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For Immediate Release
Contacts: Russ Davis, MA Jobs with Justice (617) 413-0713 cell, Paul Babin, Local 201 (781) 856-3282, Analia Penchaszadeh, Jobs with Justice (202) 434-1106, (202) 316-0235 cell

TRADE UNIONISTS STOPPED FROM ENTERING CANADA TO PROTEST THE
FREE TRADE AREA OF THE AMERICAS

BOSTON, April 18. ≠ Jeff Crosby, President of IUE-CWA 201 in Lynn, MA (a General Electric local) and Paul Babin, a member of the local, were turned away at the Canadian border as they tried to enter the country to protest the "Free Trade Area of the Americas" agreement being negotiated in Quebec.

"Itís outrageous at a time when they want to open borders further for trade that they want to close it to the free exchange of ideas," stated Russ Davis, Director of Massachusetts Jobs with Justice, who was at the border crossing with Crosby. Davis said Crosby was questioned for an hour and a half and was refused entry for a criminal offense over 25 years old. Crosby had been to Canada numerous times since, and has never been questioned about the offense.

Labor, community and religious activists throughout the country will continue to join together to resist the effects of trade pacts such as the Free Trade Area of the Americas being negotiated this weekend in Quebec. The Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) is an effort by corporate and political leaders to expand the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) throughout the Western Hemisphere.

The impacts of NAFTA have been a disaster for the Americas. In the U.S., 766,000 jobs have been lost, including many here in Massachusetts, according to the Economic Policy Institute.

"NAFTA has been a disaster for working people in the U.S., Mexico and Canada. It has put corporate greed before workersí rights and environmental health," said Fred Azcarate, Executive Director of Jobs with Justice. "FTAA would make a bad situation worse for people throughout the hemisphere."

Seven years after the implementation of the North American Free Trade Agreement, business and political leaders will discuss NAFTA expansion and the creation of a Free Trade Area of the Americas at a summit to take place in Quebec City, April 20 and 21. Actions in Boston are part of a National Week of Action to Protest the FTAA being organized by Unions, community organizations, students and faith based activists from April 16-22 in local communities.
Jobs with Justice ≠ a national coalition of community, labor, student, and faith-based organizations ≠ is coordinating U.S. actions. Endorsers of the week of action include: American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations, United Steel Workers of America, Public Citizenís Global Trade Watch, 50 Years is Enough Network, Communications Workers of America, United States Student Association, Center for Third World Organizing, Applied Research Center, Longshore and Warehouse Union International, International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Service Employees International Union, Pride at Work and US Action.

For more information on local activities: www.jwj.org

--from the Jobs with Justice listserve--

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