Leo W. Gerard

President’s Perspective

Leo W. Gerard USW International President

Shiftless Corporations Renounce America

Shiftless Corporations Renounce America

Early last week, the drug firm Mylan stomped on the Stars and Stripes as it ditched America for the Netherlands. Then, on Friday, the drug company AbbVie similarly renounced America. For 30 pieces of silver, it will become Irish.

Medical device maker Medtronic deserted America for Ireland last month. The pharmacy chain Walgreens recently announced it may be next. It plans to dump the land of the free for the bows and scrapes of royal subjects.

Walgreens is willing to prostrate itself before Queen Elizabeth because the British corporate tax rate is lower. Anything for money, right AbbVie? These firms will still park their assets and staff and sales in America. They just won’t pay taxes on foreign income to the country that nurtured them, protected them from patent violators and unfair competitors, and provided them with educated workers, federally-sponsored research and development, and myriad other public services. Now, they can freeload instead. As a result, their U.S. competitors, as well as hardworking Americans, will pay more to cover the shirkers’ share.

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Big Lie: America Doesn't Have #1 Richest Middle-Class in the World: We're Ranked 27th!

Les Leopold Author, The Looting of America

Big Lie: America Doesn't Have #1 Richest Middle-Class in the World: We're Ranked 27th!

America is the richest country on Earth. We have the most millionaires, the most billionaires, and our wealthiest citizens have garnered more of the planet's riches than any other group in the world. We even have hedge fund managers who make in one hour as much as the average family makes in 21 years!  

This opulence is supposed to trickle down to the rest of us, improving the lives of everyday Americans. At least that's what free-market cheerleaders repeatedly promise us.

Unfortunately, it's a lie, one of the biggest ever perpetrated on the American people.

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Trying to Understand What Makes Sense

William Spriggs

William Spriggs AFL-CIO

Trying to Understand What Makes Sense

Last month, a United Nations panel held that cutting off water to Detroit residents suffering from high unemployment rates and low incomes, leaving them unable to afford their water bills, was a violation of basic human rights. This past weekend, actor Mark Ruffalo and Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) joined close to a thousand protesters in a march organized by National Nurses United from Detroit’s Cobo Center to Hart Plaza. The chants of the crowd included “We got sold out, banks got bailed out." And there were renewed calls for a financial transaction tax, commonly referred to as a “Robin Hood tax.”

It was announced yesterday the water shutoffs would be temporarily suspended for 15 days.

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Scholars Speak Out Against Troubling 'Corporate Courts' (ISDS) in TTIP

Andrea Sosa

Andrea Sosa AFL-CIO

As another round of negotiations for the U.S.–E.U. trade deal (known as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, or TTIP) began, 121 leading academic experts on trade, investment law, European Union (EU) law, international law, human rights, constitutional law, global political economy and related fields issued a statement expressing deep concern about the investor-to-state dispute settlement (ISDS) provisions that negotiators plan to include in the deal.

ISDS is a special legal right included in most U.S. trade agreements that allows foreign investors to challenge laws, regulations or any government decision in the country in which they are investing in special, private tribunals. You can think of them as special “corporate courts” that regular people (like you and me) aren’t allowed to use.

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Why China Has Strikes Without Unions

Harold Meyerson

Harold Meyerson Editor-at-Large, The American Prospect

Why China Has Strikes Without Unions

Han Dongfang believes that China’s workers may one day compel the country’s Communist Party to actually become social-democratic. I’m not sure if that makes Han the most credulous of China’s democracy activists or the canniest strategist now working to democratize that nation. I am sure, however, that he’s had more successes than anyone else in empowering Chinese workers.

Speaking last week to a Washington conclave sponsored by the Albert Shanker Institute, Han recounted the victories that striking Chinese workers have won over the past four years. In 2010, workers at a huge Honda plant shut off the power and walked off the job to win a living wage. They made clear their intent to stay out—and not to damage the factory. Surprisingly, the local government didn’t send in the police. Eventually, a mediator came in to meet separately with both workers and management, and persuaded Honda to give its employees a 32 percent wage increase. “This was the first collective bargaining in China,” Han said.

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Rounding Up Republican Votes with Corporate Bucks

Rounding Up Republican Votes with Corporate Bucks

Union Matters

Stop the Poster Organization for Cronyism in America from Weakening Whistleblower Laws

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce (“Chamber”) has declared a war against whistleblowers! It has released a report, “Fixing the False Claims Act: the Case For Compliance-Focused Reforms,” setting forth proposals to strip millions of Americans from coverage under the Act, limit damages, increase the burden of proof on demonstrating fraud and establishing barriers to block employees from contacting the Justice Department. Taken together, the Chamber’s “reforms” would completely undermine the False Claims Act (FCA). The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the last organization to want corporate accountability.

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