In NAFTA Talks, Canada Demands US Drop Anti-Union 'Right to Work' Laws

Canada has demanded that the United States eliminate anti-union “right-to-work” laws as part of ongoing NAFTA negotiations, the Canadian Globe and Mail reported.

“A total of 28 states, including three this year, have passed right-to-work legislation.”
—Christine Owens, National Employment Law Project”One group of negotiators spent all day Sunday working on the labor file,” The Globe and Mail noted. “One source familiar with the discussions said Canada wants the United States to pass a federal law stopping state governments from enacting right-to-work legislation; the source said the United States has not agreed to such a request.”

In addition, Canadian negotiators are reportedly pressuring both the United States and Mexico “to offer a year of paid family leave, as Canada does.”

The reports came just ahead of Labor Day, as thousands of workers throughout the U.S. and across the globe walked out of their jobs and took to the streets demanding a living wage and the right to organize.

According to Christine Owens, executive director of the National Employment Law Project, a “total of 28 states, including three this year, have passed right-to-work legislation, a sledgehammer that dilutes worker organization and bargaining, paving the way for lower wages and a host of labor violations.”

Republicans have also introduced legislation that, if passed, would make right to work the law of the land.