YOU CAN TELL IN BALTIMORE WHICH CANDIDATES ARE WORKING FOR WALL STREET BALTIMORE DEVELOPMENT AND BALTIMORE AS AN INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC ZONE BY WHO IS EXCLUDED BY BALTIMORE MEDIA AND THESE HOPKINS' NON-PROFIT ELECTION EVENTS.
They will always be the ones popping in for a few minutes to people's forums because they are on their way to developers/Wall Street forums ALL WHILE RUNNING AS DEMOCRATS.
Since my mantra is being a Mayor of Baltimore that pushes back all that global corporate policy coming from Congress and pushed right through by the Maryland Assembly-----CATHERINE PUGH SAYS-----BALTIMORE IS STAYING WITH MARYLAND-----as if Baltimore standing strong for its own interests means you are anti-Maryland. Baltimore has been used for decades as a money-pit for Maryland rich to the detriment of all Maryland counties and citizens and especially Baltimore citizens.
'"The plan that Governor Hogan is unveiling is a great step toward providing Baltimore with a first-class bus system capable of carrying our residents to job opportunities," Baltimore City Council President Jack Young said'
STANDING STRONG FOR BALTIMORE AGAINST BAD NATIONAL POLICY AND AGAINST A MARYLAND GOVERNMENT THAT SIMPLY AIDS AND ABETS THESE BAD POLICIES IS NOT ANTI-MARYLAND.
IT IS PRO-MARYLAND.
See how Wall Street global corporate pols are always spinning things?
Stokes, Dixon, Mosby all running to meet with Hogan in Annapolis as he moves forward with making Baltimore an International Economic Zone and kill national and state sovereignty. Below you see Hogan is simply installing the same global corporate busing system replacing public transit around the world with global corporations owning this system---you see Mexico here---but they are all the same. You notice it is specifically designed to GET PEOPLE TO WORK.
Maryland does need commuter buses that connect counties-----the entire public transit has been starved of funding for decades. So, having private bus transit is not a problem in augmenting public services but this will completely privatize Baltimore's public transit. You will see a private Circulator moving the public locally----Hogan didn't come up with this idea all by himself-------Anthony Brown if elected as a Clinton neo-liberal would have done the same.
ALL INFRASTRUCTURE UPGRADES ARE BEING TIED TO GLOBAL SYSTEMS ALREADY INSTALLED IN NATIONS AROUND THE WORLD BY THE SAME SET OF GLOBAL CORPORATIONS.
Best Practice: Metrobus Bus Rapid Transit System
- www.nyc.gov/html/ia/gprb/downloads/pdf/Mexico City... Best Practice: Metrobus Bus Rapid Transit System ... Mexico City established the bus rapid transit (BRT) system ... approximately 30,000 public transit buses, ...
'"The plan that Governor Hogan is unveiling is a great step toward providing Baltimore with a first-class bus system capable of carrying our residents to job opportunities," Baltimore City Council President Jack Young said'
Governor Larry Hogan Announces
Transformative Transit Plan for Baltimore City
Administration to Invest $135 Million to Fix Outdated and Inefficient SystemOctober 22, 2015BALTIMORE, MD – Governor Larry Hogan today announced $135 million in targeted investments to transform and improve transit throughout the Baltimore metropolitan area. The multi-phase plan will create an interconnected transit system, known as BaltimoreLink, and includes redesigning the entire local and express bus systems throughout Baltimore and adding 12 new high-frequency, color-coded bus routes that improve connections to jobs and other transit modes.
“This comprehensive plan signifies the state's long-term commitment to the future of Baltimore City by providing a more reliable and timely transit experience, and better connections to jobs,” said Governor Hogan. “For years, Maryland's largest and most important city had an antiquated and broken transit system, but with this vision, the people of Baltimore and surrounding jurisdictions will finally be able to travel conveniently, efficiently and affordably from where they live to where they work.”
“Not many cities get to redesign their entire transit system from scratch fixing decades of accumulated inefficiencies,” said Transportation Secretary Pete K. Rahn.
“For years, this great City has struggled with a less-than-great public transportation system,” said City Council President Bernard C. “Jack” Young. “I would like to thank Gov. Hogan for undertaking this process to improve our transit system and better link city residents to growing job markets throughout the region. I look forward to working with the administration to bring this plan to reality and deliver a system that works for the citizens of Baltimore.”
“The development of a comprehensive, efficient and effective mass transit system is essential to the City of Baltimore’s long-term sustainability, prosperity and relevance,” said Jimmy Rouse, a founding member of Transit Choices.
IT IS TRANSFORMATIVE! HOW CAN WE DO THIS WITH THE NATIONAL DEBT AT $21 TRILLION AND THE STATE OF MARYLAND AND BALTIMORE SOAKED IN CREDIT BOND DEBT? MORE CREDIT BOND DEBT.
Oh, that is what brought Greece and Spain into IMF level of sovereign debt having all these same global corporations taking all that is public in those nations.
Remember----with International Economic Zones and global corporate campuses and global factories------workers are bused from all surrounding counties to work in these factories-----this is what Greater Baltimore means-----all surrounding counties. If you are not living in campus housing you have long bus rides from the counties. Prince Georges County is the other International Economic Zone for the Washington beltway global corporations-----so the county people will be bused there as well. There will be NO DEVELOPMENT OF A LOCAL ECONOMY IN COUNTIES AND BALTIMORE CITY---Working in a FOXCONN global factory-----these global pols are SWELL!
