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Unifor rallies with Mexican workers as NAFTA talks resume

September 1, 2017

Mexico City – Unifor joined thousands of Mexican workers at a labour rights rally, as the second round of meetings to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement began in Mexico City.

“Donald Trump talks of building a wall. We do not need a wall, we need a bridge,” Unifor National President Jerry Dias told the cheering crowd. “NAFTA has hurt workers in all three countries and now is the time to work together to use this renegotiation to right the wrongs of the past and build a better future for us all.”

Dias also called for the wages of Mexican workers to be raised to match those of their Canadian and American counterparts.

Following the rally, Unifor held meetings with leading truly independent Mexican unions, representing key sectors including oil, mining, auto, aviation, trades, education, journalism, and telecommunications, to strengthen and coordinate a united NAFTA strategy. Included in the Unifor delegation in Mexico City is the Quebec Director, the Director of Human Rights and the International Department, and others.

“Trade deals like NAFTA are designed to pit workers against one another as corporations constantly seek to lower the bar,” said Unifor Quebec Director Renaud Gagné. “Today we stood with the true Mexican unions to let our governments know that we will no longer accept a two and three tier system.”

Dias will continue his role as advisor to the Canadian NAFTA negotiating team during the current round of talks, scheduled in Mexico City from September 1-5.

For more information visit unifor.org/NAFTA. Unifor is Canada’s largest union in the private sector, representing more than 310,000 workers in every major area of the economy. The union advocates for all working people and their rights, fights for equality and social justice in Canada and abroad, and strives to create progressive change for a better future.

To book an interview with Jerry Dias please contact Unifor Communications Representative Kathleen O’Keefe at kathleen.okeefe@unifor.org or 416-896-3303 (cell).