Job Tracker: Outsourcers Can Run, But Now They Can’t Hide
October 12th, 2010 | Mike Hall
In the past decade, more than 5 million manufacturing jobs and 850,000 information sector jobs have disappeared—many of which have been shipped overseas. This outsourcing is encouraged by faulty trade and tax policies that corporate executives use to boost record-breaking profits and outrageous and obscene executive salaries.
But finding out specific information on specific companies sending American jobs overseas and devastating their communities has been nearly impossible—until today. The AFL-CIO and Working America’s new Job Tracker database lists information on more than 400,000 corporations that have exported jobs overseas, violated health and safety codes or engaged in discriminatory or other illegal practice. (Check it out at http://t.co/qbg7wwm.)
AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, in a conference call with reporters this morning, said Job Tracker’s searchable by ZIP code and the interactive database gives
everyday people the opportunity to actually see what is happening in their community and shine the light on what corporations are doing. For the first time, working people have one place to see the real impact of the failed policies of the past that gave corporations the ability to ship American jobs overseas.
With this new data as a benchmark, working people will have the ability to separate the economic patriots from the corporate traitors at the ballot box.
Karen Nussbaum, executive director of Working America—the AFL-CIO’s community affiliate— said, “Because of Job Tracker, corporations who have taken advantage of lax trade policies in America and abroad will no longer”
be able to hide behind the veils of bureaucracy. Every night on our neighborhood canvasses, we hear from people who want to know which companies are profiting off the loss of their jobs. Corporations have created a global race to the bottom and working people won’t stand for it.
A recent Wall Street Journal poll shows 83 percent of blue-collar workers say outsourcing of manufacturing jobs is the reason the U.S. economy is struggling and why companies are not hiring. Jobs are the No. 1 issue for working family voters this year, said Trumka.
We must demand that our leaders show that they stand with working families—fighting to create jobs, rejecting unfair trade deals and putting us on a path to make things in America again.
Here’s how Job Tracker works. Simply enter a ZIP code, for example Toledo, Ohio’s 43606. A few clicks of your mouse will find 20 companies—from Ace Packaging Systems to Tecumseh Products—have exported jobs, mostly manufacturing jobs. Another 19 firms have laid off workers because of the impact of trade and 61 companies have made or filed notice to make mass layoffs.
Also, 39 companies had cases involving workers’ rights violations under the National Labor Relations Act, and 1,170 have received health and safety violations under the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA).
Trumka said the Job Tracker provides the kind of information to help working families make their choices at the ballot box Nov. 2 and working families can use to determine who is on the side of working families.
The choice is clear—leaders who will fight to create and keep good jobs here in America, or the corporate traitors who insist on the policies that have rigged the playing field.
Job Tracker information draws on sources, including the U.S. Department of Labor’s Trade Adjustment Assistance records, Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act notices, OSHA records and more. The Job Tracker site also enables visitors to use Facebook and Twitter and e-mail to report companies exporting jobs in their communities.
As part of Job Tracker, Working America also is releasing a “white paper,” OUTSOURCED: Sending Jobs Overseas: The Cost to America’s Economy and Working Families, which details how trade policies have outsourced good jobs. Working America will share the results with members of Congress and the economic community as a new analysis on what policies must be passed to turn our economy around.
This article was originally published on AFL-CIO Now Blog.
About The Author: Mike Hall is a former West Virginia newspaper reporter, staff writer for the United Mine Workers Journal and managing editor of the Seafarers Log. He came to the AFL- CIO in 1989 and have written for several federation publications, focusing on legislation and politics, especially grassroots mobilization and workplace safety.