Franken Protests Weak Labor Standards in Trade Deal

U.S. Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., joined a group of senators in urging the United States Trade Representative to include strong labor protections as part of the negotiation over the Trans-Pacific Partnership, saying that many parts of the proposed agreement currently fall short of acceptable standards.In a letter to Ambassador Michael Froman, Sen. Franken and thirteen other senators—led by Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio —expressed their concerns over workers’ rights in Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei, and Mexico. The letter outlined their concerns over lack of protections related to organizing, collective bargaining, and the prevention of forced and child labor. The senators said that these standards must be implemented by the four countries prior to any TPP legislation taking effect, because they fear the ability to enforce such standards could diminish—and possibly disappear—after enactment of TPP. The senators also encouraged Ambassador Froman to address child and forced labor in Malaysia.  Click here to read the entire article from Workday Minnesota.