies, farm incomes, the
aerospace research and development support, and illegal on a
                                                                          forestry sector, petroleum industry, and
billion dollar export-supporting Canada Account.
                                                                          fishery communities. In the post-Asia crisis
Bullying with $4 billion                                                  era, low prices for Canada’s resource
Canada’s major trading partner, the US, has threatened a                  exports is keeping the looney at its lowest
$4 billion trade war against Canada’s steel, lumber, plastics and         levels in years. Relief is not just around the
other industries in retaliation for Canada’s magazine policy,             corner. The World Bank expects that real
exposing NAFTA’s so called “cultural exemption” as a fake.                commodity prices in the year 2010 will be
                                                                          below 1997 levels due to more rapid
Time-bomb Ticking
          Ticking                                                         increase in supply than in demand.
Canadian water exports are a political time-bomb if NAFTA’s                      Canadians’ disposable income in 1996
“national treatment” kicks in.                                            was lower than in 1981. The richest
                                                                          10 percent of Canadian families make
Sucking up to Suharto                                                     314 times the bottom 10 percent.
The “Pepper spray” scandal at Vancouver’s 1997 APEC Summit                       The Trade Department won’t admit it
links police repression of student protestors to Canada’s futile          publicly, but Canada hasn’t been doing too
attempts to protect trade with Indonesian dictator Suharto a few          well in the global economy. Canada’s share
months before he was overthrown by his own people.                        of total global foreign investment dropped
                                                                          from 11 percent in 1980 to 4 percent in 1997.
Boycott busybody                                                          A 1997 Industry Canada discussion paper
Local communities in the US tried to ban procurement from                 bluntly stated: “Canada has lost its position
companies dealing with repressive Myanmar (formerly Burma).               as one of the world’s most important host
They were ruled unconstitutional because of the federal                   economies."                 (continued on page 2)
government's commitments under the WTO.
                           A regular update on the impact of the North American Free Trade Agreement,
                                        produced by the Canadian Labour Congress.
                                                       opeiu 225
                                                                   NAFTA's
                                                           No more NAFTA's
                                                           No more MAI's
                                                                   WTO's
                                                           No more WTO's

                                                          And now for something
                                                          completely d i f f e r e n t

                                                   M
   (continued from page 1)                                   eeting in Costa Rica in March, trade
         Faced with shrinking global market                       unions, farmers organizations, networks of
  share and heavy dependence on the US             NGOs and social movements from all over the Americas
  market,Canada initiated an aggressive            reconfirmed our commitment to fight for a fair trade deal for the
  program to expand trade and investment           western hemisphere. Calling ourselves the Hemispheric Social
  ties with emerging markets of Latin              Alliance, trade unions affiliated to ORIT (the Inter-american
  America and Asia in 1992. Five flashy            Regional Workers Organization), representatives of the
  Team Canada sales missions, personally           International Trade Secretariats and social groups from the
  led by the Prime Minister have become the        NAFTA countries, Central America, and the Mercosur and
  hallmark of Canadian trade policy.               Andean Regions, agreed that a NAFTA or MAI-type agreement
         Dictatorship regimes, such as China       in the Americas would spell disaster.
  and Indonesia, have become sought-after                  Just look at the impacts of NAFTA-style free trade on
  trading and investment partners in order to      trade unions, jobs, and living standards in North America.
  lessen dependence on the US market.              Southern countries, also, are suffering from corporate
                                                   restructuring, massive unemployment, growing poverty,
                                                   inequality and exclusion from the political process. An FTAA
  Undaunted                                        modeled on NAFTA and the MAI will only lock in these anti-
                                                   democratic policies, further reduce the role of elected
          Just whisper “trade obligations” to      governments and hand over more power to large
  policy-makers on the hill. Watch the big         multinationals. This is not a formula for development.
  chill freeze new initiatives on                          The Costa Rica meeting was a bridge between the
  environmental regulation, corporate              Peoples’ Summit of the Americas held in Santiago, Chile in
  accountability, culture or water policy.         April, 1998 and the next FTAA trade ministers meeting in
  Undaunted by trade scandals occupying            Toronto in November, 1999.
  Canadian headlines, Ottawa’s free                        Recognizing that it is not enough only “to oppose, to
  traders seem determined to push ahead
                                                   resist, and to criticize,” the Peoples’ Summit produced
  on more liberalization with new agendas
                                                   Alternatives for the Americas, a “working document” of
  on agriculture, services and investment
  in the “millennium round” to be                  innovative ways to conceive of trade and development. The
  launched at a WTO Summit in Seattle in           Hemispheric Social Alliance endorsed Alternatives for the
  November. Canada is also chairing                Americas as our platform for changing the integration model.
  negotiations for a NAFTA-like                    “Put democracy and development at the core of the trade
  hemispheric free trade agreement —               agreement,” says ORIT President Dick Martin, “then we’ll have
  the Free Trade Area of the Americas, or          something to talk about.”
  FTAA — involving 34 countries from                       (Alternatives for the Americas is available from Common
  the Arctic to the Antarctic.                     Frontiers, 416-443-9244,or http://www.web.net.comfront)
                       ((c (continued on page 8)




