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Free Trade Strikes Again As 1,300 More Manufacturing Jobs Are Shipped Out

file photo from US Gov Image by Jason Frost.

file photo from US Gov
Image by Jason Frost.

The failures of so-called free trade agreements continue to plague American workers.

Last week, Carrier announced that they would be moving 1,400 jobs over the next two years to a new plant in Mexico.  This move will allow Carrier, and their parent company United Technologies, to continue to rake in billions in profits and reduce their labor costs at the same time. The average HVAC worker at Carrier in Mexico will make around $6.00 an hour.

On Monday, Philly.com reported that Cardone, an auto parts manufacturer, will be moving 1,300 jobs to their plant in Mexico.

“Cardone, the Philadelphia auto-parts rebuilder which calls itself the city’s largest remaining manufacturing company, will shift 1,336 workers from its brake caliper plants at 5501 Whitaker Ave. and 5670 Rising Sun Ave. to a plant in Matamoros, Mexico, just south of Cardone’s warehouses in Brownsville, Texas over the next two years.”

Back in 2011, the Cardone CEO Michael Cardone III said he was committed to Philly when rumors surfaced that the company would be shifting jobs to their Texas and Mexico plants.

“We’re committed to Philadelphia. We’re committed to staying here, and we’re committed to job retention.”

Kevin Feeley, a spokesman for the company, told Philly.com Monday, that the “company was moving the brake work to Mexico because the “entry level” manufacturing work is “particularly sensitive” to cheap foreign competition.”

Again we see exactly how these so-called free trade agreements are destroying American jobs.  Chinese manufacturers are bringing in products cheaper, because they pay workers slave wages and US manufacturers are moving moving overseas to preserve their profit margins.

“Since 1998, U.S. manufacturers have eliminated 3.4 million jobs as China’s trade surplus with the United States swelled to $201.6 billion from $57 billion. Industries such as clothing, office products, furniture and toys have already ceded much of their production to Asia,” reported Bob Fernandez, staff writer for the INQUIRER.

Now we are on the cusp of another so-called free trade agreement, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, that has been labeled NAFTA on steroids.

Though some have labeled the TPP as the “gold standard” many, including the AFL-CIO, say that the TPP fails to address the chronic labor abuses currently plaguing workers in these countries.

“Calling the TPP’s labor rights provisions a gold standard is a mirage,” said Celeste Drake, AFL-CIO Trade Policy Specialist. “We know from experience that the discretionary dispute settlement model does not work for vulnerable workers, and the highly touted ‘new’ labor provisions do not provide meaningful new protections for abused and exploited workers.”

So what is to be gained from theses corporate driven trade policies?

More income inequality as greedy corporations continue the race to the bottom, finding new ways to pay workers even less while still protecting their record profits.

We must work together with our elected leaders to stop the TPP and fix our trade policies that encourage corporations to shift their manufacturing overseas.



About Matt Murray

Matt Murray is the creator and an author on the NH Labor News. He is a union member and advocate for labor and progressive politics. He also works with other unions and members to help spread our message. Follow him on Twitter @NHLabor_News
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