Tuesday, August 21, 2007

This Date in Arkansas Labor History

On August 21, 1986, J. Bill Becker, president of the Arkansas State AFL-CIO, charged that the state Arkansas Industrial Development Commission industrial recruiters tend to be "antiunion" and try to promote the state to industry based on low wages and cheap labor.

Not much has changed except the name of the anti-union commission. Today, the website of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission tells industrial prospects, "Don't forget our pro-business environment - we're a right-to-work state with people who work right." They want corporations to know that they "can take advantage of ... favorable unemployment insurance and workers' compensation rates," meaning that Arkansas workers suffer with poor benefits so that businesses can make higher profits.

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