Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Hoffa: Put American Jobs First

Teamsters' chief Jim Hoffa argues for a strong "Buy America" policy in the Detroit News today. In his monthly Labor Voices column, Hoffa says the unemployment crisis is dire.

America lost jobs continually for two years, and it’s going to take longer than that to bring them back. Some economists say it will be 10 years before the unemployment rate returns to what it was when the recession started in December 2007.

Hoffa says the U.S. government needs to put American companies that employ American workers first when it comes to contracting. He says the government has no business awarding contracts to companies like Dell Computer.

Dell, the federal government’s 11th biggest prime contractor, will shut its last major U.S. plant in North Carolina next year and transfer the work overseas.

"Buy America" should be a no-brainer, but it isn't. Hoffa explains why: too many powerful multinational corporations are making huge profits by sending jobs overseas. And they support the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which fights tooth and nail against keeping U.S. jobs in the U.S., all the while claiming to be concerned about jobs.

Hoffa has a news flash:

The chamber of commerce doesn’t give a damn about American jobs. The main culprits who cut 8 million jobs in 2008-09 were the private businesses represented by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. ...

I frankly don’t understand why the Chamber of Commerce even has “U.S.” in its name. There are a half-dozen directors at the chamber who actually
represent foreign companies.