Senators Vow to 'Use Any Means Necessary' to Ensure Taxpayer Bailout of Private Union Pension PlanAs Congress closes up shop for 2016, a group of four Democratic senators is determined to "use whatever means necessary" to secure a special-interest taxpayer bailout for the United Mine Workers of America union. According to the senators, those "means" will include "blocking other bills" until the bailout is secure, writes The Heritage Foundation's Rachel Greszler.
After Carrier deal, effusive praise for Trump from Steelworkers union
After Carrier deal, effusive praise for Trump from Steelworkers union
By Jerry White
7 December 2016
In the aftermath of the deal brokered by President-elect Donald Trump that supposedly saves the jobs of Carrier heat furnace workers in Indianapolis, the United Steelworkers union (USW) issued a statement lavishing praise on Trump and embracing his “America-first” economic nationalism.
“We thank President-elect Trump for listening to our
members and following through on his campaign pledge to
persuade Carrier to keep production of quality heating
equipment in Indianapolis,” USW President Leo Gerard said.
“During the campaign, the president-elect spoke out
vigorously for the need to bring jobs back home, to invest in
domestic manufacturing, take a hard line with trading
partners and reform our nation’s failed trade practices. The
USW shares those goals.”
The groveling statement follows a November 14 letter sent by Gerard to congratulate Trump on his election victory. In the letter, Gerard pledged to work with the incoming administration to “advance the interests of our nation and our members.” The presidents of the AFL-CIO and the United Auto Workers issued similar statements.
While it mainly backed Hillary Clinton, the American trade union bureaucracy has a natural affinity for Trump’s anti-Chinese and anti-Mexican rhetoric and protectionist policies, having spent decades promoting the claim that foreign workers are “stealing American jobs.” Gerard pointed out in his November 14 letter that “Donald Trump used our own words” to criticize “the failed trade policies” of both big-business parties.
The economic nationalism of the trade union bureaucracy is not driven by concern for the wellbeing of rank-and-file union members. It is motivated entirely by the desire of the union officials to maintain the flow of income from dues payments, which means stanching the movement of jobs out of the country. As an inducement to the corporations to keep jobs in the US, the unions offer up the wages, working conditions, pensions and health benefits of the workers they supposedly represent. In the end, they collaborate in the destruction of jobs as well, in keeping with their corporatist policy of labor-management partnership.
Carrier is a case in point. The pro-company, anti-worker character of the deal praised by the USW was underscored by the comments of Gregory Hayes, the CEO of Carrier’s parent company United Technologies Corp. (UTC).
“We still get to do the preponderance of the restructuring that we were going to do anyways,” UTC chief executive Gregory Hayes told CNBC’s “Mad Money” host Jim Cramer on Monday. “It was a good deal for UTC.”
As for the $16 million in new investment that
Trump said would lead to an expansion of the
plant and more jobs, Hayes made clear that
the money would be used to cut labor costs
and eliminate jobs. “We will make the plant
competitive with investment, but it will mean
fewer jobs,” he told the CNBC host.
A leaflet distributed at the plant Monday by USW Local 1999 admitted that only 730 production and maintenance jobs and 70 management jobs out of the 1,400 current positions would remain in Indianapolis. More than 500 bargaining unit employees hired after February 2005, the union said, “would still be affected by the outsourcing of their jobs to Mexico.”
The deal also sanctions the shutdown of UTC’s plant in Huntington, Indiana and elimination of 700 more jobs. The 300 research and headquarters positions in Indianapolis also supposedly “saved” were never due to be outsourced.
The “genie of globalization cannot be put back in the bottle,” Hayes told CNBC, noting that wages in Mexico “were 80 percent lower” than in the US and absenteeism and turnover were lower as well.
Hayes said Trump had assured him that the deal would boost the returns going to the company’s wealthy shareholders. He recounted what Trump said during a phone call before Thanksgiving.
“I need you to relook at the decision to close the Indianapolis plant. We’re going to do a lot of things in this country that will make it a lot more conducive to manufacturing. We’re going to take the tax rate down and reduce all this burdensome regulation. When all that happens, you are going to be printing money,” Hayes recalled Trump saying.
He then told CNBC, “I think if we can see a renaissance in manufacturing in the US, that is a good deal for the US. But it’s got to come from more thoughtful regulation and a more competitive tax rate. I think those are the things they [the incoming Trump administration] are focused on.”
The planned tax cuts include a sharp reduction on the repatriation of an estimated $2.1 trillion currently being held by US corporations in offshore tax shelters. “Tax reform is key for UTC,” Hayes told CNBC,” because we’ve got $27 billion of permanently reinvested earnings overseas, including $6 billion that’s sitting in cash that I could bring back tomorrow and invest here. Whether it’s paying dividends, buying back stock or investing in the next technology engine.”
In other words, the Carrier deal is part of a policy of freeing companies from any limitations on profit making. Billions more will be squandered on stock buybacks and dividend payoffs that benefit super-rich investors and executives such as Hayes, who took in $10.8 million last year, and to finance further mergers and acquisitions, which will destroy more jobs.
