Unifor’s campaign on the Trans-Pacific Partnership ramped up this week with a training session for regional coordinators from across Canada who will spend the summer building the union’s top campaign.
“This is just an incredible group of activists. They have a strong sense of the threats posed by the TPP and are raring to go,” Roland Kiehne, Unifor Director of Member Mobilization and Political Action, said.
The 12 coordinators will work with Unifor Locals in their areas to inform members about the TPP, lobby local MPs to vote against ratifying the deal, plan rallies and other events, attend regional council meetings, and more.
Kiehne said Local Presidents across Canada should expect to hear from the regional coordinator in the coming weeks about getting involved in the Trade the TPP campaign, which Unifor’s National Executive Board has declared the top priority for Unifor this year.
“We’re told the TPP is a trade deal, but it’s not. It’s a corporate rights deal,” said Jessica Dauphinee, a regional coordinator for Atlantic Canada.
Dauphinee and Kiehne will bring the campaign’s message and call for action to the Atlantic Regional Council in St. John’s from June 16 to 19.
Hugues Perreault, a regional coordinator for Quebec, said he was motivated to help out by the TPP’s provisions to make it much easier for companies to bring in temporary foreign workers and concerns that the deal would allow foreign takeover of Canada’s telecommunications industry.
“I strongly support anything that prevents foreign ownership of telco,” said Perreault, a telco worker. “Trade deals should be good for everybody.”
The TPP is a proposed new “free trade” agreement between 12 member nations: Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States of America and Vietnam.
To learn more about Unifor’s TPP campaign, go to unifor.org/tpp.