Overtime (was Re: happy autoworkers)

bautiste at uswest.net bautiste at uswest.net
Sun Jul 12 12:02:53 PDT 1998

I have always wondered how these economic development types have been so successful. The notion of low wages keeping workers in their place does not seem to be _development_ of any kind, but stagnation. Let's say a company comes in to your state because the average wage is $7/hr. The economic development people say how great it is that so many jobs have been created, etc, blah blah. My question is, do the economic development folks ever consider the notion that maybe the wage is supposed to rise, even minimally, to bear the designation of _development_? My guess is that as soon as wages start to creep up, the company begins looking overseas and moves out if it can't put some kind of damper on this upward creep. Has their been any study on this issue, with regard to economic development versus expected gains for the work force? I know some people on the city council who'd be excited to have some ammunition to take to put the econ dev. people in their place.

chuck miller

Doug Henwood wrote:

> Michael Eisenscher wrote:
> >By comparison, in 1995, the Computer Manufacturing industry employed about
> >498,000, of whom only 2.1% were union members. Adding other
> >electronics/information technology mfg. sectors (office equipment,
> >communications, and instruments...but not aerospace), there were about 1.1
> >million workers of whom about 6% overall were union members. In the Silicon
> >Valley, there is not a single semiconductor or computer manufacturing
> >facility that is organized.
> >
> >Despite much talk about organizing, as of this writing I am aware of not one
> >union (or the AFL-CIO) which has committed resources and staff to a
> >long-term sustained organizing effort in this **basic** industry. Can a
> >labor movement looking to its future afford to allow so strategically
> >important a sector to remain unorganized without putting that future into
> >doubt?
> I was in Eugene, Oregon, a couple of summers ago, visiting friends, at a
> time when Hyundai was proposing to build a chip plant against strong local
> opposition. (Those Oregonians love their computers, but no chip plants
> there, please!) An article in the local paper, the Register-Guard, quoted
> Oregon state economic development literature bragging that wages in the
> Oregon electronics industry, around $5/hr, were lower than Singapore's. It
> made me proud to be an American!
> Doug

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