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Snapshot of a broken system: How a profitable company justifies laying off 1,400 people & moved their jobs to Mexico

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When a Carrier air conditioner factory was closed, and its jobs outsourced, it wasn't because of financial hardship. 

David Dayen, Salon

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http://media.salon.com/2016/03/Screen-Shot-2016-03-21-at-10.23.57-PM-620x412.pngTuesday, Mar 22, 2016 | A viral video of 1,400 workers at a unionized Carrier air conditioner factory in Indianapolis being told their jobs would be outsourced to Mexico has become a searing example of the destructive power of globalization. Both Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump have highlighted the video, which surfaced earlier this year, and vowed to fight these corporate practices. But what most people didn’t understand until a New York Times article this weekend is that Carrier’s air conditioning business has, in fact, been quite profitable.

Last year, Carrier produced a significant chunk of total profits for its parent company, United Technologies. Of $7.6 billion in earnings in 2015, $2.9 billion came from the Climate, Controls & Security division, where Carrier resides. Profits from this division have expanded steadily in recent years, which is not what you’d expect from a unit desperate to cut labor costs.

David Dayen is a contributing writer for Salon <http://www.salon.com>. His first book, "Chain of Title," releases in May 2016.

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Section(s): 

Can Treating Low-Wage Workers Well Become The Hot New Business Strategy?

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Aetna, Gap, Starbucks—even Walmart—are making moves to pay and treat their employees better. Are we seeing the start of an age of friendlier big business, or is it all just PR?

Jessica Leber, Co.Exist

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World Changing Ideas: This is part of Co.Exist's annual collection of some of the most interesting and thought-provoking trends that will alter the world in the year ahead. See the whole list here.

03.16.15 |  In the auditorium of a drab office building Jacksonville, Florida, almost 200 employees of the health insurer Aetna gathered—with many more following along on a live video stream—for a visit from the CEO this January.

They were there expecting a town-hall-style Q&A. What they got instead was an emotional surprise, at least for the lowest-paid among them: CEO Mark Bertolini announced that everyone who earned less than $16 an hour would get a raise. Those same employees, most of whom worked in customer service and claims processing—and most of whom were women—could also choose less expensive health benefits the following year.

Jessica Leber is a staff editor and writer for Fast Company's Co.Exist. Previously, she was a business reporter for MIT’s Technology Review and an environmental reporter at ClimateWire.

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A secret weapon in fighting homelessness? Interior designers. Really.

One of the biggest challenges facing families transitioning out of shelters and into homes of their own is the cost of furnishing them.

Robbie Couch, Upworthy

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http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/evergreenedigest.org/files/Humble%20Design%2C%20Detroit%20illus.jpgMarch 10, 2016 | When Temia McGuire lost her job, she also ended up losing her home.

As difficult as it was personally for the Michigan mom, she didn't focus on herself. Her main priority was her children.

"I think I was just worried about the kids, how they felt," she says.

Robbie Couch: I'm a wandering writer with Michigan roots, activist tendencies, and an irrational fear of birds. I do what I can to help make empowering, important stories go viral.

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Section(s): 

Here’s 6 Common Welfare Myths We All Need to Stop Believing

  • Debunked.
  • Why wealthy Americans’ delusions about the poor are so dangerous.

Tom Cahill, U. S. Uncut

http://3p3mq242g5jc2ki76r3wi6fq.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/stagnantwages-977x1024.png  November 22, 2015 | This Thanksgiving, if one of your right-wing relatives starts mouthing off at the dinner table about the welfare system and how it enables freeloaders to bilk the taxpayers out of their hard-earned cash, show them this article.

Some of the more persistent myths about welfare recipients and the welfare system have been thoroughly debunked thanks to economic research. Busting these offensive and insensitive myths can help us better understand how to simultaneously help impoverished families become economically stable and save taxpayers’ money.

Tom Cahill is a writer for US Uncut based in the Pacific Northwest. He specializes in coverage of political, economic, and environmental news. 

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Why wealthy Americans’ delusions about the poor are so dangerous, David Sirota, Salon

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  • Regressive state and local tax policies don’t just harm the working class -- they can ruin entire economies.
  • The False Debate on Homelessness

Another Damning Phony Jobs Report

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  • The monthly payroll jobs reports have become a bad joke.
  • Tally beats expectations but major gains were in low wage industries such as restaurants and retail as unemployment rate holds steady at 4.9%.
  • Part 1: Paychecks Shrink Even as U.S. Economy Adds Jobs
  • Part 2: Another Phony Jobs Report

Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest


 

http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/evergreenedigest.org/files/End%20Corporate%20Greed%20Occupy.jpgPart 1: Paychecks Shrink Even as U.S. Economy Adds Jobs

Tally beats expectations but major gains were in low wage industries such as restaurants and retail as unemployment rate holds steady at 4.9%.