The morning NAFTA, page 2
Lined up at the                                                    Why do they think the
         trough
Canadian trough for                            Canadian treasury will hand them millions?
                 far,
    a payout, so far,
                                                                            All because...
     are these
     are
      companies



Ethyl Corp. of
                         Canada Blinked
Virginia — received
                                                                 ... How many more pay-outs?



                         P
$19 million when
Canada tried to ban              arliament banned the import and interprovincial trade
the use of MMT, a                of a noxious gas additive, called MMT. Canada’s law-makers
harmful manganese-                said they were not sure about its effects on human health.
based gasoline           U.S.-based Ethyl Corp., the sole producer of MMT, sued the feds for
additive.                $350 million claiming that the feds “expropriated” Ethyl's Canadian
                         earnings by not allowing them to sell MMT. They also said that, by
         ²




                         signing NAFTA, the feds had agreed not to “discriminate” against any
 S. D. Myers
                         North American company.
 of Ohio — is                  Rather than risk losing, the federal government backed down
 claiming $20            even before the case could be heard by a secret NAFTA arbitration
 million, because a      panel. The feds paid Ethyl $20 million in an out-of-court settlement in
 federal law banned      July 1998. The government apologized to the company and publicly
 the export of           announced that MMT was not a proven danger to human health. In
 Canadian toxic          other words, a Virginia company overturned a Canadian health
 polychlorinated         regulation. Canada blinked and now there are at least three more
 biphenyl (PCB)          companies clamoring for Canadian taxpayers dollars.
 waste.
                         NAFTA’s Chapter 11, the Investment Chapter
                         NAFTA’s         11,
         ²




Pope &
Talbot of                n    gives corporations a form of veto power over national public
Oregon— is                    policy;
 demanding $30           n    obliges governments to protect foreign companies’ profits
 million due to a             before they protect their citizens (this is called national treatment).
 softwood lumber         n    gives the company (investor) the right to sue the government
                              (state) in an investor-state dispute if national legislation causes
 quota implemented
                              any loss of profits (this is called expropriation);
 in four of Canada’s
                         n    a secret panel of trade experts hears the case and the decision
 ten provinces.
                              is binding (rather than the case being heard in a Canadian court
        ²
        ²
        ²
        ²
        ²




                              where a judge can balance corporate property rights with the
           Water
Sun Belt Water                public interest);
                         n    claims go before an arbitration panel set up under the
Inc. of California
                              International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes, a
— is seeking $220
                              Washington-based unit of the World Bank.                   (continued on page 4)
million because the
B.C. government          x     Environment Canada Budget for
stopped the export of          Program Enforcement and Compliance -       $16.9 million
billions of gallons of   x     Federal Government payout to Ethyl Corp. - $19.5 million
fresh water to the US.
                         For more information, see Intervenor, vol. 23, No. 3, July-Sept/98 published
                         by the Canadian Environmental Law Association.
                                                                         The morning NAFTA, page 3
                          Just the beginning
(Chapter 11, continued)




