John Sweeney, president of the AFL-CIO, had some harsh words for President Bush in a Washington, D.C., speech on Jan. 18.
But he had even harsher words for manufacturers and other U.S. corporations who, he said, are competing globally "by degrading work and workers rather than competing through ingenuity."
Sweeney said that since 1985, the size of the global workforce has doubled, with 1.4 billion new workers from China, India and the former Soviet Union joining the ranks. "And in the absence of new rules to prevent it, corporations have pitted the new workers against American workers in a merciless race to the bottom," he charged.
"The result has been a perfect storm of outsourcing, off-shoring, tax evasion, layoffs, work speedups, wage cuts, health-care cuts, pension cuts, shifting risks, bashing unions and shortchanging communities."