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We Need an Essential Workers Bill of Rights

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/12/02/we-need-essential-workers-bill-rights

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Its the outsourcing of their jobs, we have to realize, thats their plan, they see us all as too expensive and so they have been working for decades on international treaties that outsource those essential jobs to temping firms from repressive countries, and they plan to be doing those jobs soon. They are working the final bugs out, after decades of arguing Read up on the first and proposed trade in services deals and falling back to the Uruguay Rounds concessions and the Doha Round talks repeatedly falling apart.

Its like a jobs program for the deprived and discriminated against Third World.

It takes nine months of time so people are not entitled to TAA aid, they are deemed as having nine months warning during which time they will be training the new workers.

Thank all of you for your service.

This is also quite likely their real healthcare and education plan, for the worker of the future, their workers will be educated elsewhere, they don’t want more students with two or four year degrees and piles of debt. The argument is that other countries will export skilled labor just like we export lumber or trade lawyers or movies.

This has been the real agenda for a long time, read the Trade Promotion Authority bill, it explains that in black and white. But the real rules and the real power to change things is vested in treaties and the disputes are decided in Geneva out of sight. We dont exist in that forum, except for one vote and it is totally controlled by the corporate lobbies that rule the governments and write the laws.

We’ve been bamboozled.

This is so very thickheaded it seems intended to distract meaninglessly from the meaningful statement of the article’s author. Her point has nothing to do with “outsourcing of jobs” for God’s sake. Snap out of it. If you get a toothache or stub your toe, that doesn’t necessarily originate from your trade-agreement obsession, and neither does the oppression of so-called “essential” workers.

By definition, you see, “essential” workers are exclusively the ones whose jobs cannot be outsourced. Wake up, please! Have you even thought about the kinds of work involved? The people helping us get through every day, the ones we see here, in person, because they’re essential. Those are the people our system oppresses, and those subject to much higher rates of Covid infection, as if the most important jobs here are internally outsourced to workers with no rights.

Workers with no rights. We have them here. They have nothing to do with “outsourcing.” That is so obvious, should you continue to distract from domestic workers rights, you must be doing it on purpose. You’re bamboozling yourself in trade-agreement mouthwash where it’s indefensibly inappropriate, zed. WTF?

One of our priority goals is an Essential Workers Bill of Rights, which would guarantee improved health and safety protections, universal health care, increased pay and paid leave, and whistleblower protection.

That’s from Janie Grice of United for Respect. Nothing about outsourcing. It’s about dignity and respect, which starts with listening to what people say, rather than spouting the same threadbare obtuse tangent every time. Try growing a consciousness someday, and learning to listen for a change.

Aleph, I have an entire website filled with literally hundreds of links, tracing the history of this effort, which is traceable back to the 1980s. The idea is to substantially increase the profitability of large businesses by lowering their opportunity costs. Granted, my site is chaotic, and needs more metadata, but tying a complicated subject like this together is a huge logistical challenge.

All I can say to you is this, you need to get out more, we need to get out more, because the reason they are getting away with this is we are totallyoutof the loop.

I wish I could post images here, because I would show you photois of demonstrations in Europe and Latin America and even Asia against TISA and TTIP, and “TLC” (US pushed FTAS that trade away jobs in large numbers) which have been huge.

Here absolutely nothing. Proof that we’re living behind an information blockade like the one around North Korea.

And our two parties are fake and colluding with one another.