                                                                          US and Mexico, labour, environmental and
                                                                          other public interest organizations have
                                  A Canadian funeral company,             voiced their concerns over MAI and
                          Loewen Group Inc. is using another part of      NAFTA provisions which give new rights to
                          NAFTA’s chapter 11 to recoup heavy              corporations and which potentially limit
                          losses due to a civil case in Mississippi.      legitimate government activity in the public
                          The firm almost went bankrupt when a            interest.”
                          state court awarded an adversary half a
                          billion dollars in a minor contract squabble.
                          Loewen wants the US federal government
                                                                          Watch out, more coming
                          to be accountable for the actions of the                Can a local government set
                          state of Mississippi.                           selective purchasing laws such as “buy
                                  The Mexican government is also          local”, “boycott repressive regimes”, or
                          facing four investor-state challenges.          “recycled-content requirements”? Not
                                                                          according to a US federal judge who
                                                                          overturned a Massachusetts law
                          Can’t tinker                                    forbidding the state to purchase from
                                  Concerned about the potential           companies involved in Myanmar. Local
                          deluge of public payouts to companies that      communities wanted to make a statement
                          don’t like Canadian laws, Minister Marchi       about that country’s dismal human rights
                          says he wants his NAFTA colleagues to           record and repressive military regime,
                          attach a note to Chapter 11 to redefine         formerly known as SLORC.
                          exactly what “expropriation” means. The                 The EU, backed by Japan and the
                          Mexican government is, so far, not              Association of Southeast Asian Nations,
                          interested in talking.                          used the WTO system to attack the statute
                                  CLC’s President Bob White recently      because their companies also invest in
                          wrote Trade Minister Sergio Marchi saying       Myanmar and would be effected if such a
                          not to bother with a stop-gap measure.          ban were to be allowed. Another score for
                          “Chapter 11 should be re-opened to              the corporations. Another loss for local
                          remedy fundamental defects. In both the         power and good governance.




The morning NAFTA, page 4
.
                          Once              upon a time...
Just the facts.....
       In 1998 Canada spent $4.1 billion on
“cultural products” from the US. Canada sold
$1.3 billion worth of “cultural products” to the
US.
       Magazine advertising is an important
factor in the survival of the Canadian magazine
industry. Canadian magazine advertising is
estimated at $400 million a year.

Use it and you’ll lose it
                                                     True
                                                   A True Canadian Story
F     For 30 years, Canada has used tariffs
      (customs duties), postal subsidies and               Sports Illustrated started crossing the Canadian
      (lately) excise taxes to help build up its   border through cyber-space in 1997.
      magazine industry in the shadow of                   They sold space to Canadian advertisers in their
      American giants such as Newsweek and         US magazine and distributed their split-run in Canada.
      Sports Illustrated.                          Canada levied a special excise tax on the distribution of
                                                   split run magazines because there was little Canadian
F     The 1988 Canada-US Free Trade                content.
      Agreement allowed Canada to keep the                 US Trade officials furiously denounced Canada at
      postal subsidy and the tariff under a        the World Trade Organization (WTO). The WTO told
      “cultural exemption”.                        Canada both the tariff and the excise tax were illegal
                                                   under WTO rules.
F     Canadian negotiators claimed they kept               Canada’s Heritage Minister designed Bill C-55, a
      the “cultural exemption” in the 1994 North   new law making it illegal for a foreign magazine publisher
      American FreeTrade Agreement                 to sell advertising in its Canadian edition to any company
      (NAFTA). But NAFTA gave the US the           in this country. Any publisher who breaks the law will
      right to retaliate if Canada uses the        face fines of up to $250,000. Because the new law was
      cultural exemption to protect its cultural   about advertising (a service), not about magazines (a
      industries. Washington can determine how     product), the minister claimed it would be both NAFTA-
      much damage the Canadian actions             proof and WTO-proof. That is what she thought!
      cause US companies and retaliate with                The US Trade Secretary threatened retaliation
      measures that would result in the same       with a $4 billion trade war on industries that have nothing
      degree of economic damage to                 to do with magazines such as steel, plastics, wood and
      Canada.                                      clothing industries. These were cleverly selected

                                                                                                  (continued on page 6)


                                                                                The morning NAFTA, page 5
  Once
     upon a time...
  because they are located in the electoral ridings of both   depend on the US entertainment industry to dominate
  the Canadian Trade and Heritage ministers.                  what others call "culture" around the world.
          Meanwhile, back at the Parliament, Time Warner
  and Hearst International, two US mega companies,                   On advice from the Trade Department,
  were, reportedly, producing speech material for the         Bill C-55 was amended so that it can only be triggered
  opposition Reform Party.                                    by a Cabinet decision. In the meantime, policy-makers
          Hollywood giants, like the Walt Disney Co., Time    are hoping to sign a “peace treaty” with the US.
  Warner Inc. and Microsoft Corp. are pushing to “draw a             The moral of this story is: “Don’t put your nation’s
  line in the Canadian sand” to stop cultural                 culture into a free trade agreement with the mighty US
  independence from spreading. After all, they do             government.”




