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At least 36,000 Verizon workers have been on strike since Wednesday of last week after failing to reach a new labor agreement. This strike is about lowering labor costs via exporting jobs and using low wage contractors in order to redistribute income from Verizon’s employees to rich shareholders via higher corporate profits, rising dividends and soaring share prices.

Here’s how the system is rigged by federal legislators.

Verizon earned, or overcharged their customers depending on your point of view, $39 billion over the last three years, and now management wants employees to make concessions in pay and benefits, as well as other things. Workers at Verizon have said enough is enough! Verizon made $19.3 billion in US pretax profits from 2008 to 2012, yet didn’t pay any federal income taxes during the period. Instead, it got $535 million in tax rebates. Verizon’s effective federal income tax rate was negative 2.8 percent from 2008 to 2012. Now the company wants to reduce employee compensation despite billions in profits.

As Verizon employee James Brugund said, “American companies want American profits, but they don’t want to pay American wages, and that should be stopped.”

Among the union’s complaints: the offshoring of thousands of jobs to workers abroad, and shifting work to low-wage, non-union contractors. But one of their chief complaints is about being forced to work in locations far from home for months at a time.

“Verizon lineman Ting Chin, who already commutes more than 80 miles from Poughkeepsie, NY, to Manhattan, said that several of his colleagues were sent to Buffalo, New York — almost 400 miles away — for a long-term job, a fate that he says he narrowly avoided.”

In addition, Verizon wants to shift 50 percent of its work to low wage contractors, via a new labor union contract. Other jobs that are no longer done by Verizon employees but are instead handed to lower-wage contractors from outside or inside the U.S. include:

* VZ Business Monitoring
* eService email, chat and offline
* Dispatch
* Digging work for copper plant and FiOS
* In-home installation and networking
* Door-to-door sales of FiOS
* Materials distribution work/delivery
* Smart Home technology installation/customer
* service and other specialized home services

The company is also negotiating to export more jobs overseas. The company has been in the process of exporting these jobs, mostly, it seems, to Manila, Philippines. Thousands of jobs have been exported in recent months.

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“New Balance management on Tuesday accused the Obama administration of walking back its promised bribe made to them to consider the Boston-based shoe maker for a potential Pentagon contract after the company reluctantly loosened its stance on the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), an income and political power redistribution scam for the 1 percent.”

The president bribed the company to back down on its criticism of the jobs destroying income redistribution scam known as the TPP by offering management a pentagon contract. The pentagon, however, does not purchase US made athletic shoes. Instead, it purchases Chinese made Nike, and other foreign brands. The TPP will destroy the last US shoe factories, five of which are in Maine with 1400 employees, along with tens of millions of other US jobs. The Obama administration is intent on redistributing trillions of dollars from the 99 to the 1 percent via the TPP. See The Op-Ed about the Trans Pacific Partnership the Liberal and Conservative Press Doesn’t Want You To See.

“Speaking to the Boston Globe, New Balance’s vice president of public affairs, Matt LeBretton, said the sneaker company was told it had a chance at a lucrative deal with the Defense Department if it relented criticism directed at the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a potential trade agreement between the U.S. and 11 Pacific Rim countries.”

“We swallowed the poison pill that is TPP so we could have a chance to bid on these contracts,” said Matt LeBretton, New Balance’s vice president of public affairs. “We were assured this would be a top-down approach at the Department of Defense if we agreed to either support or remain neutral on TPP. [But] the chances of the Department of Defense buying shoes that are made in the USA are slim to none while Obama is president.”

Click here for more on the story from the Washington Post.

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Why do Nike executives want the US congress to pass the Trans Pacific Partnership?

The answer is simple, they want to offshore more jobs, which the corporation will be able to do once the TPP becomes law. But first let me explain a few things.

