There’s a reason why some international companies are starting to manufacture in the U.S. again; work is cheap.
While China’s middle class is demanding and getting higher wages, the Chinese government is requiring fuel efficient cars, high speed rail, developing and manufacturing emerging wind and solar energy, while providing health care for every citizen; the U.S. is headed in the opposite direction on all counts. It’s the austerity tea party agenda.
You don’t have to look any further than south central Wisconsin for an example of our growing low wage work force:
Cap Times-Mike Ivey: On Thursday, Gov. Scott Walker is scheduled to speak at the 45th anniversary of a fast-growing Wisconsin company with a long history of helping the disabled … Fort Atkinson-based Opportunities Inc. … a whistleblower's claims the company runs an "American version of a Chinese sweatshop" where workers make $7.50 an hour with no benefits, no vacation and little hope of a raise … Robert Heussner, a three-year employee, says he's disappointed the firm has "embraced the type of work environment that Gov. Walker is bringing to Wisconsin."IMPORTANT NOTE:
Opportunities Inc. was founded in 1966 to provide job training for developmentally disabled individuals. It has expanded that vision to include people with "other life barriers" according to spokeswoman Robin Kennedy … she says the company employs those with a history of poverty, alcohol/drug problems or other issues.
But Heussner maintains that most workers aren't disabled: just poor, uneducated and desperate for work. He recounts packing cat food in a 90-degree building with little air circulation. "We have people coming from Janesville and Beloit each day for these minimum-wage jobs," he writes. "I don't know how they do it. On several occasions, when work was slower, I've seen people drive that far to come to work, only to be sent home."
Heussner's letter was quickly pounced on by Walker critics, who say companies like Opportunities Inc. represent the governor's economic vision for the state … Heussner also alleges that while Walker and top company officials participate in the event, other workers will be getting the day off -- without pay. "I've been so torn up about writing this," he writes. "In good conscience, though, I couldn't ‘not' do this. I just want all the smiling people behind the ribbon in the picture in the paper to know that there are many people looking back at you ... with no smiles."
By Walker decree, Thursday will be deemed Opportunities Inc. Day across the land. He'll give the proclamation at Opportunities Inc. in Ft. Atkinson. While on the surface, Opportunities Inc. seems like a good company that helps the disable enter the workforce, there is a very dark side. AFSCME's Ed Sadlowski Jr. joins me to give some troubling news about Opportunity Inc.'s temporary workforce. We need Walker Stalkers at Opportunities Inc. this Thursday to protest the Governor.
200 E Cramer St, Fort Atkinson, WI
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