Joint Labor Declaration on the KORUS FTA
February 13, 2008

1.      The American Federation of Labor & Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) and Change to Win, representing workers in the United States, and the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU), representing workers in the Republic of Korea, are united in opposition to the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS FTA).

2.       Workers in both countries have worked hard together to defeat the KORUS FTA, and have raised concerns about its potentially harmful social and economic impacts ever since the commencement of negotiations in February 2006.  We have also criticized the fact that our respective governments largely ignored social and economic concerns raised by trade unions and civil society.  Indeed, in the rush to conclude the negotiations before the expiration of trade promotion authority in the United States, many important concerns were simply disregarded.

3.      The KORUS FTA is based on an economic model that has privileged investor rights over workers' rights, public services and the environment.  It is clear that this model will permit restructuring and provoke a "race to the bottom" on working standards in both countries, resulting in the deterioration of wages and working conditions and accelerating labor flexiblization through replacing secure and good jobs with irregular and temporary ones.

4.      Both governments have touted the projected benefits of the KORUS FTA, such as broadly shared economic growth and employment.  In light of our experiences with previous agreements, and based on our assessment of this agreement, we are skeptical about such claims.

5.      Together, we call on our elected representatives to vigorously oppose the KORUS FTA unless and until each of our concerns are addressed.

6.        We are committed to working together to ensure that this agreement is not approved.  We are also committed to work together to build a strong international labor movement that will work together to reshape the framework of the global economy so that it may generate social and economic development benefiting all workers and citizens, with good jobs under conditions that are consistent with ILO core labor rights.

AFL-CIO
KCTU
Change to Win
Total 106

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