Free trade and globalization have long been touted by academics and politicians as the answer to the problems of the modern world. But activists have seen first-hand the devestation that corporate globalization can cause.

It’s important to recognize the devastating effects of corporate globalization on local workers and communities. When companies close down Canadian plants in favour of finding cheaper labour elsewhere, what happens to cities like Leamington and London, ON?

Workers face the consequences of free trade structures too. They end up with less security, and a whole lot more risk (to jobs, wages, working conditions!). An erosion of worker rights is one of the chief complaints of deals like NAFTA.(Check out this rabble piece on NAFTA’s 20th anniversary).

When agricultural workers are outsourced and held in Canada with aggressive contracts and zero rights, does the company really win?

Most importantly, why don’t the people have a say? Why aren’t the needs of individuals as prized as corporate profits? Why do world leaders continue to ignore demands for a socially just trade structure?

Prioritizing economic changes that benefit the rich and powerful at the expense of the rest of us seems to be the new face of globalization, and it’s not ok.

January 31 is the Intercontinental Day of Action Against Corporate Globalization. If you’re concerned about the loss of Canadian jobs, destruction of workers’ rights and job conditions, or the increasing control of corporations from all sides of the globe, this is a good time to share your views. Check out the website for demonstrations across North America, and the campaign’s efforts to stand against NAFTA and the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).