No to Canada/Colombia Free Trade and Simmons Mattresses

December 5, 2008, 2:51 PM EST

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Lewenza condemned Prime Minister Stephen Harper for attempting to push through a free trade agreement between Canada and Colombia, a country with a terrible human and labour rights record.

More labour leaders are murdered in Colombia and many more trade unionists and activists are intimidated and harassed than in any other country in the world.

"It's unbelievable that Harper has signed this agreement," said Lewenza. The Canada-Colombia agreement will perpetuate the same disastrous economic policies of NAFTA.

Before the Prime Minister asks for Parliamentary approval of this proposed agreement he must at least commission "an independent, impartial and comprehensive human rights assessment," Lewenza urged.

Boycott Simmons Canada Mattresses

The hardship facing Simmons Canada workers, whose plant in Brampton, Ontario closed suddenly on September 8 is tremendous. Many of the 150 workers, members of CAW Local 513, have more than 20 years of service with the most senior at 40 years. The company has so far refused to pay any severance or termination pay.

As a result delegates were urged to support a boycott of Simmons mattress products including Beautyrest, ComforPedic and DeepSleep brands. The CAW is working hard to negotiate a fair and equitable closure agreement for this group of workers.



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