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Crossing left-right divide, anti-trade-pact activists rallied at Zeldin's office

Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley) hosts a news conference

Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley) hosts a news conference at Southold Town Hall in Southold on Sunday, March 8, 2015. Credit: Randee Daddona

Opposition from labor unions to the U.S. Congress “fast-tracking” a trans-Pacific trade agreement is well known. But John Durso, who heads the Long Island Federation of Labor, with 250,000 members in Nassau and Suffolk, noted in particular that last Wednesday’s rally of more than 200 outside Rep. Lee Zeldin’s office in Patchogue drew tea-party and environmental groups to the same side  — that is, opposed to what he calls the potentially “job-killing Trans-Pacific Partnership.”

Zeldin (R-Shirley) for his part has said he’s not going to cast judgment on bills he hasn’t seen. But Durso said Friday that only after he and others from the Fed met with Zeldin to discuss the issue did they learn about the first-year Congressman's having signed a letter urging President Barack Obama to send along a fast-track measure for approval.

“The labor movement will support these trade deals when they begin prioritizing raising wages, increasing transparency and encouraging shared prosperity,” Durso said.

Ken and Gigi Bowman, Libertarian Party members from Suffolk, were among those reportedly on the scene, protesting what they call unconstitutional legislation.

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