The folks at Nike declared that the notorious jobs exporter would create 10,000 new manufacturing jobs in the US if the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) is passed by congress. President Obama repeated this lie when he gave a speech at Nike headquarters on May 8. I should point out that 10,000 jobs represents less than 1 percent of Nike’s total manufacturing labor force. So it’s a drop in the bucket.

So how is it that the president is willing to share information from his top secret trade negotiations with Nike executives, but not with the rest of us?

This willingness to create jobs in the United States defies both logic and Nike’s history.

Nike is one of the top jobs exporters in all of US history, if not number one of all time. And the defining issue for Nike in the TPP, that we know of via leaked documents, is the desire of Nike executives to reduce or eliminate the tariff on Nike products the company exports to the United States from Vietnam, which swells the US trade deficit, and ask anybody, the latter is a bad thing.

If the TPP becomes law, we can count on tens of thousands of Nike jobs to be relocated from China to Vietnam because the wages in Vietnam are much lower than in China. This will increase Nike’s profits and stock price. Take a look at the history of Nike’s stock price below.

Nike’s stock price was barely over $4 a share in November 1994, just before the implementation of NAFTA in December 1994. It more than doubled between 1994 and 2000, because the company was able to export more jobs. Then China was given most favored nation status. The price of Nike stock has jumped more than a thousand percent since then because the company was able to export even more jobs. If you owned 1000 shares of Nike in 1994, your stock was worth $4000. Now it would be worth $100,000, and that doesn’t even count the yearly dividend payment.

Nike’s stock growth was a result of exporting jobs. When a job is exported from the US, the difference between the old higher US wage and the new lower Vietnam wage increases profits, which drives stock prices and dividends higher, but leaves everybody else in poverty.

So it’s more than likely that Nike will not shift production to the United States with or without the Trans Pacific Partnership. This suggests that people should rightly be suspicious of the dubious claim by Nike executives that they will create 10,000 US manufacturing jobs in the US if only the TPP passes through congress. Nike could do it right now. And the lowering of US tariffs on imports from Vietnam via the TPP gives Nike absolutely no incentive to create production jobs in the US. Rather, it gives Nike incentives to export the few production jobs in the US and the hundreds of thousands in China to Vietnam.

On the other hand, these executives want the TPP in the worst sort of way, which suggests they have had the privilege of seeing the text of the TPP, a right which is being denied to the rest of us.

So what is the president and his chief Wall Street henchman in the senate (Ron Wyden) hiding?

We know from leaked documents that the TPP will:

* TPP will give incentives for US corporations to export millions of US jobs. The Federal Reserve estimates that 28 million US jobs were exported between 1990 and 2010. Wyden wants to increase this number. Jobs are the biggest US export product. Wyden likes this.

* TPP will increase US income and wealth inequality. The 1 percent have already taken 95 percent of all income growth in the United States since 2009. Currently, the 1 percent are stealing 36+ percent of all income produced in the USA, compared to only 8 percent in 1980. International trade scams and other federal legislation have brought inequality about. For example, when the above jobs were exported, the difference between the old higher US wages and the new lower wages will go straight into the pockets of the 1 percent via higher corporate profits, rising dividends and surging share prices. Wyden is a principle architect of this inequality.

* Those lost jobs will no longer be paying the taxes for our infrastructure, K-12 education, higher education (tuition and fees will go up), social safety nets, schools, fire, police, public transportation, social security taxes, but those lost jobs will push the stock markets higher.

* TPP will effectively eliminate your voting rights on local and state issues since it will unconstitutionally grant investors of the 0.01 percent special privileges to challenge labeling and health and safety local laws and regulations of the 99 percent, which most people call voter suppression, but in this case it should be called voter elimination.

* TPP will eliminate millions of jobs in Latin America, which will drive millions of more people illegally into the United States and depress wages here. See How the Trans Pacific Partnership Will Destroy American Jobs and Exports

* TPP will jack up pharmaceutical prices by extending the patents of the pharmaceutical corporations. Hmm, that doesn’t sound like free trade. It sounds like they’re rigging the game against the 99 percent.

