WFP to Rep. Schrader: No more NAFTA’s!

April 8th, 2011 by shughes

Greg Pallesen, Vice President of the Amalgamated Pulp and Paper Workers, speaks with Rep. Kurt Schrader about the Korea Free Trade Agreement.

The Blue Heron Paper Company closed its doors after over a century of operation in Oregon City.  Gone are 175 good paying, union jobs.

Blue Heron closed because a trade deal struck in 2001 allowed Chinese companies to unfairly compete with our domestic pulp and paper industry. And Blue Heron is not alone: the U.S. Department of Labor has documented 51,500 Oregon jobs lost since 1994 because of free trade policies supported by both the Democratic and the Republican parties.

Rep. Schrader receives our petition calling on him to oppose the job-killing Korea Free Trade Agreement.

Now, despite the fact that this plant closure happened right in Congressman Kurt Schrader’s district, he appears ready to vote for yet ANOTHER “free” trade agreement–this time with Korea.  The Korea Free Trade Agreement will be the largest free trade deal since NAFTA.

The Working Families Party is fighting to hold Democrat Rep. Schrader accountable to the working people of his district. Working with our partner organization, the Oregon Fair Trade Campaign, we collected over 1000 signatures  in just a couple days on a petition to Rep. Schrader calling on him to oppose this new, job-killing trade deal.  The petition was then delivered by hand to Rep. Schrader by Greg Pallesen, the Vice President of the union that represented the workers at the Blue Heron plant.

Additionally, WFP leaders are right in the mix raising this critical issue to Rep. Schrader at his public events and in the local media.  For example, Ray Kenny, a member of the WFP state-wide leadership and a resident in Kurt Schrader’s district, recently questioned the Representative about his apparent support for the Korea Free Trade Agreement an then penned this opinion piece in the local paper.

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