Argument: Free trade does not sufficiently protect worker rights

Issue Report: Free trade


Some Democrats are supporting this effort because President Alan Garcia of Peru has agreed to improve some international labor laws with presidential decrees. But Peruvian labor leaders think this is insufficient and will not protect the rights of the majority of people, 75 percent of whom work in the informal sector of the economy.
Like many workers in Latin American countries, Peruvians face constant threats to their labor rights. Violations include discrimination against union organizers, illegal firings, and forced overtime without pay. Further, the new system of fixed-labor contracts and subcontracting radically undermines workers’ rights because it does not guarantee a 44-hour work week or labor standards. The new, much-talked-about labor language added to the US-Peru agreement does not solve this or many other key labor rights issues.”