NAFTA 2.0: Nothing for Workers

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A Socialist Project e-bulletin ... No. 1734 ... January 4, 2019

NAFTA 2.0: Nothing for Workers

Bruce Allen

The year 2019 begins with the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) 2.0 already standing exposed as another corporate trade agreement with no one, including union leaders, having paid attention to what has just happened with respect to it. Specifically, the highly praised Labour chapter to the new trade agreement (United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement) that was formally signed in Buenos Aires on November 30 concluded with the following declaration. "It is the expectation of the Parties that Mexico shall adopt legislation described above before January 1, 2019. It is further understood that entry into force of the agreement may be delayed until such legislation becomes effective."

The legislation described above in the Labour chapter would make sweeping improvements... to Mexico’s labour laws and practices. It would give all Mexican workers meaningful free collective bargaining rights and the right to belong to labour organizations truly of their own and which would negotiate transparent collective bargaining agreements subject to their ratification. These anticipated improvements would end the prevalent ‘yellow’ unionism in Mexico in which fake unions legally exist in workplaces but do the bidding of their employers via protection contracts imposed on the workers they illegitimately claim to represent.

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