Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Public Citizen´s WTO Consumer Rights Pledge etc

And the issues keep right on coming.  The corporate executives and their supporters are everywhere, like fleas and ticks, only really big....


Sign the Consumer Rights Pledge

Shine the spotlight on the WTO's attack on consumer rights

In a set of decisions this fall, the World Trade Organization (WTO) ruled against labels on meat, dolphin-safe labels on tuna, and the ban on sweet-flavored cigarettes designed to combat youth smoking. [Learn more]

These are the policies we rely on to allow us to protect children’s health and make informed decisions as consumers. Under current rules, the U.S. will have to water down or eliminate these policies, or face trade sanctions.

Take the pledge and stand up to the WTO's attack on our consumer rights.

Tell your friends and family to sign the pledge as well. The more names that sign on, the better chance we'll have of gaining the attention of the public, media, President Obama and Congress. We'll do our part to shine the spotlight on your terrific work. This is only the beginning of all of our efforts. 

Sign the Consumer Rights Pledge:

In a matter of months, the World Trade Organization (WTO) ruled against three popular U.S. consumer policies: our country-of-origin labels on meat; dolphin-safe tuna labels; and a ban on sweet-flavored cigarettes that were marketed to lure teens to start smoking.

Previously, we’ve seen this global commerce agency facilitate offshoring of jobs to low-wage countries and rule against a series of health and environmental laws around the world. Now the WTO has even ruled against consumers’ basic right to know where products come from and how they are produced.

Enough is enough!

When the WTO rules against a policy, countries are pressured to water down or eliminate their laws. Our government must not cave in and follow a WTO order to gut our laws, if necessary by eliminating any funding to make a WTO-ordered roll back possible.

I pledge NOT to support trade deals that include similar anti-consumer provisions.

I also pledge to alert my community and my elected representatives to the WTO attacks on our consumer policies.
The Obama administration has proposed new standards that – for the first time ever – would limit the industrial carbon pollution from power plants that contributes to global warming.
But the pressure from Big Coal and other Big Polluters will be immense (and well funded!). They're already spending millions on TV ads, lobbyists, frivolous lawsuits and misinformation campaigns.
The EPA needs to know that Americans want strong industrial carbon pollution standards. Please fill out the fields below to submit your public comment to the EPA in support of these new standards.

Dear Mark,
Moments ago, the EPA proposed historic national clean air standards limiting the carbon pollution from new coal and gas-fired power plants.

Take action today to support this historic rule and help end dirty energy as we know it.

Fossil fuel burning power plants are the single largest source of dangerous carbon pollution in the U.S. and one of the largest in the world.

Once finalized, these standards will establish the first nationwide limits on climate-destabilizing pollution from new power plants and help build the efficient, clean power sector of the future.

This will be a huge fight. Climate deniers and the Dirty Air Lobby started attacking these "New Source Performance Standards" weeks ago, before they were even proposed. We need your help to stand strong for our clean energy and a safer climate future!
Thank you for all of your activism & support,
Sam Parry
Director, Online Membership & Activism 

