6.09.2004

White-collar offshoring a growth issue for unions TheJournalNews.com (6/9)

During his 15 years with The Boeing Co., Stephen Gentry never pictured himself wearing the union label.

Then the computer programmer from Auburn, Wash., was laid off last summer after training his replacement, a high-tech worker in India.

Now Gentry, who hasn't worked since, is among those convinced that America's white-collar workers have to band together to keep their futures from being exported to places where skilled labor comes cheap.

"I don't see any other options," said Gentry, 52, who's joined a Seattle-based union trying to organize tech workers around the country. "There's no loyalty anymore. I feel my job was taken by corporate greed."


We couldn't agree more. And we think we've documented this corporate greed pretty well.

The issue's potency, particularly during a jobless economic recovery, was proven last month when the Communications Workers of America negotiated a new contract with SBC Communications Inc. after a four-day strike. As part of the deal, the San Antonio-based phone company agreed to work with the union to bring an estimated 3,000 company jobs in India and the Philippines to the United States.

During the strike by CWA's 102,000 SBC workers, thousands of picketers around the country hoisted anti-offshoring signs saying "SBC Unpatriotic" and "Keep Jobs in America."

"There is something to be said for shaming a company if you say, 'This company will outsource good jobs from our community,' " said Christian Weller, a researcher at the Center for American Progress, a Washington think tank. "In the current environment, it's a land mine for the company. There's a real receptive audience for this."


There's an audience for this because it's a real problem. Don't blame this on some mis-placed patriotic idea: this is about people earning a living and management making that goal more difficult.

Note: we know the site hasn't been updated as frequently as it used to be, but there's been even more job turmoil than some of us would like. Looking for work sucks and things are no where near as good as Bush would have us believe.

Many advocate outsource penalty KansasCityStar.com (6/9)

Four in 10 American workers think U.S. companies should be free to send work overseas. The remaining six are peeved about the trend.

In fact, a survey by the Employment Law Alliance, conducted in late May, found that 58 percent of U.S. workers think companies that outsource overseas should be penalized by the U.S. government.

The survey didn't ask workers whether those penalties should be tax disadvantages or government contract exclusions. But it did ask workers what they would do if their jobs were threatened by offshoring.

[snip]

She noted that outsourcing is a polarizing political topic in this election year. Furthermore, the issue has legal consequences that concern labor and employment law attorneys.

"There are many ramifications from offshoring such as inviting unions, decreased employee productivity because of morale issues, and employee retention problems," McNamara said. "If they're fearful of losing their positions, they'll be more likely to be attracted elsewhere."

Study: Wal-Mart's U.S. Expansion Has Benefited from More Than $1 Billion in Economic Development Subsidies USNewswire.com (5/24)

Wal-Mart, the world's largest retailer, has benefited from more than $1 billion in economic development subsidies from state and local governments across the United States, according to a new study by Good Jobs First, a Washington, DC-based research center ( available at http://www.goodjobsfirst.org). "Wal-Mart presents itself as an entrepreneurial success story, yet it has made extensive use of tax breaks, free land, cash grants and other forms of public assistance," said Philip Mattera, research director of Good Jobs First and principal author of the study.

The study found more than 240 cases in which the construction of a new Wal-Mart facility was assisted by taxpayers. Apart from 160 retail outlets, the study found subsidies at 84 distribution centers, representing more than 90 percent of the network of huge warehouses Wal-Mart has built to facilitate its expansion. Mattera stressed that the $1 billion figure is necessarily an understatement, given that public disclosure of subsidies is severely limited.


Un-fucking-believable. Be sure to check our archives: we've got LOTS of articles about the evils of Wal-Mart and how their employees need welfare benefits to survive.

"That a company with $9 billion in profits can wrest subsidies from state and local governments shows that the candy store game is out of control," said Greg LeRoy, executive director of Good Jobs First. "The subsidies to Wal-Mart are particularly troubling, given that it uses taxpayer dollars to create jobs that tend to be poverty-wage, part-time and lacking in adequate healthcare benefits."

The study recommends that states prohibit subsidies to retailers except in distressed areas that lack adequate retail outlets for necessities such as food. Any retailer receiving subsidies should be required to pay a living wage.


And for those of you that don't believe, here's this article...