      Will NAFTA
      Drink Canada Dry                                 ?
  I
    f a NAFTA country exports water, even just a little, then water becomes a commodity and is treated like any
    other product. Once the water export tap is turned on, NAFTA makes it illegal to turn it off. One US company,
     SunBelt Water Inc. of California, is already suing the Canadian government for $220 million arguing that they
  have lost business from a moratorium on the sale of water from British Columbia. NAFTA has made exporting
                                      Watch
                                         atch,
  water a political time bomb. Water Watch, a common front to protect Canada's water.



  Water Watch Targets
        Watch                             For years, the Canadian                  Governments are facing
                                          government has promised to               enormous pressure to privatize
                                          protect our water. Now Water             water and water services. The
  s      No water exports                 Watch wants to see some                  first step in most privatized
                                          action. For example:                     water utilities is to get rid of
                                                                                   unionized workers, downsize
  s      No privatization                 t     federal legislation banning        and raise rates.
         of Municipal                           large scale water exports;
         Water Services                                                            Water Watch insists that
                                          t     ensuring that trade and            governments maintain
  s      Promote water                          investment agreements,             common ownership of water as
         conservation,                          such as NAFTA and the              a sustainable public resource.
         protection of                          proposed MAI, do not
                                                threaten Canada’s water.           For more information, contact:
         water quality                                                             The Canadian Union of Public
         and healthy                                                               Employees (613-237-1590), the
                                                                                   Canadian Environmental Law
         aquatic                                                                   Association (416-960-2284)
         ecosystems                                                                or the Council of Canadians
                                                                                   (613-233-2773).




The morning NAFTA, page 6
Brazil Bashing
  Population:         163 million people
                                                                With the country’s coffers ransacked, the IMF
  GNP: US$773 billion in 1997, is                        and the US Treasury are loaning the money back to
             half of all of Latin America’s.             Brazil in order to pay the interest on its debt.

  l     Half of the nation’s wealth is                   From Bad to Worse
                                                         From        Worse
         owned by the top 10 percent
        of the population.                                      Already facing the highest unemployment rates
  l     32 million people live below the                 in decades, the IMF demanded: that Brazil design
         poverty line.                                   massive austerity measures; lay-offs of federal
  l     Over half of all workers are in the              government employees; higher taxes; and the curbing
        “informal sector” with no access to              transfer payments to state governments. It also
        social security or social programs.              forbade Brazil from raising tariffs as a source of
                                                         revenue and demanded that it speed up its program
                                                         of privatization of public utilities and state-owned
                                                         companies.
              Vortex
In the Global Vortex
                                                                  cards
                                                         House of cards


C
         aught in the global vortex is Brazil,
         second largest economy in the                          That was the situation before Christmas.
         Americas (after the US). On September 11,       Shortly after the New Year a renegade state governor
1998 alone, $1.7 billion left the country. Then,         (and ex-President of the country), Itamar Franco,
capital flight averaged $400 million a day throughout    announced he was bankrupt. The Central Bank
October. Coffee prices (a major export) are down         capitulated, the currency devaluated and continued to
44 percent. So are prices of other major exports.        flee.
Most of the Fortune 500 companies are in Brazil—                Now Brazilian workers have joined their
until recently the “darling of emerging markets”. With   brothers and sisters from South Korea, Thailand,
profits and stock prices of multinational companies      Mexico, Russia, Indonesia and other citizens of
and banks in danger, the International Monetary          “emerging markets”. The country is in shock, the
Fund and the US Treasury jumped in to “bail out”         value of its currency reduced by almost half . The
the nearly bankrupt Brazilian government.                IMF and international financiers, left to put the pieces
                                                         back together have tightened the screws demanding
Panic, Investor Panic                                    a steep recession which will mean a probable decline
                                                         in GDP of 3.5 to 4 percent. Many are holding their
        Raising short-term interest rates to a           breath to see if the pain will lead to eventual gain.
whopping 50 percent didn’t stop the bleeding,                   In a move that seemed so symbolic of Brazil’s
but it did:                                              submission to the global market, President Cardoso
                                                         named a former aid to international multi-billion dollar
q       add a whopping $5 billion a month in             financier, George Soros, to head the Brazilian Central
                                                         Bank. “The fox in charge of the hen-house” cried the
        interest payments on the debt;
                                                         opposition. Yes, and the golden egg is more elusive
q       empty out factories and shopping malls as
                                                         than ever.
        credit became scarce.


