[biztech-discussion] Re: Prioritization

  • From: "Thomas J. Gradel" <thomasjgradel@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <biztech-discussion@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sat, 15 May 2004 16:34:01 -0500

The NEC voted to make the off-shoring campaign one of our top
priorities.  Jerry Colby, after consulting with Weinrub, Vossenas,
Davis, Gradel, staff members, and others, decided to allocate 40 percent
of a full-time organizer's time to work on off-shoring.  I think even
more resources would be devoted to the campaign, if a plan was developed
to couple off-shoring with an effort to help attract new members and
retain current ones.

I too, don't think much of the national security argument. Instead I
think we should attack any tax advantages given to companies that export
job.  Profits made outside the country should be taxed at the same or
higher rates as those made here.  Corporations that move their
headquarters off-shore to escape taxation and regulation should be
forced to move back. I also think pressure must be put on state and
local governments to buy and hire locally. 

I think the best arguments are moral arguments.  I think any worker who
contributes his or her labor, talent, intelligence and energy into
helping build a profitable enterprise earns a right to his or her job.

The right is not a permanent or absolute right.  But the worker earns a
right to substantial advance warning and significant assistance during a
period of transition and retraining.  Workers who have been on the job
and have made a contribution to the enterprise for many years have
greater rights than someone who arrived on the scene a few months ago. 

People have a right to jobs that pay decent wages and benefits and
workers should have equal and fair opportunities to secure meaningful
work. We have the right to organize our governments and economic system
to make this happen.

In my mind, we should think of jobs like with think about granting
logging rights on public lands. Lumber companies can cut trees in
certain places in certain numbers over a period of time. But they must
replant the trees and can't totally destroy the environment in the
process. (Good laws and strong enforcement are needed to make this

We can't stop off-shoring but we can regulate it.

If we attack off-shoring in these moral, pro-community, pro-human terms,
we will be speaking for all workers. It doesn't matter if the workers we
are talking about make the minimum wage or rake in $100,000 a year with
benefits. The principle is the same and all workers can understand it.

Of course some of us didn't worry about the exporting of jobs until it
affected white collar or writing jobs.  We will have to ask forgiveness
from the clothing workers and punch press operators who we ignored for
the past several decades.  There are numerous ways to do penance and
earn our way back on the "good guys" list.

But, just because we were slow to wake up and get it right, is no reason
to sit on the side lines now.

Also, we must enter the battle to improve earning power and working
conditions for workers, and writers, in developing countries.  The moral
arguments fall short if we are only concerned about our own self

I didn't mean to preach.  But these are some of my thoughts.
Tom Gradel -- in Chicago.


-----Original Message-----
From: biztech-discussion-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
[mailto:biztech-discussion-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Mike
Sent: Friday, May 14, 2004 11:56 AM
To: biztech-discussion@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [biztech-discussion] Re: Prioritization

Frankly, I think we're not going to get much in the way of NWU
resources. We might be better off tagging along with the CWA. They
obviously have money and they're making a good splash. Maybe our
contribution could be to bring new energy to the security issue.

Regarding that issue, touting national security gives me the creeps,
but protection of personal data seems to have gotten lots of play in
the media and it touches lots of people. H1-B are prime, too, I think,
esp. in our industry, where we rub shoulders with H1-B workers every

= Mike Bradley

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