ATU International President Larry Hanley Reacts to State of the Union

Photo of Amalgamated Transit Union International President Larry Hanley.“The progressive plans proposed by President Obama in his State of the Union will do nothing to help the poor or the middle class if ‘fast track’ legislation and the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal are passed by Congress.”

“While the president has put forth very laudatory goals, he and Congressional leaders in both parties continue to support trade legislation that would undermine the very income equality, and social and economic progress he’s seeking to accomplish.”

“’Fast track’ is just another name for the corrupt and undemocratic process that has been used to ram destructive trade deals through Congress; deals that have led to a systematic elimination of good jobs, have devastated our communities, and degraded our standard-of-living for the last 30 years.”

“The President proposed tax breaks for working Americans, college tuition plans, taxes on the rich, and environmental regulations are just empty promises if TPP passes. It will widen the already deep class gap between the wealthy elite and rest of us – bus drivers, hotel workers, teachers, fire fighters, and working families.

“Free trade deals are about profits for corporate America – not working people. They have cost the U.S. millions of good jobs and have contributed to the closing of countless factories. People today work longer and harder for lower wages than at any time in recent memory due to these free trade agreements.”

“ATU gladly supports the fight for equality, fairness and economic justice the president intends to pursue over his final two years in office. But we will also fight with equal vigor the president and Congress on fast track and free trade legislation which would do more to hurt working Americans than his progressive programs could do to help.”

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