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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Too Little, Too Late

Oct 13th, 2010
We would like to welcome a new contributor, Connie Prince, to The Hand.
by Connie Prince

As a 34-year member of the American Federation of Teachers, I get occasional emails from our parent, the AFL-CIO. One recently crowed about its online "Job Tracker," which tells how many jobs my local companies have outsourced from my area. Why? To shine a light on outsourcing, safety, health and labor law violations in order to force corporations to stop.

You might want to check out the link yourself: 

Yes, jobs are a top priority to tens of millions of people. No, I've got nothing against compiling information. But there are other larger issues at stake, so, to Manny Herrmann, the Online Mobilization Coordinator, I replied, 
Oh no, shocked, are you? Are you really going to wrap unionists in the flag here?

You "Job Trackers" are making an effort you should have started twenty years ago. You, I and anyone else with two brain cells to rub together knew in the mid and late eighties that companies were moving overseas. You also had the media capability to spread the information back then, even if the Internet wasn't in wide use until the mid-Nineties. The real bottom line is that you were just too lazy to think through the future consequences of such corporate treachery. You were also too lazy to lobby for strengthening labor contract rights at a national level. You forgot about solidarity when corporations were pushing labor markets around all over this country. You should have used your budget priorities to change corporate charter law back then.

Now you want to fight? In the era of Western Globalization, do you think you can shame a corporate "legal person" into nationalism? Pro-labor rights? You think you can take that legal person to a regulatory agency that isn't staffed with pro-corporate people? You think you can take that legal person to a court -- and win? The public is exhausted with anger and indignation over corporate removals of American liquidity and over the corporate capture of this government -- the public knew for years what your organization would do nothing about. 

Once you shed a "shining light," what then? And what will you do with the truth, once you map it out completely, hm? If you're in solidarity with me, you'll think on this and get back to fellow unionists with legal strategies. All you can really do is ban corporate charters from their country of origin if they don't follow federal law or trade treaties. Big deal. Now that they've got their own private security forces, there's no "forcing" them to come back and hire labor in their country of corporate charter origin. Expanding the "traitor map" strikes thinking unionists as a bit silly, at this point.

1 comment:

  1. I agree the horse has left the barn. But isn't trying to raise consciousness about this a good idea? In the 80's and 90's lots of people who are now out of work were too busy trying to ingratiate themselves to the captains of industry and scramble up the corporate ladder to act as concerned citizens. Is it really completely too late for a little civic action?