More than 100 strong, labor leaders and union workers demonstrated at the plaza in Journal Square this afternoon, urging lawmakers to vote down a federal bill they say would take jobs away from Americans.
Led by Ray Greaves, a former Bayonne City Council member and chairman of the Amalgamated Transit Union, the group -- which included the Hudson County Central Labor Council, Food & Water Watch, ATU, NJ Industrial Union Council, Anakbayan and Communications Workers of America -- spread the word to anyone in Journal Square who stopped to listen.
They were protesting a federal "Fast Track" trade bill that would facilitate the creation and approval of an ambitious Pacific region trade pact. Last night a U.S. Senate panel cleared, by a 20-6 vote, the bill for a full Senate vote.
Opponents of the bill says agreements like the long-proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) would cause the loss of jobs in the United States.
"It's going to affect the whole country," said Joseph Grandioso, president of the Amalgamated Transit Union's Paterson local. "In 10 years, you're not going to have any jobs here. All of the good jobs are going to be out of this country."
A majority of the demonstrators in Journal Square today sported t-shirts that said "Stop Sending American Jobs Overseas!"
"Corporate America owns the media, so it's not making the news," Grandioso said. "I haven't heard anything on the news about what's going on."
The debate over this proposal pits powerful businesses eager to expand foreign markets for U.S. goods against labor groups concerned about job loss and lax labor, environmental and human rights standards in countries who was participate in the agreement.
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