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Outsourced Oreos

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It’s no wonder that growing number of Americans would be attracted to either socialism or fascism when economic stagnation and working-class decline are the reality for millions of people. A key part of this of course is outsourcing industrial production to other nations, which destroys the ability of working-class people without college educations to live a dignified life. Given that the core Trump supporters are working-class whites, this is an issue that we need to take seriously and try to fix or stop if we want social stability within the United States. Thus when Nabisco decides to outsource Oreo production to Mexico, it drives more Americans into economic crisis.

On Chicago’s South Side, about 1,200 workers have been baking chocolate wafers and mixing the cream filling for Oreo cookies for decades at a plant on South Kedzie Avenue. The whole neighborhood smells fantastic.

Last summer, managers held a companywide meeting. The workers expected to hear updates for a planned $130 million upgrade to the facility.

Instead, the company demanded its workers swallow $46 million in wage and benefit cuts. Otherwise, the investment would go south of the U.S. border, said Irene Rosenfeld, CEO of Mondelez International, which owns Nabisco. Rosenfeld received almost $200 million over the past eight years in pay and benefits.

This is how CEOs use a bad trade deal as a club to beat workers.

Sure enough, at the end of July, managers announced a plan to shift some production from Chicago to a factory in Salinas, Mexico.

And once that facility begins to make Oreos and other treats, 600 employees in Chicago will lose their jobs, said managers at Mondelez, the global food giant.

The above is by AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka and Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers, and Grain Millers International Union president David Durkee. They damn the trade agreements such as NAFTA for destroying working-class jobs, note how Nabisco’s corporate giant could save money other than union-busting and outsourcing, and argue they will defeat the TPP. I’m awfully skeptical of the latter claim, but of course they should try because NAFTA and the TPP are disasters for American workers. I don’t doubt that such agreements are great for the American elite, corporations, and maybe foreign policy. But for the American working-class, they are terrible, unmitigated disasters. And they are an important part of the reason why the white working-class is attracted to the fascism of Donald Trump.

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