Toil And Troubles
What's strong about this economic picture is the stench emanating from it!
"The movement of jobs (overseas) causes the loss of jobs for our members as well as having an impact on the economy," CWA Area Director Pat Niven told the Asbury Park Press.
A think tank's new report, commissioned by CWA, says that nearly a half million of New Jersey's white collar jobs - customer service, software creation, data entry and even such fields as architecture and health care support - ultimately could be lost to low-wage workers overseas. The analysis found the average wage for jobs vulnerable to offshoring is $47,389.
"These are high-paying jobs and the people who have them thought their education would keep them safe," Jon Shure, head of the New Jersey Public Policy Perspective, told the Newark Star-Ledger. "But the technology is such that a lot of this work can be done anyplace, and employers are shopping the world to find the cheapest labor."
The report says offshoring will affect New Jersey's economy immediately and in the long term. "Now is the time to take action," the report concludes. "It is not enough to say that the market will take care of itself. People affected by offshoring will not go through this transition unscathed. The offshoring practice calls for government action as part of the overall need to create an economy with benefits attainable by all."
While the report was commissioned at the request of District 1 and focuses on just one state, CWA President Morton Bahr said its findings apply to the entire country. "As long as corporations put quick profits over sustainable business practices that build both customer and employee loyalty, and therefore growth, outsourcing will continue to be one of the biggest challenges to job and wage security for America's working families," he said.
I'll bet that New York City Mayor Bloomberg wishes that he could outsource these city employees threatening to strike over these very issues - but then, most of the available replacements are already busy - in Iraq!
The city could be crippled by wildcat strikes by cops and firefighters during the Republican convention - and union leaders said yesterday they may not be able to stop it.
At a press conference on the steps of City Hall, the two union bosses also vowed to continue hounding Mayor Bloomberg at public events because of his refusal to pay them more than other city workers. Bloomberg has been dogged by union protesters for weeks. Scores shouted insults at him outside a Greenwich Village meeting Monday night. Dozens of demonstrators also showed up yesterday morning outside four network TV studios that broadcast national shows.
"The level of frustration among firefighters and police officers is so high, I can't account for what might happen," fumed Stephen Cassidy, president of the 8,500-member Uniformed Firefighters Association.
"We will rule nothing off the table," added Patrick Lynch, president of the 23,000-member Patrolmen's Benevolent Association.
Cassidy argued that Bloomberg is treating cops and firefighters "no different than people that push paper." Noting that 343 firefighters died on 9/11, Cassidy added, "He can't show up at the funerals and tell their widows their husbands are heroes and not pay us a fair wage when we're alive."
Maybe so, Mr. Cassidy. But right now, he has no worries - he doesn't happen to have two blazing skyscrapers full of humans in need of rescue.
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