Big Money Lies And Those Jobs Just Fly

Sunday, August 06, 2006 at 02:41 PM

Here we go again, more proof that those wanting "unrestricted trade" are full of....

This from a Georgia newspaper. It would appear somebody got lied to:

Despite assuring local employees just over a year ago that the approval of the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) would secure their jobs, Jockey International announced last week that sewing operations at the Millen facility would be permanently terminated. Approximately 203 workers will lose their jobs to overseas counterparts beginning Sept. 18, with all affected positions to be terminated by Nov. 18.

Liar, liar, pants afire, eh?

The company's decision to terminate the local sewing operation drew the wrath of 12th District Congressman John Barrow who issued a statement last week slamming Jockey executives for the action.

"It's outrageous to see that after 55 years, Jockey has decided to turn its back on Millen, Jenkins County, and eastern Georgia - leaving 203 hard working families to pick up the pieces. Adding insult to injury, Jockey plans to outsource jobs to Jamaica, Honduras, Costa Rica and El Savador, many of the countries included in the CAFTA," said Cong. Barrow.

The Congressman went on to explain that top executives from Jockey came to his office just last year and lobbied for his approval of CAFTA, which was coming up for a House vote.

"They looked me in the eye, and told me that a vote for CAFTA was a vote to protect jobs in Millen. Now the very same people whose jobs they claimed to be protecting will be out of work," Cong. Barrow said.

In other words, they lied. But then, that's SOP, of course, in business these days, being honest means being bankrupt.

Of course, the CEO of Jockey requested an audience to explain the company's position:

Ed Emma, Jockey president and chief operating officer, specifically requested an interview with The Millen News in May 2005 to discuss the upcoming Congressional CAFTA vote and the impact of the legislation on the Millen plant.

During the course of the interview Emma said, "The free trade agreements allow this plant to stay here." He went on to explain, "Jockey International currently has two plants operating in Jamaica, one in Honduras and one in Costa Rica. The local plant provides cut parts to these offshore plants dutyfree under the Caribbean Basin Trade Pact (CBTP). These plants then return the finished goods to the U.S., also duty-free. The CBTP expires in 2008 at which time Jockey would begin paying tariffs on its goods exported to the area."

Okay, that was back in 2005. But, last week:

In a letter to Cong. Barrow last week, however, Mr. Emma wrote, "CAFTA was not a factor in the decision to phase out sewing production at Millen. Millen sewing jobs were dependent on supplying the Canadian market under North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The savings under NAFTA no longer justified the high cost of U.S. sewing production and the high cost of running separate productions lines for Canadian and U.S. goods."

I'm stumped. You? First, the agreements allow the plant to stay, then a year later, it's not economically feasible to anymore. Gee, whatever could have changed within one year???

In conversations with The Millen News this week, Jim Sinor, Jockey vice-president of manufacturing, commented on Mr. Emma's contradictory statements.

"We were acting on what we knew at that time," he said.

"We felt like CAFTA was the only way to save the plant. Over the years, we have shown confidence in Millen by adding the cutting operations. That was made possible only by the promise of CAFTA."

Since 2005, he indicated, circumstances have changed.

Sinor blamed "the competitiveness in the market place, consolidation within our industry and the rising cost of products and raw materials" for the termination of the local sewing operation, not CAFTA.

Sorry, it stinks to high heaven. One year, bitch for a law to "save" jobs, then, law passes, then, ditch same jobs. And we still recall Ross Perot and his "giant sucking sound", do we not?

Once touted as the "Savior" of local jobs, CAFTA is now the "prime suspect" in the loss of 203 jobs at the local Jockey International plant.

Prime suspect? If it quacks like a duck....

See what I keep saying? Republicans and their Big Money backers are not good for our financial health. This is just part of the globalization kick, of course, and many of these idiots just don't get it:

When all the jobs are gone, who's gonna have any money to buy the cheap stuff? Well, anyone?

Nobody, that's who.

Gee, and what a clever way to encourage voters to turn Georgia from red to blue, eh?