While claiming it was “not involved in talks” with Trump, the USW admitted that it is currently involved in discussions with Carrier over the possibility of altering the severance packages and labor contract extension to which the two parties had agreed. This raises the likelihood that Carrier will seek wage and benefit concessions from workers, or, at the very least, a means to push out older, higher-paid workers. This would enable Carrier to pay as much as $10 an hour less to lower-seniority workers as part of the three-tier wage system the USW accepted in the last two contracts.
“It’s hard to be more competitive than the $7 billion we made them last year,” a Carrier worker told the World Socialist Web Site. “They’re still offering the severance to anybody who wants it, hoping all the senior workers will go.”
Regarding the tax cuts that will help UTC funnel more money to its shareholders, the worker said, “Yeah, you can bet anything they do will enrich the hard life they live right now!”
The USW has close ties with Trump’s pick to lead the Commerce Department, the billionaire asset stripper Wilbur Ross. The USW collaborated with Ross as he bought up distressed steel companies such as Bethlehem, LTV and others, and slashed jobs and pensions while preserving the financial investments of the USW.
“Leaders of some of the big industrial unions, the steel workers, the autoworkers,” Ross said in a 2010 interview, “they understand the dynamics of the industry at least as well as the senior management of the companies.”
Last year the USW led the campaign for the Obama administration to stop the alleged dumping of Chinese steel in the US, even though the international economic slump was leading to the wiping out of half a million steelworkers’ jobs in China. At the same time, the USW collaborated with US Steel, ArcelorMittal and Allegheny Technologies to keep labor costs barely above the rate of inflation and sharply increase out-of-pocket health care costs.
The USW and other unions are hostile to any struggle to unite workers in the US with their brothers and sisters around the world against global corporate giants like UTC. Instead, the unions have spent decades promoting the lie that foreign workers and “unfair trade,” not the ruthless pursuit of profit by the capitalist owners, are responsible for plant closings and layoffs.
The calls for tariffs against China, in particular, dovetail with Trump’s anti-Chinese agitation and plans to ramp up military aggression against the nuclear-armed country. Far from defending jobs, trade war will lead only to retaliation by US corporations’ competitors, the deepening of the world economic crisis, and a descent toward world war.
As the Carrier deal shows, the “American-first” demagogy peddled by Trump and the unions boils down to “American billionaires first.”
FIXING AMERICA’S UNEMPLOYMENT CRISIS:
How many jobs in your community are held by foreign born?
THE STAGGERING ILLEGAL INVASION: INVADE, MURDER, RAPE, BREED ANCHOR BABIES FOR WELFARE and VOTE DEM FOR MORE!
THE GIG JOB
In America, No Legal Need Apply
In America, No Legal Need Apply
"Possibly most affected by this shift in the economy is the Millennial generation, those aged 18-30. The report notes that more than half of those under age 25 participate in independent work, not just in the United States but throughout the European Union as well."
MILLIONS of JOBS and BILLIONS in WELFARE and they commit most of the MURDERS
SANCTUARY CITIES AND STATES: AMERICA FALLS TO LA RAZA SUPREMACY!
“What we're seeing is our Congress and national leadership dismantling our laws by not enforcing them. Lawlessness becomes the norm, just like Third World corruption. Illegal aliens now have more rights and privileges than Americans. If you are an illegal alien, you can drive a car without a driver's license or insurance. You may obtain medical care without paying. You may work without paying taxes. Your children enjoy free education at the expense of taxpaying Americans.”
SERGIO RAMSES MUCINO HIRED ILLEGALS.
ICE ROUNDED THEM UP AND TOOK HIS PORSCHE AND CADILLAC.
40 MILION MEX FLAG WAVERS TO GO!
SOARING POVERTY AND UNEMPLOYMENT UNDER OBAMA’S OPEN
HILLARY WILL HAND 40 MILLION LOOTING MEXICANS AMNESTY,
AMERICAN JOBS AND BILLIONS IN WELFARE.
IT WORKS! BUT ONLY FOR THE SUPER RICH!!!
"The same period has seen a massive growth of social inequality, with income and wealth concentrated at the very top of American society to an extent not seen since the 1920s."
"He (Trump) is able to get a hearing because millions of people are being driven into economic insecurity and poverty while the rich and the super-rich continue to amass obscene levels of wealth. He is able with some success to divert mass discontent along reactionary nationalist and racialist channels precisely because what passes for the “left” in American politics, anchor by the Democratic Party, has moved ever further to the right, culminating in the Obama administration which has presided over endless war and an unprecedented redistribution of wealth from the bottom to the top of the economic ladder."
A NATION IN BORDER MELTDOWN:
MILLIONS OF JOBS TO ILLEGALS AND BILLIONS IN WELFARE
MEXICO WILL DOUBLE AMERICA’S POPULATION
IMMIGRANT SHARE OF ADULTS QUADRUPLED IN 232 COUNTIES
"More than 728,000 illegal immigrants have been shielded from being deported and
granted work permits through President Barack Obama’s 2012 executive amnesty
program, according to the Migration Policy Institute."