Americans need to get
better acquainted to what the US is doing in the world. #1 is pushing these trade deals. Trump was/is probably being paid to distract us.,

Everybody here thinks that US is the center of the world, and maybe that is true in some ways, even though the European economy now is close to ours in size and may even exceed it, and China is ascendant. This is the natural consequence of having an oligarchy who travel a lot and see that business elsewhere, where wages are a fraction of here, is even more profitable. They see no reason why they should be paying US wages when there are literally millions of people who would work here for free simply for the experience. And there are, now, perhaps a million or more, because they have no other choice to get their foot in the door. Its like internships, rich people pay for their children to work, and poor students lose out, they dont get internships and they dont get jobs for that reason. Its all about survival and being useful to the wealthy, and Americans have been brainwashed in order so we become unrealistic and that will seem annoying and self entitled so we wont get jobs, and ultimately, we will be replaced. We’ve already lost unless we stop fighting one another, their coup will succeed, because its atotal false flag attack. The Democratic Party arent radical leftists, they are now exclusively right wingers at the highest level. The whole global grab, trade deal takeover is right wing in every respect. However, in order to keep attention off of rising inequality on a global scale it does plan to sacrifice the jobs of the US middle class, and poor to keep the spotlight off of itself.

It plans to drastically pare down the public sector and outsource those millions of teaher, nurses, public works, infrastructure, and a great many other “essential jobs” to whomever bids the cheapest with a small preference (I dont remember the exact way its structured but look up"LDC Services Waiver for the details) for firms owned by LDCs, least developed countries. But most of the jobs will go to firms in countries that have successfully prepared for this transition in places like Africa which have been preparing for a long time and have the lowest wages. And of course, Eastern Europe is planning to take advantage of their engineering and construction/infrastructure. India has a well established presence in IT, Western Europe in ares like water. (Remember the Flynt fiasco?) They have niches, so they will take advantage of the economies of scale. Privatizing industries like education will save money, there is no doubt about it but it will turn workers of all kinds currently working at employers that are generally better than most corporations into guest workers who are paid very little. Depending on the field, some guest workers are living off of their wages and trying to save money to send home (so they will spend practically nothing while here, probably live six to a bedroom, and be very frugal) while others in my experience are supported lavishly by families back home and may spend substantial amounts of money buying stuff like nice clothes, nice cars, even hiring servants (some say they arent allowed to do housework by their religion)
real estate in particular, probably because they re doing it for rich family. I don’t know how that works.

But I do know that lots of young South Indian guys are paid almost nothing, despite being computer programmers, etc. and they are supported by family, and despite the L-1B visa status do expect to move here, with their wives - due to arranged marriages, who theyliterally just met. getting the job here drastically improves their prospects in marriage so their families pay for it, their employers may often or even may even always get bribes to send them here rather than other countries, which they sometimes are open about. (I don’t know if that is even illegal since its between them and the company and the bribe is paid in foreign country in their own currency, while there). Some of them are really nice people, but most are just average semi elite Indian guys with mediocre computing skills, probably in many cases the products of the six week cram schools that advertise widely in the Indian press. So they are not IT gurus by any means, but nobody cares, because its between them and their employers alone. They might buy a diploma and it comes with a computer record that checks out as genuine. So poof, higher education. Which WTO rules say we must eventually recognize as equivalent to other degrees of the same kind for the purposes of hiring. This is a system thats designed to favor the surplus workforce of a wide belt of semi-authoritarian countries around the world and disemploy the workers in developed countries, especially the US. So anybody who is maintaining hopes that we will lose that case is likely to be disappointed, I am fairly certain its been planned out this way all along. They wont even admit Clinton made a mistake in signing the URAA.

Where does this leave US workers? If India wins the dispute, Unemployed. By the tens of millions or maybe even more, within just a few years.

They will blame it all on coronavirus, or something. I’m sure they will come up with dozens of new excuses to add to the fifty at least I have already heard.

What our workers need are niches where they are the best in the world and worth the extra money. It goes like this “if we want to be paid 20 times more, we have to be worth 20 times more”.

Where does this leave the folks on the front lines, the essential workers?

Guess.

This is what both parties have been scheming to do since the 80s, deal with it.

And they are putting on this huge performance to hide it.

If there is one thing this pandemic has taught us it is that the work that our service sector workers perform is in fact essential. They are the foundational level that our society depends upon. Without it the CEOs and white collar executives of the most successful companies would not have attained their wealth and success, and our society wouldn’t even function. And yet, they are thought of by most people of the upper class as “losers” because they are not doing the more technical or prestigious work of professionals.