These things we know only from leaked documents, and they’re only a tiny bit of what’s been negotiated. It doesn’t seem like the stuff we don’t know about in the TPP is going to be very good for the majority of citizens, otherwise, the president would let us know what is in the TPP, which is precisely what the president doesn’t want us to know. If the TPP is so good for the majority of American citizens, as the president claims, then why don’t the rich folks want us to know what’s in it?

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(Reuters) – Nike makes all of its products overseas, mostly in Vietnam and China. It does not employ production workers in the United States. If the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) is passed by congress, minimal US tariffs on goods imported from Vietnam will virtually vanish, and this means more profits for Nike, but it also means New Balance Shoes will need to export all of its jobs in Maine to Vietnam or China in order to stay competitive with Nike.
In what must be some sort of ridiculous joke, President Barack Obama will travel to outsourcer and jobs exporter Nike Inc headquarters in Oregon May 8 to argue that a 12-nation Pacific trade deal and the fast-track legislation needed to finalize the pact, and this is good for workers.
Obama faces tough opposition from his fellow Democrats in Congress over the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal, which they fear could hurt American jobs and the environment.
He will use the trip to the headquarters of Nike, a company once criticized for its use of “sweatshops,” to “discuss how workers will benefit from progressive, high-standards trade agreements that would open up new markets and support high-quality jobs,” the White House said in a statement.
Nike was targeted by labor activists in the early 1990s for contracting with factories in Asia where workers faced dangerous conditions and low pay. The criticism prompted the company to create a code of conduct for contractors and open factories for inspections.
Obama has made the TPP a key part of his effort to rebalance his foreign policy to Asia to counter China’s economic might.
He has argued that the deal would be the most “progressive” and transparent in history, with protections for labor and the environment.
But he has so far failed to sway allies in the labor and environmental movements.

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Groups in the Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM) are opposed to the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) because past similar deals have caused crippling poverty in many countries. Within six years after the implementation of NAFTA, for example, wages in Mexico dropped nearly thirty percent, unemployment shot up, and drove millions of people illegally into the United States, helping to depress wages there. The TPP will do exactly the same.

“The current trade negotiations for TPP would not be an exception to this. In these deals, the U.S. government is de-emphasizing labor and human rights, while lifting up corporate rights through Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) provisions, meaning extra-legal tribunals where corporations may pursue claims of lost profits,” said FIRM spokesperson Kica Matos.

“Like NAFTA and other trade agreements, TPP risks offshoring millions of jobs overseas forcing more and more people to lose their livelihood here and in other countries,” added Matos. “If TPP is passed, it could not only undermine work opportunities and protections for workers here and abroad, but it could also dramatically increase the number of economic refugees to this country. Millions could be subjected to poverty and will inevitably be forced to leave to seek opportunity elsewhere, risking their lives coming to the U.S. only to face our broken immigration system.”

“Worse yet, the Administration wants to “fast track” a vote on new trade agreements. Instead, we should fast track an immigration bill. We should fast track a jobs bill, unemployment benefits, climate change legislation, and voting rights. We must fast track solutions for children who have been forced to migrate and arrive at our border,” Matos said.

Among the groups that have signed the statement are CASA, Center for Community Change, Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA), Michigan United, Promise Arizona, One America, Workers’ Defense Project, Alliance for a Just Society, Voces de la Frontera, and the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights.

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Automation is not the great job killer, shipping jobs overseas is the great job killer and tax base destroyer. That’s why the deficit is so great.

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The great American scam in the war against the middle class. What do Wall Street Senator’s Orrin Hatch and Ron Wyden and all of the Republican Party and 80 percent of the Democratic Party do for a living? They sponsor legislation that outsources and off shore American jobs, and the difference between the old higher wages and the new lower wages goes into the pockets of their masters, the 1 percent, via higher corporate profits, rising share prices and surging dividends.

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