[biztech-discussion] Re: Prioritization

  • From: Barbara Mende <barbara@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <biztech-discussion@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sat, 15 May 2004 21:51:39 -0400

I concur, and also support Tom's proposals.  Saying that we should push the
security argument because it might be accepted is a copout.  It's like
saying we should vote for W because he'll win.  National security isn't our
concern as a writers' organization or a union, and I'd bet that not many of
us make it a high priority.  Let's be honest and make honest arguments based
on what we believe.


On 5/15/04 5:34 PM, "Thomas J. Gradel" <thomasjgradel@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> keyed

> 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
> work.)
> 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
> interest.
> 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
> Bradley
> 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
> day.
> = Mike Bradley
> SF

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