Friday, April 24, 2009

Republicans Have Put their Trust in Private Businesses. Would You?

A big thanks to for this story,Corporate America’s Counter-Stimulus Strategy. Firms decide to shut profitable plants while spurning buyers- By Roger Bybee.”

I’ve included this short excerpt as a way of directing everyone to the entire story. In my naive world of rainbows, infomercial miracles and tweets, I guess I should have guessed the alternative world of business had been planning their own way of gaming the pathway to recovery.

“Is it too late? I hope not,” said an exasperated Anthony Fortunato, president of the 260-worker United Steelworkers (USW) Local 2604 at an ArcelorMittal steel mill in Lackawanna, New York, as he and his members watched the mill being systematically taken apart.

An eager buyer has been pressing the company for at least two months to sell the mill and thus keep the profitable operation open and the jobs alive. Fortunato is hoping the buyer will remain interested despite ArcelorMittal’s aggressive drive to gut the mill. ArcelorMittal is rushing to dismantle complex, custom-built ovens and other equipment that will take months to replace. Not only are they accelerating
the pace of outsourcing to low-wage nations like China, but there have been several recent instances of corporations closing profitable plants in the United
States and then refusing to sell them to other companies interested in keeping the plants open and retaining the current workforce. The plant has been consistently profitable, earning $48.4 million even in a recessionary year like 2008.

Yet ArcelorMittal is intent on shipping one product line to low-wage Brazil and another to France. Moreover, ArcelorMittal has rebuffed a proposal by another major steel company to buy the Hennepin mill and keep it running.

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