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News ::
Boston activists to outline the hidden costs of corporate-led globalization
09 Nov 2001
WTO: A THREAT TO JOBS, PUBLIC HEALTH, DEMOCRACY, AND HUMAN RIGHTS - Summary of Press Conference at Statehouse
BOSTON – Members of the Boston Global Action Network (BGAN) held a press conference on Thursday, Nov. 8, in conjunction with labor, health, and environmental officials, to discuss the effects of the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) trade policies on local communities.

The event, which took place at the foot of the Grand Staircase in the Massachusetts State House at 11:00 a.m., was co-sponsored by the Northeast Labor Committee for Global Justice, a committee of over 60 union locals from around the region formed to protest corporate globalization's disastrous effects on workers and their communities. It coincided with this weekend’s meeting of financial and corporate elites in far-off Qatar for the WTO’s Fourth Ministerial meeting. A similar effort failed to get off the ground after more than 50,000 protesters in Seattle closed down the WTO’s "Millennium Round" of negotiations in November, 1999.

The coalition of trade unionists, social justice activists, and environmentalists that joined together to protest the WTO’s trade policies in 1999, also known as the "Seattle Coalition," is very much intact, according to BGAN. "To paraphrase Twain: rumors of our demise have been greatly exaggerated," said Mike Prokosch, Director of the Global Economy Program at United For a Fair Economy. "We will continue to insist that trade agreements between nations respect labor standards, the environment, and human rights; not free and unfettered policies that promote a race to the bottom and trample on democratic principles."

The following speakers addressed the key trade and justice issues concerning Massachusetts residents in the upcoming World Trade Organization meeting in Doha, Qatar.

Rev. Tim Atwater, Special Projects Coordinator, Jubilee USA Network

Brook Baker, Professor of Law, Northeastern University, HealthGAP Coalition and AIDS in Africa Project

Elaine Bernard, Professor of Labor Studies, Executive Director, Harvard University Trade Union Program

Phil Mamber, President, Massachusetts Senior Action Council, former President of United Electrical Workers (UE) District 2

Gary Nilsson, Secretary, CWA Local 1365, active in community efforts to save jobs at Lucent Technologies

Byron Rushing, State Representative, Sponsor of the Globalization Impact Bill H. 2119

Mike Prokosch, Director, Global Economy Program, United for a Fair Economy

Linda Setchell, Coordinator, Safe Foods Campaign, Clean Water Action

Cassie Watters, Massachusetts Jobs with Justice, Northeast Labor Committee on Global Justice

Mandie Yanasak, Student Labor Action Project, Intern with United Food and Commercial Workers

Also present in the audience were members of various organizations represented in the "Seattle Coalition", the loose network of labor, environmental, fair trade, human rights, and social justice groups that have campaigned together on global issues since the last ministerial meeting of the WTO.

About the sponsors...

Northeast Labor Committee on Global Justice is composed of over 60 union locals from around the region formed to protest corporate globalization's disastrous effects on workers and our communities.

c/o Massachusetts Jobs with Justice
3353 Washington Street, Boston, MA 02130
Tel: 617-524-8778
Fax: 617-524-8996
Email: bostonjwj (at) mindspring.com

The Boston Global Action Network is a diverse, non-partisan network of over 20 local, national, and global grassroots organizations working for social justice, the environment, cultural survival, labor and human rights.

Boston Global Action Network
PO Box 2362, Boston MA 02107
Tel: 617-524-8110
Email: info (at) bostonglobalaction.net
Web: http://bostonglobalaction.net
See also:
http://bostonglobalaction.net/wto
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