Fresh Paint
Tuesday, September 07, 2004
Labor Day, Late Edition
For Labor Day, not a whole lot of "labor" stories in the news, probably because Bush doesn't want them there. This story from Detroit is magnificent, however.

Lower pay, lost benefits slam ex-factory workers
The Labor Day holiday ritual of attending neighborhood barbecues takes on added significance for Jesus Murguia this year.

It means free meals for himself and his five children.

“Every little bit is going to help. I only got about $700 in the bank,” Murguia, 33, said.

And his $850 rent is due. On Wednesday, the Jackson resident lost his job as an extrusion setup operator at Hahn Elastomer Corp., a maker of plastic auto parts. The 49-year-old Plymouth company went out of business, causing 275 factory workers to lose their jobs at plants in Jackson and Warren.
Oh, yes, things are getting better all over the place. Consider this from Galesburg, IL, where 1600 Maytag workers will be losing their jobs when the plant closes on the 15th:

Hundreds of Maytag Workers Rally Around Each Other
"How do I make sure a situation like what's happening in Galesburg does not happen again? How can I make sure ordinary folks get a decent shot at life?” says U.S. Senate Candidate Barack Obama to hundreds of cheering Galesburg residents.

And those at Saturday’s rally say all the support from lawmakers is crucial, especially now, because they feel like they are victims of corporate greed.
And here's a story about family that has been screwed over by outsourcing repeatedly:

Globalization is painful for some workers
The loss of the Rochester job took a financial and emotional toll on the Wards.
"She was thinking, 'Here we go again. We've got to pack up. The kids have to leave their friends.' " Ward said of his wife. "I tried not to dwell on those kind of things. I tried to deal with everything myself, so the family wouldn't have to worry."

When he mentions sympathy, it's for other laid-off workers "falling through the cracks."
The U.S. Department of Labor must approve federal dislocated worker benefits, and it's not always obvious that a job has been cut because of work going overseas. There's also the manufacturing-jobs-only limitation.

Advantek Inc., a specialty packaging firm based in Minnetonka, announced in July that it is moving the manufacture of all products for the semiconductor industry to its Asian operations, including China, Taiwan and the Philippines. Sixty office workers are losing jobs, along with 180 production workers.

None of the 60 office workers being cut could get Trade Adjustment Act aid, the Labor Department confirmed.
I was unaware of most of the info in this story. Did you also know that dislocation benefits are capped at $12,000? Shall I continue my Labor Day Parade through the internet? Perhaps I'll end with a quote from the Book of Bush, today's sermon:
So I'm asking you to register your friends and neighbors. Don't overlook discerning Democrats; people like Zell Miller. (Applause.) Zell Miller knows. There's a lot of good Democrats in this part of the world that understand that Dick Cheney and I will make this world safer, stronger and better screw everything up for every single American. (Applause.) And if you're a Democrat or independent, you're welcome here. We're glad you're here.
Yes, friends. Please register a discerning Democrat today.

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