Dear Mark,
Another classic tale of corporate greed is unfolding in Ohio, and we need your help to put a stop to it.
In 2008, when Cooper Tire & Rubber Company was losing money, workers at its Findlay, Ohio, plant gave up $31 million in pay and benefits to help the company stay afloat.
Thanks to the workers' sacrifices and productivity, Cooper has made more than $300 million in profits since 2009. Cooper paid its executives millions of dollars in bonuses and bought a new corporate jet. What did its employees get? Locked out on Thanksgiving weekend.
Despite soaring profits, Cooper pushed a new contract on its employees with higher healthcare premiums and undisclosed wage terms. Do you think CEOs would accept a contract if they didn't know if they were getting a raise or a pay cut? Not a chance.
Still, Cooper's employees were more than willing to keep working through negotiations to reach a fair deal after their contract expired last fall. But Cooper refused to budge – leaving 1,050 workers out in the cold since November 28.
Cooper can easily afford to set things straight and still turn a profit. Cooper CEO Roy Armes received $4.7 million in compensation in 2010.1 And the company has purchased a plant in Serbia for $17.3 million!2
Cooper wants to cry broke, but greed – not need – is driving this lockout. As Chico Ramirez, who's logged 25 years with the company, explains, "The thing that bothers us is that we gave them concessions to help them get back on their feet, and they are paying out bonuses instead of paying back the backbone of the company."
Around the country, people are fighting back against corporate greed and standing up for the 99%. Will you stand up and fight for Cooper's workers too?
Dear Mark,
The right wing is on a roll. They're trying to eliminate collective bargaining for workers by spreading deceptive "right-to-work" policies wherever they can.
Indiana has fallen – it's now the 23rd state with a right-to-work law. And corporate-backed politicians and shady interest groups are one step closer to passing these destructive measures in Minnesota and New Hampshire.
This month, the New Hampshire House voted 198–139 to approve a right-to-work bill that would limit workers' ability to have a voice on the job. And in Minnesota, a Senate committee voted 7–6 to put a right-to-work constitutional amendment on the ballot. It's clear that these politicians are hell-bent on passing right to work, which would drive down wages, benefits, and job standards for all of us.1
Unless we can stop legislative initiatives like these, more attacks on workers and collective bargaining rights could be headed to your state next. This is our moment to strike back. We've launched an emergency public education campaign to fight "right-to-work."
We're ready to pull out all the stops by:
  • Dominating the debate on TV, blogs, and in newspapers to debunk blatant lies and propaganda from the Chamber of Commerce, ALEC, and other front groups funded by the billionaire Koch brothers;
  • Engaging our broad coalition of allies and partners with key resources and information to escalate our pushback campaign and amplify the voices of America's workers;
  • Investing in local efforts and equipping campaigns on the ground with the resources they need to win.
We don't have deep pockets like CEOs and corporate front groups – and we need more resources to tackle them head on.
Thanks so much for all you do for workers' rights.
Hilary, Kim, Susan, Liz, Zoe, Michael, and the American Rights at Work team
I am writing you today in vehement opposition to the toxic air bill offered by Senator James Inhofe, S.J. Res 37.

This bill would use the obscure Congressional Review Act to block EPA's new emission standards for hazardous mercury and other toxic air pollution from coal- and oil-fired power plants. If enacted, this bill would also forever prohibit the EPA from adopting substantially similar clean air standards in the future.

These standards, which the 1990 Clean Air Act specifically authorizes, have been in the works for more than two decades. They will prevent up to 11,000 premature deaths every year and protect our kids from dangerous exposure to toxic mercury pollution, which can cause brain damage in infants and young children.

They will also save the American economy tens of billions of dollars in avoided health costs while putting between 85,000 and 117,000 Americans to work installing pollution control technologies between now and 2015.

Last year, more than 800,000 Americans submitted public comments in support of this rule. But now, a few of America's largest corporate utilities have launched an aggressive campaign to block these standards. And Sen. Inhofe's toxic air bill would do just that.

Please stand up for the health and safety of our kids and communities and reject the Inhofe bill.

Tell the SEC: Make Corporations Disclose Political Spending

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has the authority to pull back the curtain on the secret corporate money that the Supreme Court's Citizens United ruling has unleashed into our elections.
As the federal agency with the job of protecting investors from corporate abuse, the SEC is well within its authority to require that all publicly traded corporations disclose how they're spending money in an attempt to tilt elections.
But the SEC isn't going to act without pressure.
Tell the SEC to require corporations to disclose how they spend their money in politics.
Dear Mark ,

Did you see President Trumka’s message from this weekend warning about the so-called JOBS Act? We just learned that a Senate vote on this cynically-named deregulation bill has been scheduled for Tuesday. Please take action now.

The so-called “JOBS” Act would weaken the ability of the Securities and Exchange Commission to regulate our capital markets. It would let companies sell stock to the public without providing three years of audited financial statements, without having adequate internal controls and without complying with key corporate governance reforms in the recently passed Dodd-Frank Act.

The legislation would also undo many parts of the 2002 Sarbanes-Oxley law, which was passed in response to the Enron and WorldCom scandals.

Working people must smack down attempts by corporations and greedy CEOs to lobby for even small pieces of deregulation. The “JOBS” Act is a huge deregulation bill that’s being rushed through Congress with little public debate.

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