Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Chamber President Blames American Workers for Wanting Good Paying Jobs

United States Chamber of Commerce President Thomas J. Donohue attacked labor unions in a speech today at the 79th annual meeting of the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce-Associated Industries of Arkansas in Little Rock. "They want to re-unionize our economy," Donohue said. Combating the union agenda is important because labor wants to change corporate policy on outsourcing, layoffs, health coverage and environmentalism, all of which would be bad for business, he told Arkansas Chamber officers. American workers are demanding fair wages and safe workplaces.

Last month in Arkansas, AFL-CIO President John Sweeney said American jobs were being lost because businesses have total control over wages. "We know that globalization is here to stay, but it doesn't have to be called survival," Sweeney said during a September 7 speech at the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service. "It doesn't work right when corporations are free to pillage the world for cheaper and cheaper labor, slave labor, child labor." Sweeney also criticized businesses for employing environmental practices that he characterized as globally unsustainable.

Arkansas AFL-CIO President Alan Hughes said today that labor groups like his are only trying to make a better way of life for middle-income Americans. "Look in Arkansas at all the jobs that have been lost, going overseas because they get all the tax breaks," Hughes said. "We just ask for a level playing field."

Hughes accused "greedy" corporations of denying workers health care and of skimping on pay for the highly educated employees corporations say they crave. "It's time for companies to put their money where their mouth is."

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