Today, the number of people who work full-time, earning a living wage with health and retirement benefits, continues to
decline. Manufacturing workers have been hardest hit, as companies shift production and new investment to a growing network of
sweatshops located all around the world. This downhill trend has been underway for the past 35 years, but shows signs of
accelerating as companies look for ways to move jobs overseas and reduce the wages and benefits of those who remain.
Since the late 1980s, big business has induced Congress to pass so-called "free trade" deals — such as NAFTA,
GATT, and the WTO — all of which have increased the ability of companies to move production overseas while still being able to
bring the products back here for sale on the U.S. market. For public and service sector workers, the privatization and
contracting-out attacks of many politicians have had the same effect, as wages and benefits are lowered for the new, portable
In addition to factory jobs, growing numbers of technical and professional positions are now also being "offshored"
— sent overseas to workforces with dramatically lower wages and benefits. Older workers today live in perpetual fear that
their plant will close before they reach retirement age. Young people who are lucky enough to find full-time jobs almost always
find the salaries lower than in the past, with fewer traditional benefits. Many working people are forced to survive on multiple
part-time jobs. Despite this disgraceful situation, the Bush Administration recently announced that the "offshoring"
trend is really good for the country!
The Republican majority in Congress is pushing ahead with plans for new job-killing schemes such as the Free
Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) and the Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA), among others. Far too many Democrats
still support these destructive trade policies, despite the ample evidence of their impact on working people. In the public
sector, the Bush Administration has picked-up where the Clinton-Gore regime left off, by promoting even greater levels of
privatization. Lawmakers at the state and local level are also stepping-up these attacks on public sector workers as a
convenient way around their own budget crisis.
Our union has consistently opposed the corporate and political war against working people. It is time for Congress
to place a moratorium on the passage of any new "free trade" schemes. We resolutely oppose the passage of the CAFTA,
FTAA, or any other "free trade" schemes that do nothing to raise labor standards for working people. Our union has also
consistently opposed privatization and other schemes to reduce the wages and benefits of public-sector workers, at the expense of
- More than 3.2 million jobs have been lost since the election of George W. Bush in 2000.
- The NAFTA trade deal of 1993 has led to a net loss of jobs in all 50 states.
- Today there are fewer manufacturing workers than there were 35 years ago, despite the fact that the population of the U.S.
has increased by more than 50%.
- At UE Political Action Conferences in 1999 and 2001 only three of 120 Members of Congress could provide delegates with the
name and address of at least one new factory in their state/ district opened as a result of NAFTA.
- Over the past ten years even the production of defense-related products has gone to sweatshops overseas!
- • Almost 800,000 federal jobs are slated for privatization by the Bush Administration — including jobs that require a
security clearance being contracted to a company that utilizes prison labor to do the same tasks!
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