Teamsters back Canadian NAFTA labor proposal

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OTTAWA, ON – Teamsters Canada president Francois Laporte and Teamsters general president Jim Hoffa are calling for several trucking-related issues to be addressed in ongoing North American Free Trade Agreement talks.


“Teamsters urged Canadian officials to work with the United States to fix the mistake of including long-haul trucking in the original NAFTA,” the pair said in a joint statement. “U.S. and Canadian negotiators were briefed on suggested language that would provide a level-playing field, ensure a safe trucking fleet on highways, and improve working conditions and wages for Mexican drivers.” 


Calling the first draft of a proposed U.S. labor chapter inadequate, they are instead backing a current Canadian proposal which they say would improve wages and working conditions, as well as end right-to-work laws in the U.S.


“Right-to-work laws unfairly subsidize corporations by artificially reducing wages and working conditions. NAFTA countries should compete on the basis of productivity, not labor costs. We must end trade deals that lead to a race to the bottom,” they said.

Teamsters report 125,000 Canadian members across several industries, while the International Brotherhood of Teamsters has 1.4 million members in North America.

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John G. Smith is Newcom Media's vice-president - editorial, and the editorial director of its trucking publications -- including Today's Trucking,, and Transport Routier. The award-winning journalist has covered the trucking industry since 1995.

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