in front of MP Dykstra's campaign office on 22 Geneva Street in St. Catharines
The Federal government is close to signing a new free trade agreement (Trans Pacific Partnership) the terms of which will result in auto and auto parts job losses and plant closures on a bigger scale than the North American Free Trade Agreement. The Economist magazine recently reported that over the last 15 years an estimated 20,000 workplaces and 500,000 manufacturing jobs were lost in southern Ontario. NAFTA facilitated this by gutting domestic content requirements and by treating production in Mexico to be North American. The Trans Pacific Partnership now being secretly negotiated with twelve other countries will sharply lower auto and auto parts domestic content requirements even further.
This will decimate what’s left of auto and auto parts production here by enabling corporations to continue the race to the bottom by globally seeking cheaper and cheaper production and labour costs. Unifor estimates it could result in the loss of another 26,000 auto and auto parts jobs in Canada. Many would be here in Niagara accelerating the exodus of youth from the Niagara Region due to a lack of job opportunities.
We cannot stand for this and must make our voices heard now. We must demand that any and all future trade agreements secure the future of the auto and auto parts industries in this country as a way to secure the economic future of the Niagara Region.
Bruce Allen, President of Unifor Local 199