Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Video: Stop Toxic Toy Import Campaign

This 20-minute video is from January 2008.

This video is about 1 of 100 events held across the U.S. on January 16, 2008 on the "National Day of Action on Toxic Trade". It was organized by the United Steelworkers, who were protesting the import of "toxic toys". (But as I watched the video, I felt like I had finally found the money trail for CPSIA -- this Union group was using the "toxic toys" as an excuse; what they were really fighting was what they were calling "toxic trade". The irony is that because of the CPSIA that they fought so hard for, more jobs will be lost here!)

Signs displayed included "Get the Lead Out -- Stop Toxic Imports" and "Protect our Kids -- Save American Jobs"

There were numerous speakers out for this event on this cold January day. The first was from the Portland Jobs with Justice. She lost no time in talking about the need to "fight for workers' rights" and the "effects on our families' health and safety... but also on jobs". She made it very clear that her real complaint was with increased globalization.

The next speaker was from Sweat Free NW Campaign. She spoke of the "devastating impact of trade policies" reflected in 6 million toys recalled...and "declining working conditions". She pointed out that "cheap goods should not come at the expense of our communities".

Next was the gentleman from the Oregon Fair Trade Campaign. He complained that 30 or 40 years ago 90% of toys sold in U.S. were made here, versus 90% imported today. He also stated that Congress needs to fund the CPSC and the FDA. And he pointed out that "cheap products have big costs".

The speaker from Oregon Public Interest Research Group was adamant that "we need to ban lead completely in children's products". (Of course he offered no evidence for his claims, it just seemed to fit right in with everything else being said there that day.) He was followed by a speaker from Working America in Oregon.

The final speaker, from the Oregon AFL-CIO, blamed President Bush for much, and then claimed that 6 million toy recalls allow us to look into the souls of the multinational corporations who clearly only care about profit. He ended by leading a chant of "America first, not corporations".

All in all, an interesting 20 minute look at why we are not getting anywhere with Congress on fixing the real problem here -- this toxic law!

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