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Union Split Over Korea Trade Pact Heating Up

UAW defends pro-free trade position.

by on Dec.10, 2010

The UAW finds itself on the pro side of free trade - and taking heat from other unions.

The AFL-CIO has ramped up its vocal split with the United Auto Workers by announcing its opposition to the trade deal with South Korea, which the UAW has endorsed.

The announcement underscores the growing rift the UAW faces in an increasingly divided labor movement.  With rare exception, other unions are bitterly opposed to the trade deal despite concessions that the autoworkers believe will open up the Korean market while delaying any changes that could boost Korea’s share of the U.S. automotive market.

Rich Trumka, AFL-CIO president, said the proposed U.S.-Korea trade deal does not live up to the fair trade model and does not contribute to a sustainable global future.

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“We believe we must move towards a more democratic, sustainable and fair global economy with broadly shared prosperity for working people around the world.  Reaching that goal will require deep-seated reforms in current trade policy, as well as in our own domestic labor laws and other policies,” said Trumka, who praised the Obama administration for attempting to address concerns of American autoworkers.