Tomorrow is Independence Day, and what could be more patriotic than joining with workers, labor activists and elected officials to bring good jobs home? That's what happened today as the Alameda Labor Council joined with U.S. Rep. Pete Stark to call for passage of the Bring Jobs Home Act (HR 5542). With recovery slow from the recession and many millions of Americans searching for work and trying to support their families, it's more important than ever that we support bringing jobs back to the U.S. Yet more and more companies are moving good jobs out of the country – and our tax code supports it. As Representative Stark put it today at the rally in Union City:
Stop giving companies a tax break when they leave, and start giving them an incentive to bring jobs home and create jobs here. That’s what we have to do.
The reality on outsourcing is eye-opening: over the last decade we have lost 6 million American jobs to outsourcing and 50,000 manufacturing sites have been closed, while the U.S. trade deficit has grown.
Josie Camacho, Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the Alameda Labor Council called for Congress to immediately pass the Bring Jobs Home Act:
We support the patriotic companies that create jobs here.
Rome Aloise, Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Local 853, also expressed his support of the bill:
Without a strong middle class this country is never going to come back to the greatness we all remember from years ago… We are hoping Congress and the Senate get through the bipartisanship and push this bill through.
The Bring Jobs Home Act is co-sponsored by Rep. Stark, and Congress is going to take it up next week. The act would incentivize companies to create jobs here, which is just one step towards building a strong middle class in America. While Stark was championing this act in particular today, he also spoke to the multifaceted approach Congress needs to take to build the middle class. The Call Center and Consumer Protection Act would make it undesirable for firms to move call centers offshore (they would be ineligible for federal grants if they did so) and the transportation bill that passed last week will bring 18,000 jobs to Alameda. Rep. Stark:
As you enjoy this great Independence Day holiday, know that we are working in Washington to rebuild our middle class and create security and opportunity for all of us.
Strong jobs build strong families and strong communities. The event was held at Tri-Ced Community Recycling, where CEO and Alameda County Supervisor Richard Valle dedicates the business to keeping jobs here in the U.S. and making sure the jobs at the center are strong, union jobs. As Corina Segura, a worker at Tri-Ced, detailed in her story to the crowd, Tri-Ced helped her get a hold of her life after making some bad decisions:
I never thought I would be standing here today to tell you that I’ve worked for Tri-Ced for 11 years. I’ve received on the job training with pay, I have a good union job with excellent pay and excellent benefits. The only income I had before was public assistance.
She was accompanied by her proud parents who came out with her to support the Bring Jobs Home Act.
This event is part of the AFL-CIO’s Bring Jobs Home campaign, with events going on throughout the country to call on lawmakers to put an end to the policies of outsourcing. Americans want to work- our culture instills this belief that hard work pays off; you can take care of yourself, raise a family, and strengthen the community you live in all through building a career. But we need legislation to make this a reality again. So this Independence Day, we call on Congress to reenergize the hard-working American spirit through investing in jobs at home- not through giving corporations taxpayers’ money to ship jobs overseas.