                                                                                    The morning NAFTA, page 7
  Undaunted
 c (cont'd from page 2)
                                             to be a business executive,           and provincial trade officials in
                The Parliamentary
                                             preferably one that exports.          February in Ottawa. While
        Standing Committee on
                                             The Trade Department is               paying lip service to the need for
        Foreign Affairs and
                                             working closely with business         public consultation on trade and
        International Trade, and Sub-
                                             on a hemispheric Business             investment issues, the old one-
        Committee on Trade and Trade
                                             Forum just before the next            sided, biased, pro-business
        Disputes is holding cross-
                                             FTAA ministers meeting in             approach is the one that still
        country hearings this spring.
                                             November in Toronto. The              counts.
        This will be an opportunity for
                                             Business Forum’s role is to
        civil society organizations,
                                             promote business interests in
        unions, social groups, and
                                             the new trade agreement. The
        businesses to say what they
                                             minister also meets regularly
        think about globalization and
                                             with advisors from national
        free trade. Groups can also
                                             business groups such as the
        mail in a brief to the Trade
                                             Alliance of Manufacturers and
        Department.
                                             Exporters of Canada, the
                                             Business Council on National
        Buddy buddy                          Issues and the Canadian
                                             Chamber of Commerce.
               If you want a direct line     These groups were invited to
        to the Trade Minister, you have      speak on a panel to federal




        New architecture
        in MERCOSUR
        A
               fter years of fighting for           The Declaration resembles          Trillion
                                                                                    $9 Trillion Market
               labour rights in their free   the NAFTA side deal by obliging
               trade agreement , the         governments to promote a series of            While the talks for the
        Southern Cone Trade Union            labour principles and ensure that      FTAA have stalled due to the
        Coordination(CSCS) made some         their domestic labour laws are         US lack of fast track negotiating
        headway last December. That is       enforced. But it differs from NAFTA    power, Mercosur and the
        when the Presidents of the four      by building a new tripartite           European Union will begin talks
        countries making up the              Commission of government,              in June to set up a trans-
        Southern Cone Common Market          business and trade unions              Atlantic super-bloc. The EU-
        (MERCOSUR) signed a new              internally into the architecture of    Mercosur free trade zone will
        Social/Labour Declaration.           the trade agreement. CLC               be the world’s biggest, larger
        Union representatives had            Secretary Treasurer Dick Martin        than the proposed FTAA. The
        negotiated the terms of the          notes, “This Commission gives          new free trade zone will have a
        agreement with government            unions a direct role in monitoring     total gross national product of
        representatives of a                 labour rights in the MERCOSUR          US$9 trillion of which
        MERCOSUR Working Group on            countries. This doesn’t exist in       Mercosur’s share is
        Labour Relations.                    NAFTA”.                                US$1.2 trillion.



The morning NAFTA, page 8                                                                                       opeiu225
NAFTA                                                                               Help
                                                                                    Hindrance?




                                                                               or
Side Dealing:                                               ™ When a company unilaterally
                                                            declares a Code of Conduct that
                                                            doesn’t include labour rights and has
                      Tested
Canadian Jurisdiction Tested                                no monitoring or verification
                                                            component, it can do more damage
Labour groups submitted the first two NAFTA side deal
                                                            than good d.
cases on labour rights violations in a Canadian             CLC Executive Vice-President Jean Claude Parrot
jurisdiction to the US NAO in December.
                                                                     Having a Code of Conduct didn’t stop
JusticeDelayed.....                                         shirt-maker Phillip Van Heusen (PVH) from
                                                            firing, en masse, the Guatemalan maquila
The good news was that the Canadian Teamsters were          workers in the only unionized shop in
certified to represent employees at the St. Hubert          Central America right before Christmas.
McDonald’s restaurant in Montreal in late 1997. The         Being a member of the US Apparel Industry
bad news was that its owner announced the closing of        Initiative (AIP), a US task force on
the restaurant a few days earlier. When businesses in       sweatshops convened by the White House
Quebec shut down to crush an organizing drive, unions       last year didn't stop PVH either. This was
have no recourse under Quebec’s current labour code.        the message brought by Neil Kearney,
The Teamsters and the Quebec Federation of Labour’s         General Secretary of the International
complaint under the NAFTA labour side deal                  Textile, Garment and Leather Workers
denounces this problem as well as unwarranted delays        Federation (an international sectoral labour
in certification procedures. Since Quebec has since         organization). Kearney was a speaker at
announced changes to its labour code, the case will         Commerce with Conscience, a one day
likely not proceed to a hearing.                            conference of labour groups, NGOs,
                                                            business and government representatives
Through rain and wind....but no union                       interested in mechanisms which could end
                                                            sweatshop conditions in production facilities
Rural postal carriers in Canada are not allowed to join a   around the world.
union because the Canada Post Corporation Act                        Meanwhile, Canada’s Department of
excludes them as employees eligible to bargain              Foreign Affairs has promised it will announce
collectively. A December submission to the US NAO,          in early spring, the name of a facilitator to
led by the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW),         steer a National Task Force composed of
claimed that the Canadian government’s refusal to           business, labour, NGOs and churches to
repeal this clause means that it is not enforcing the       look at these questions. That is when
labour side deal.                                           discussions will begin to determine what
                                                            sectors a Task Force will cover and what
The US labour office (NAO) didn’t bother to tell the        kind of Code of Conduct should be designed
union that it had received information from the             or adopted.
Canadian government (the employer). And the NAO
refused to review the case. The CLC and CUPW have           For more information see Maquila Network Update,
asked the NAO to reconsider their decision.                 newsletter of the Maquila Solidarity Network,
                                                            http://www.web.net/-msn

