Overcoming Fear,Taking Back Power


In November 2019, over forty trade unionists, academics, allies, and policy practitioners from Canada, Mexico, and the United States gathered in Erie, Pennsylvania. 

They gathered to attend “Overcoming Fear: Creating A Trinational Workers Toolkit.” This event emerged out of seven previous Trinational labor gatherings put on by the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung.
This event was geared towards building international solidarity to overcome reactionary and right wing rhetoric around trade, migration, climate, and gender. This created a foundation of a toolkit to help progressives in each country provide a proactive message on these issues.

Over the last 9 months, these 40+ activists have deliberated, developed, and built the following toolkit. We hope it is useful to activists everywhere and can help guide the international solidarity we need.
Do you care about having a good job? The corporations writing our trade agreements do not.
These agreements enshrine:
Fossil fuel expansion, Investment protections for corporations, Regulatory loopholes, Greater Privatization. Strong climate policy, Social protection for farmers, Workers rights protections, Gender rights commitments, Justice for indigenous communities, Guaranteed public health
In the hundreds of pages of text that make up these agreements, enforceable social protections are missing. We need:
The world’s top scientists say we have a 2030 deadline to decarbonize our world in order to avert the worst of the climate crisis. Right now there are two possible futures.
What is currently offered is based
on profits. This includes:
Privatizing the solutionsFewer public resources, greater private profitsThe belief that technology alone will save us1. Public ownership of energy production with local, democratic control. 2. good jobs for all workers. 3. Global cooperation. 4. Protections for climate migrants
What is needed is a complete restructuring of our world to meet the scale of the crisis.
Current migration policy is based on dividing anyone different as an “other.” “Others” are mistreated, isolated, and discriminated against.
This is a deliberate choice
meant to divide through:
Pitting workers against workersPromoting the idea of a scarcity of spaceStroking and inciting fearWhat would you wish for all people that have to move? 1. Migration policies based on dignity. 2. Removing stigma. 3. Guaranteed social, health, and labor rights. 4. Freedom to move and freedom to stay
It does not need to be this way. This divide and conquer ignores that movement is a fundamental human right.
While trade, climate, and migration policy may all seem to be very different, they are actually extremely interlinked:
Centro de abasto, Mexico City
Akron, IA
Northumberland County, ON
Granby, QC
Hardisty, AB
Thirty years ago, the CEO- to-worker compensation ratio in the U.S. was 45 to 1. Today it is approximately 280 to 1.In the last 30 years, the cost of basic consumer goods in Mexico has risen to seven times, while the minimum wage has only grown four times over in the same period.n Mexico, consumer goods on average cost 2.6x more than in the U.S. and 2.3x more than in Canada.*0% of climate migrants are womenWhen adjusted for inflation, the average income of the top 100 CEO’s in Canada has grown by 99% in the last twenty years, compared to 9% for the average Canadian.Map of North America KEY - Food and Agriculture, Energy, Workers Rights
hover over dots on map for relevant links
To win the world we need, we’re going to need us all at the table
Many different people at the table eating a meal - "We need all workers to come together!" "We must fight both locally and internationally!" "Only then can solidarity prevail."
This toolkit is the result of a deliberative and democratic process over the last nine months following the Overcoming Fear: Creating a Trinational Workers Toolkit Event in Erie, Pennsylvania in November 2019. That event was hosted by the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung New York Office, Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung Mexico City Office, The Canadian Steelworkers, and The United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America and held at UE local 506.
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Toolkit and Website Designed by: Annie Zhao and Warren Heller Toolkit edited by: Aaron Eisenberg and Lala Peñaranda Translated by: Lala Peñaranda (Spanish) and Chantal Ide + Adeline Beaudoin (French)