Even many neoliberals tend to think of them in that way, as they seem to need losers to look down upon as a way of validating that they have in fact “achieved” something or they have “bettered” themselves by getting a college degree or advanced degrees.

There is NO ONE in this the richest country in the history of the world who works a full-time job who should be treated with the indignity of being paid so little in wages that they cannot provide a decent, comfortable living for themselves. When you consider that, over the past 50 years at least, every white collar worker and CEO and corporate board member have seen regular and substantial raises almost yearly, while our essential workers are stuck with wages that are the equivalent of what blue collar workers were making in the 1960s, it is way past time for a serious wage adjustment for them. Not only is $15/hr. the very minimum that it should be raised to, but there should be back-pay involved for the trillions of dollars that have been stolen from them, indeed from all of us, while so much of the profits have been funneled upward under this rigged system of 'trickle-down" economics that both parties have forced upon us since the time or Reagan. Time to end trickle-down and put to rest once and for all the notion that greed is good and that a country is like a corporation and should be treated as such. We are NOT a corporation and our essential workers are NOT cogs in the money-making machinery of the corporate fat cats.

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Thank you for your eloquent, incisive post.

I think you’re onto a powerful toxic force I’ve felt in my own life: People might lose track of the abusive context for those constantly pressured to be something extra special, someone extra brilliant, rather than calming down, slowing the hell down, and finding a few moments to savor the gift of luscious life on planet Earth. Both halves of personnel division in any hierarchical context are severely abusive – so difficult to overcome that most folks carry conceptual toxins of superiority & inferiority to their graves.

All this has something to do with the philosophy David Graeber and I call Anarchism.

This is the problem, our workers are being devalued because our oligarchy is working on replacing the ones they need the most, rather than paying them better, they feel entitled to falling, not rising wages, which sets up an unresolvable conflict. Even rich peoples children told me this at a young age. They feel its an inescapable law, like the earth going around the sun. People have to eat so the wages will fall. They always say exactly that. This is the real them, not the TV face they put on. Its not negotiable unless they get called out on it. Please understand its easy to verify what I am telling you and the sources are reliable ones, politicians and political parties are extremely skillful at deceiving people, afterall thats their job, stage mnaging countries and triggering ratchets that lock us into trade deals that are the real laws of the world, when it comes to anything involving money, LIKE WORK. Yes, virtually all our lawes involving work now are under international jurisdiction. This is the big change that has occurred since the 1980s.

Lets look at what has been carved into stone. The thing that even rich peoples children know by heart, that they are the owners and workers are the purchased, and that the price is always going to go down when there are less jobs and or more people to do them.

That is part of what they claim is economics 101. But lets not make the mistake of falling for it because everything is something we could contriol in a democracy. They have stolen our democracy, and we need to get it back.

The understanding that democracy is what governs is our understanding of America, the understanding that as jobs were automated wages would plummet is a core element of their upbringing. All around the world. America in that world, was an outlier.

Starting in the 80s, oligarchs have been working on carving tat future in stone, rather than the one we’ve been led to beleive is coming. We don’t really have democracy in economic areas, just a kind of theater of cruelty or the absurd to distract us from whats really going on…

Let me tell you what we’re up against. A few years ago Elizabeth Warren tried to explain this in an article she wrote for the Washington Post. Increases i minimum wages now are arguably up against contracts countries have entered into where they in effect promise not to raise them, unless they pay compensation to corporations or countries for doing so. (If countries are effected by foreign minimum wage laws and have to pay their own workers more while working here. Right now our workers here on the average make around 20 times as much as many of the workers who are anticipated to be working here do at home. Lets imagine an engineer is supposed to work here. However, they are just, as of 2017, now supposed to pay a legal US wage, which may be four or five times what they usually make in their home country. Lets say they make around $4000 a year at home. )

The people who have occupied Washington and both parties beleive veryt strongly (because this is how they make their money) that only supply and demand should determine wages, and that all the world should be one labor marketplace, they frame laws like minimum wage laws and labor standards as discriminating against poorer, more backwards countries and their firms. Very quietly they have been dismantling the legacy of laws that protect workers by creating a rules based multilateral system that disciplines nations and their laws to allow trnsnational trade in labor. Once a country makes these commitmentsthey can only deregulate, not reregulate. That means that laws like wage laws are only supposed to go down, not up. Their lgic is, since jobs are becoming internatiuonal, that wages in more expensive countries can only go down as if its an inescapable law of nature.

