Thursday, December 29, 2011

Factory Jobs Gain, but Wages Retreat

This isn't the solution to the job problem in America. And the danger is that this will be used as a model for other industries. Not mentioned in this story is benefits and medical insurance. What does that entail? The solution is penalizing companies that outsource while rewarding those that keep jobs at home. We should also negotiate with countries that import into the U.S. products made from cheap labor. American labor should not have to compete with third word wages. Trade is good but it shouldn't be at our expense:

Manufacturers are hiring again in America, softening a long slide in factory employment. But for a new generation of blue-collar workers, even those protected by unions, the price of employment is likely to be lower wages stretching to retirement.

That is particularly true of global manufacturers like General Electric. With labor costs moving down at its appliance factories here, the company is bringing home the production of water heaters as well as some refrigerators, and expanding its work force to do so.

The wages for the new hires, however, are $10 to $15 an hour less than the pay scale for hourly employees already on staff — with the additional concession that the newcomers will not catch up for the foreseeable future. Such union-endorsed contracts are also showing up in the auto industry, at steel and tire companies, and at manufacturers of farm implements and other heavy equipment, according to Gordon Pavy, president of the Labor and Employment Relations Association and, until recently, the A.F.L.-C.I.O.’s director of collective bargaining.
Full article