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Wednesday, 08 January 2014 09:11

The logic in columnist’s most recent work isn’t quite there

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 I think Dale Ferrel’s column A re-think for Cdn. manufacturing requires a rethink.
For starters, Electrolux is the second largest maker of home appliances in the world and in spite of making billions of Euros in profits every year, Electrolux has been on a tear the last few years, closing factories and opening new ones in low-wage areas. For example, two factories were recently closed in Iowa and the jobs moved to Mexico. Another factory in Australia was closed and the jobs moved to Thailand.
These decisions to close aging assembly lines and move to low-wage areas as well as upgrading are not made by local management. These are big, expensive capital decisions made from the head office in Sweden. Blaming local management is corporate propaganda designed to deflect criticism from the parent company.
The reason the jobs at Electrolux’s Quebec plant also did not go to Mexico was because the city of Memphis offered $300 million of its citizens’ taxpayer dollars in the form of various incentives and benefits to move to Memphis. What Canadian jurisdiction would or could or should dare to offer that kind of bribe?
Of course Dale Ferrel is right. Tennessee is a low-cost jurisdiction. This is because it is one of 23 American states with right-to-work laws. Right-to-work is an oxymoron propaganda word used to disguise anti-union legislation. In fact, states with this law have average annual wages $5,500 lower and also $3,000 less in worker benefits than other states.
One shouldn’t be too surprised to learn that anti-union Tennessee is also a hotbed for anti-evolution believers, climate change deniers, and a host of other anti-diluvian notions.
At the end of the day, it seems that with free trade agreements abolishing borders and giving increasing rights to corporations, the one per cent is going to drag us all down to a lower common denominator, if we let them.
Tom Shelstad, Swift Current

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