Tahts the problem, they will never accept the idea that wages should go up as long as there are other people who will gladly do the job for less with compatible qualifications. So they are also working on “harmonizing” these qualifications internationally, with the idea of forcing them all to the lowest common denominator.

“There is NO ONE in this the richest country in the history of the world who works a full-time job who should be treated with the indignity of being paid so little in wages that they cannot provide a decent, comfortable living for themselves”.

I agree with you 100% which is WHY I am trfying to explain this problem to you so we dont keep on shooting ourselves in the foot by falling for one sleazy trick after another. Lots of people are likely sock puppets deliberately confusing issues.

“When you consider that, over the past 50 years at least, every white collar worker and CEO and corporate board member have seen regular and substantial raises almost yearly, while our essential workers are stuck with wages that are the equivalent of what blue collar workers were making in the 1960s, it is way past time for a serious wage adjustment for them. Not only is $15/hr. the very minimum that it should be raised to, but there should be back-pay involved for the trillions of dollars that have been stolen from them, indeed from all of us, while so much of the profits have been funneled upward under this rigged system of 'trickle-down” economics that both parties have forced upon us since the time or Reagan. Time to end trickle-down and put to rest once and for all the notion that greed is good and that a country is like a corporation and should be treated as such. We are NOT a corporation and our essential workers are NOT cogs in the money-making machinery of the corporate fat cats".

We’re not a corporation but the world IS being taken over by them, fast, so we need to educate to make people aware of whats being done in a decentralized way that resists corruption. We cant afford another seemingly trustworthy leader who gives us information that is missing its most essential elements. That’s likely to lead to the loss of Medicare if things go the way people think they should.

We have a government thats been captured, that is leading this war on all working people globally, and herding other oligarchies into line. Its bribed them by offering (eventually) all of our “essential workers” . In case anybody doesn’t realize this, narcissists HATE “needing” anybody, especially “essential workers”. So they are squarely in the firing line. Unionized professions and professionals jobs are very deeply in danger, in addition to often being dangerous now because of coronavirus.

Because they have promised so many of these jobs away, deep down inside I suspect they would love it if people now doing those jobs were to just quit. These negotiations to make these changes have been going on in various fora and under various auspices for more than 30 yrs. Starting in the 1980s, with the talks for the Uruguay Round starting formally the week of September 15-20, 1986. The bulk of the Marrakesh Agreement establishing the WTO being hammered out in the early 90s.

The (international) rules (which we have agreed to and promoted) remind me of a cruel parody of the US civil rights movement, except backwards.

Where foreign corporations and their workforces and the high profits the cheapest ones are entitled to, are the ones discriminated against by countries.

We have to understand these international secret alliances to beat down all workers and all wages everywhere are well organized international efforts.

The people here who keep denying that this is all happening are quite possibly part of that effort.

It will be too late if we don’t realize it soon. The two parties dysfunction is likely contrived to divert peoples attention from understanding this global push to prevent the bright future all want and instead send us into a downward spiral where onlythe cheapest workers can find employment and wages keep falling as jobs dry up or are traded away, irreversibly. (unless we buy them back with other jobs or concessions. If we dont call them out on this huge theft, soon, we lost the day we signed the URAA (WTO enabling act) in 1994. More are on the way, as Biden is neoliberal. These changes are additive and nearly impossible to roll back once they begin and we should be making people aware of this fact.