Alexander Reed Kelly, Truthdig

 

http://www.truthdig.com/images/eartothegrounduploads/5995197521_4c1071c095_z.jpg  A line forms outside a claims office. (Phil Campbell / CC-BY-2.0)

Mar 7, 2016 | The U.S. economy added 242,000 jobs in February—but the major gains were in low-wage industries, and average hourly earnings dropped 3 cents. And unemployment rates remained far higher for minorities than for whites.

The Guardian reports:

US businesses have now added 14.3m jobs over six straight years. The unemployment rate is half what it was at the height of the recession. In January the Labor Department announced the economy had added a disappointing 151,000 new jobs. December and January’s reports have now been revised with the Labor Department adding 30,000 jobs for the two months. …

Alexander Reed Kelly, Assistant Editor, Truthdig

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Part 2: Another Phony Jobs Report

 

And if true it is damning.

Paul Craig Roberts, Institute for Political Economy

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor John Stoltenberg.

March 4, 2016 | The monthly payroll jobs reports have become a bad joke.

No growth in real retail sales, but 55,000 retail trade new jobs in February.

No growth in real consumer income, but 40,000 more waitresses and bartenders.

86,000 new jobs in Education, health services, and social assistance. February is a strange month to be hiring new teachers. If February brought a quarter million new jobs, how come a big hike in social assistance jobs?

Manufacturing lost 16,000 jobs.

Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. 

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Section(s): 

The False Debate on Homelessness

  • Homelessness is the natural result of a system that makes some fantastically wealthy and others desperately poor.
  • Why wealthy Americans’ delusions about the poor are so dangerous
  • John Steppling | Hollywood, the Police and the Poor

Amien Essif, Jacobin

https://images.jacobinmag.com/2016/02/homelessnyc.jpgA homeless man in a New York City train station. Euan / Flickr

2.2.16 | Andrew Cuomo and Bill de Blasio just can’t get along.

Shortly after the New Year, Cuomo, New York’s governor, issued an executive order mandating that New York City transport homeless people sleeping outside in sub-freezing temperatures to shelters.

In response, Mayor de Blasio’s administration announced that, regardless of weather conditions, the police can’t expel people from public property — and that if they bring them to a shelter, they can’t make them stay. “To forcibly remove all homeless individuals in freezing weather, as the governor has ordered,” de Blasio spokeswoman Karen Hinton said, “will require him to pass state law.”

Amien Essif is a regular contributor to In These Times whose work has also appeared in the Guardian and CounterPunch.

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Related:

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Why wealthy Americans’ delusions about the poor are so dangerous, David Sirota, Salon

  • Regressive state and local tax policies don’t just harm the working class -- they can ruin entire economies.
  • The False Debate on Homelessness

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John Steppling | Hollywood, the Police and the Poor, John Steppling,  Truthout / Rise Up Times

Urban spaces are racialized. In spite of the gentrification processes displacing the racialized poor and working classes, it has become very difficult to negate the continued disenfranchisement, incarceration, and killing of black and brown bodies.

Section(s): 

Unions pulling support from pro-TPP Democratic lawmakers

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  • Dan Duncan, president of the northern Virginia Central Labor Council, told the People's World that the anger of his local unions about lawmakers who vote the wrong way on trade is so strong that unions will no longer give assistance to these Democrats, even if it means sitting out those local elections in Virginia's northern suburbs.
  • Special Report | Stop the TPP, Week Ending February 13, 2016

John Wojcik, Peoples World

Thanks to Evergreene Digest reader/contributor Andrea Hagen for this contribution. 

http://peoplesworld.org/assets/Uploads/flushtpp520.jpg  Photo: Flush the TPP Facebook page

February 24 2016 | One of the many things union leaders discussed here Tuesday at a closed session of the AFL-CIO's executive council was a decision to pull labor support from Democratic lawmakers who double-cross labor on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) international trade agreement.

"It's a question of, 'do you have a Democrat who votes like a Republican or a Republican who votes like a Republican," retired International Association of Machinists President Tom Buffenbarger told the People's World during a break in the session yesterday.

John Wojcik started as labor editor of the People's World in May, 2007 after working as a union meat cutter in northern New Jersey. Along with being labor editor, Wojcik is a co-editor of People's World.

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Special Report | Stop the TPP, Week Ending February 13, 2016, Compiled by David Culver , Ed., Evergreene Digest

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  • Below we provide fact-based sources of information on the key issues surrounding the TPP.
  • Obama’s unexpectedly brief mention of the TPP may simply reflects that the pact is very unpopular across the political spectrum and talking about it more only makes opposition grow.
  • Statement of Lori Wallach, Director, Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch
  • Part 1: The Facts on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Compared to the Obama Administration’s Claims
  • Part 2: Is The TPP Still Obama's Top Priority?
  • Part 3: TPP Is Obama’s #1 2016 Priority: Why Only 28 Seconds in the SOTU?

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