Maritime Union of New Zealand media release:
The Maritime Union says the TPPA (Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement) is attracting massive “Trans Pacific” opposition, not just in New Zealand.
Maritime Union General Secretary Joe Fleetwood says the Union is playing an active role in the campaign against the TPPA and has linked up to North American maritime workers fighting against the free trade deal.
Mr. Fleetwood says the Union is supporting protest actions in Auckland this week, attended a recent rally in Wellington, and has already taken part in a rally on the US/Canadian border http://tppxborder.org/
Mr. Fleetwood spoke via audio link to 1 December 2012 “Action and People’s Summit” at the Peace Arch on the US/Canadian border that brought together labor and trade advocates from the US, Canada and Mexico.
“Our good friends in the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) on the west coast of North America were part of this event and invited us to show some working class globalisation in action.”
Mr. Fleetwood said these actions showed Prime Minister John Key’s statement this week that those opposed to free trade deals “live in a world that doesn’t want to see New Zealand intersecting globally with the rest of the world” was nonsensical.
He says the Maritime Union held a conference last month in Wellington which had delegates attending from Australia, USA, Japan, Canada and the UK – all of whom we very aware of the dangers of free trade deals like the TPPA.
Mr Fleetwood says that international delegates at the MUNZ Conference spoke on their strong opposition to the TPPA.
“The funny thing is that the informed working classes all around the world are opposing free trade deals like this and we are part of this international movement of globalized solidarity – so it is actually Mr. Key who is wrong on this matter.”
Mr. Fleetwood says maritime workers work in the world’s first globalized industry.
He says maritime and transport unions around the world are mobilizing against secretive, undemocratic and anti-worker free trade deals.
Mr. Fleetwood says the Union is very concerned about how secure jobs and health and safety may be undermined by free trade deals, which were part of a wider push to deregulate economies and hand control to corporate interests.
Mr. Fleetwood says that MUNZ has been actively campaigning against free trade and for fair trade since the Union was formed in 2003.