Help or hindrance?
                                                                                 The morning NAFTA, page 9
Here, eat this!       They are called Frankenstein Foods. They are
              genetically altered and nobody knows their effect on human
              health. But we do know that biotechnology multinationals
              are earning lots of profit from them. The corporations don’t
              want to label bioengineered products. And they are getting
              their own way.
                      “Disgraceful”. That is what environmentalists called
              Canada’s trashing of a biosafety agreement agreed to by
              125 other countries in Colombia in February. Canadian
              officials opposed requirements to label genetically altered
              food and products because Canada is heavily invested in
              engineered crops. The US was also against the treaty
              because, they said, they were protecting the world’s food
              trade. More likely, the US was protecting the profits of giant
              biotechnology firms such as Monsanto, the company that
              tried to shove Combined Bovine Growth Hormone into our
              cows. Now they want to shove engineered food down our
              throats.



                                                 Hijacked
                      Open up!




        I
            ncreasing world trade is not, necessarily, a bad idea.                      Dow Chemical, is one of the biggest polluters in
             But multinational corporations have hijacked the                  the United States, the world’s largest producer of
             World Trade Organization (WTO) and have generated                 chlorine--the root source of dioxin--and one of the
        NAFTA and the MAI.                                                     largest pesticide companies on the planet.
                Fifty-one of the 100 largest economies in the world                     Citibank is the U.S. financial services
        are multinational companies. They make financial                       corporation which played an important role in the Asian
        contributions to political parties. Corporate bosses hob nob           financial crisis that threw millions of workers out of work
        with prime ministers and presidents. Corporate power pulls             in 1997. Citicorp was also a major lender to developing
        national governments’ puppet strings, manipulating official            countries in the 1960s and 1970s, leading up to the
        trade and social policies to benefit shareholders and boards           Third World debt crisis.
        of directors. They earn huge profits from locating wherever                     Rio Tinto Pic, a British mining corporation has
        costs are lowest, where labour is cheapest, environmental              inspired a global network of trade unions, indigenous
        regulation is dirtiest, and governments are most desperate             peoples, church groups, communities and activists to
        to attract international investment.                                   fight its abuses. The company stands accused of
                The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) is               complicity in, or direct violations of, environmental, labor
        planning to open the door for corporate patronage. UNDP                and human rights in Indonesia, Papua New Guinea,
        has approached at least 30 major global corporations and at            Philippines, Namibia, Madagascar, the United States
        least eleven agreed to pay $50,000 each to UNDP for                    and Australia, just for starters.
        privileges such as special UNDP sanctioned logos for use                        What’s next? Corporations taking a seat in the
        by corporate sponsors. Many of these new, potential UNDP               General Assembly? How about Coca Cola for
        "partners" are well known for ignoring development, human              Secretary General!
        rights and the environment.
                                                                                                         To get on the mailing list or to
                                                                                                          send comments write to:
                                                                                                         NAFTA Desk
                                                                                                         Canadian Labour Congress
                                                                                                         2841 Riverside Drive
                                                                                                         Ottawa, Ontario K1V 8X7
                                                                                                         or e-mail skatz@clc-ctc.ca
     The morning NAFTA, page 10

				
DOCUMENT INFO
Shared By:
Categories:
Tags:
Stats:
views:0
posted:7/21/2013
language:English
pages:10
jny jhtw jny jhtw
About