CPSIA Update: How We Got Here, the Labor Connection

Blogger cmmjaime, associated with a store that sells educational supplies in northern Alabama for homeschoolers and others, the Creative Learning Connection, watches a video from a January 2008 rally in Oregon and reminds us that organized labor was very vocal in its campaign against contaminated toys from China. Labor’s political pressure helped lead to passage of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, now destroying jobs because of its inflexibility and disconnection from the real world.

From the post, “Video: Stop Toxic Toy Import Campaign”:

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.”

cmmjaime concludes:

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!

It’s a thought and useful history. Still, in watching the current debate over reforming the CPSIA we have not seen any activity from organized labor.

In 2008, the unions did what they normally do, find a hot button issue and use it to organize coalitions, inspire activists and raise money with the goal of electing anti-trade candidates. Once that goal was accomplished, thousands of small businesses could go out of business and the United Steelworkers would not make a peep. They never really cared about “toxic toys” except as an organizing tool.

Although you would think the Steelworkers might recognize that outlawing dirtbikes and other kids’ recreational vehicles might cost some of their union members their jobs.

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