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Showing blog posts by Celeste Drake

About Celeste Drake

I’m a Trade & Globalization Policy Specialist at the AFL-CIO, which I tell my friends at home means that I do two main things: 1) try to improve U.S. trade policy so it doesn’t send more jobs overseas, and 2) try to improve labor rights for workers overseas so that workers globally can race to the top instead of having global corporations push us to the bottom.  My first experience with the labor movement was as a UFCW member while bagging groceries for six months during college.  Full health benefits for everyone who worked at least 16 hours a week?  Triple time on holidays?   I was sold on unions and never looked back!  Since then, I’ve been a public school teacher (and vice president of my local), a law clerk for a federal judge, and congressional aide on Capitol Hill.  While Legislative Director for Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-CA), I coordinated the Labor and Working Families Caucus, one of the largest caucuses in the U.S. House of Representatives.  I’ve got a BA, a JD, and an MPP from UCLA.  Go Bruins!

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International Solidarity Helps Fijian Workers

In this era of bad news about wages, inequality and egregious anti-worker behavior from employers, it’s good to celebrate wins for workers. This week, Fijian workers got a big win at the meeting of the governing body of the International Labor Organization (ILO). 

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AFL-CIO, More Than 40 Other Organizations Call for Public Consultations on Investor Rights in Trade Deals

“A threat to our sovereignty,” “corporate power grab,” “extraordinary investor rights.” You may have heard all these phrases in connection to trade agreements, but what do they really mean? U.S. trade policy has for years been designed so that the bulk of the benefits skew toward giant, global corporations and the bulk of the downside weighs on America’s working families and their communities, so it’s understandable that many see these deals as “corporate power agreements.”

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Momentum Builds to Stop Fast Track Trade Deals, Thanks to You

Fast Track. It’s the tool that global corporations and the economic elites have used since the Nixon era to advance a trade agenda that helps corporate profits soar while pushing down U.S. wages, undermining labor rights and increasing inequality. The last Fast Track law expired in 2007, with good reason. Why should America’s middle class continue to be sacrificed simply to advance a model of globalization in which they have no say? That’s downright un-American. And yesterday, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi was the latest prominent elected official to say no to Fast Track, no to H.R. 3830/S. 1900.

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Trade Deficit Numbers Show Policy Changes Needed

Trade Deficit Numbers Show Policy Changes Needed

The trade deficit numbers released today provide more evidence that U.S. trade policy needs to change, said AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka.

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The Many Shortcomings of the U.S. NAFTA-Style Trade Model

Labor, Community, Environmental Faith-based press conference/rally CWA put together with the Westchester Putnam Central Labor Body.

The AFL-CIO rarely ends up on the same side of an economic issue as columnists from the Weekly Standard, but we just had to share this piece, which concludes that now is not the time for Fast Track (called in this article “Trade Promotion Authority”). In this column, Irwin M. Stelzer writes (after the jump).... 

Stop Fast Track trade legislation dead in its tracks by signing a petition here

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Why We Don’t Want a Fast Track Trade Deal: It Will Lower Wages

Photo courtesy of Alex Garland Photography,

You may have heard that Fast Track has helped depress wages for America’s workers over the past 20-plus years. How does it do this? 

Sign a petition to stop Fast Track dead in its tracks here.

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Why We Don’t Like Fast Track: It’s a Job Killer

Photo via NYSAFL-CIO

For more than 20 years (including in last night's State of the Union address), America’s workers have heard that we need new trade agreements so we can export more and create jobs. It’s a great theory. It’s just that—because of the way our trade deals are negotiated, finalized and executed—it doesn’t work in practice.

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Why We Don’t Like Fast Track: It’s an Outdated and Undemocratic Policy

Photo courtesy of StopFastTrack/Flickr

Fast Track—it’s a term that’s in the news more lately these days. And for good reason. Early in January, Sens. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich.) have introduced a bill that would bring back a bad idea that’s been dead since 2007. 

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7 Reasons We Don’t Want ‘Fast Track’ Trade Deals

7 Reasons We Don’t Want ‘Fast Track’ Trade Deals

“Fast Track” isn’t a video game, a motor speedway or the official name of the high-speed rail project in California. In fact, “Fast Track” does not refer to anything swag at all—it’s a term that refers to international trade policy—and a very lame policy at that. Here are just a few reasons why “Fast Track” is terrible for working people.

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Working Families Urge the U.S. Trade Representative to Leave Drug Pricing Decisions Out of Future Trade Agreements

On Tuesday, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka joined the leaders of the International Trade Union Confederation and the European Trade Union Confederation in urging the United States Trade Representative (the office responsible for negotiating trade and globalization deals) to leave government decisions on drug pricing out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership

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