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Noam Chomsky on Jobs

Political Activist

Obama backed EFCA, then visited scab/lockout company

A labor journalist wrote that "while running for office, Obama said he strongly backed the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA), a long-overdue labor law reform measure that should be part of his promised economic stimulus plan." However, when Obama took office, EFCA quickly vanished. Pres. Obama decided to show his solidarity with workers by giving a talk at a Caterpillar plant. The hardline CEO of Caterpillar rescinded the contract with United Auto Workers in 1991, instituted a lockout, threatened to bring in "permanent replacement workers" (scabs), and later did so, for the first time in generations in manufacturing industry. The practice was illegal in other industrial countries. It is hard to imagine that Obama and his advisers purposely chose a corporation that led the way to undermine labor rights. More likely, they were unaware of the facts.
Source: Hopes and Prospects, by Noam Chomsky, p.217-218 , Jun 1, 2010

Free Trade Agreements move jobs to non-union areas

Under Reagan, the US managed to drive labor costs way below the level of our competitors (except for Britain). Thatís produced consequences not only in Mexico & the US but all across the industrial world. For example, one of the effects of the so-called free trade agreement with Canada was to stimulate a big flow of jobs from Canada to the southeast US, because thatís an essentially non-union area. Wages are lower; fewer benefits; workers can barely organize. So thatís an attack against Canadian workers
Source: Secrets, Lies, and Democracy, by Noam Chomsky, p. 19 , May 2, 1994

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Page last updated: Jul 06, 2014