ERHLICH/O'MALLEY/HIOGAN----WHAT GLOBAL WALL STREET TRANSFORMATIVE GUYS.
For those not knowing both VEOLA TRANSPORTATION and these bus systems Hogan are trying to push on Baltimore come with their own sweat shops that build these buses. Don't worry says Hogan and Clinton neo-liberals working as a tag-team-----we will bring those global corporations building those buses here as FOXCONN manufacturing factories.
IF YOU ARE BUILDING A LOCAL SMALL BUSINESS MANUFACTURING FACTORY SYSTEM IN BALTIMORE THAT COULD BE THE ONES BUILDING THESE NEW BUSES FOR OUR FULLY-FUNDED PUBLIC TRANSIT SYSTEM----YOU HAVE WORK THAT DOES NOT FALL INTO INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC ZONE LAW.
While most folks reading my blog have seen the connections I make some are still saying----these are public private partnerships as if we don't already simply have elected pols working for those corporations. This is what takes from our voice on all policy issues and NO---they are not going to abide by our US Constitution, protect our environment or pay any attention to minimum wage or any labor laws. Below you see what Baltimore City Hall and Maryland Assembly have planned for Maryland citizens and the flood of immigrants that will follow next decade.
Below you see from where all the immigrants will be brought if these International Economic Zones and global corporate FOXCONN factories are allowed to be built.
Sweatshops and Third World Living Standards: Are the Jobs Worth the Sweat?
By Benjamin W. Powell, David B. Skarbek | Posted: Mon. September 27, 2004
Abstract: Many studies have shown that multinational firms pay more than domestic firms in Third World countries. Economists critical of sweatshops have responded that multinational firms’ wage data do not address whether sweatshop jobs are above average because many of these jobs are with domestic subcontractors. In this paper we compare apparel industry wages and the wages of individual firms accused of being sweatshops to measures of the standard of living in Third World economies. We find that most sweatshop jobs provide an above average standard of living for their workers.
Over the past decade U.S. firms and their subcontractors have faced protests from student groups, labor leaders, and some government officials for employing sweatshop labor. Sweatshops are generally characterized as places of employment that have low pay, poor working conditions, and long hours. Most economists view so-called sweatshops as a benefit to Third World workers and recognize that the anti-sweatshop activists’ activities could reduce Third World employment and investment, thus making workers worse off. In response to the anti-sweatshop movement, economists in the Academic Consortium on International Trade (ACIT), led by Jagdish Bhagwati, circulated a letter to colleges and universities urging them to become aware of the downsides to anti-sweatshop movement demands before adopting any policies.
The economic way of thinking views sweatshops from an exchange perspective in which both workers and employers gain when they voluntarily enter into a labor contract – no matter how low the wages may seem to external observers. From Walter Williams (2004) on the right to Paul Krugman (1997) on the left, KRUGMAN HAS ALWAYS BEEN A NEO-LIBERAL ECONOMIST POSING PROGRESSIVE) economists across the political spectrum have defended sweatshops in the popular press.1 One economist critical of sweatshops even observed that most economists’ opinion is “as simple as this: ‘Either you believe labor demand curves are downward sloping, or you don’t,’ as a neoclassical colleague said to me. Of course, not to believe that demand curves are negatively sloped would be tantamount to declaring yourself an economic illiterate” (Miller 2003).
Not all economists support sweatshops, however. In response to the letter circulated by ACIT, a group calling themselves Scholars Against Sweatshop Labor (SASL) circulated their own letter in support of the student anti-sweatshop movement.
The letter had 434 signatories, 73 percent of whom were economists. At least one scholarly article by an economist, (Miller 2003) “Why Economists are Wrong About Sweatshops,” has criticized the mainstream economic view of sweatshops.
Much of the scholarly work on sweatshops has been performed by non-economists or has limited itself to documenting the organization and activities of the anti-sweatshop movement. Examples include Mandle (2000), Appelbaum and Dreier (1999), and Firoz and Ammaturo (2002). Only a few economic papers have dealt directly with sweatshops. Brown, Deardorff, and Stern (2003) modeled the theoretic frameworks in which multinational firms could raise or lower wages. Elliot and Freeman (2001) outlined the most harmful of the anti-sweatshop activists’ demands. Moran (2002 Ch. 1 and 2) documents that foreign direct investment and the firms it encourages provide above average pay and benefits for Third World workers.
Most scholarly work by economists related to sweatshops has focused on the wages multinational firms pay. Several econometric studies demonstrate the benefits multinational firms provide. Aitken, Harrison, and Lipsey (1996) and Lipsey and Sjoholm (2001) both find that after controlling for other factors, multinational firms pay higher wages than domestic firms in Third World countries. Feenstra and Hanson (1997) find that multinational firms improve the lives of workers by increasing the demand for labor. Budd and Slaughter (2000) and Budd, Konings, and Slaughter (2001) find that as multinational profits go up, multinational firms share gains with Third World workers. Brown, Deardorff and Stern (2003) summarize the literature documenting the benefits multinational companies provide to Third World workers.
Economists critical of sweatshops usually do not dispute that multinational firms pay more than domestic firms in most cases. Miller (2003) notes,
The ACIT writes that multinational corporations “commonly pay their workers more on average in comparison to the prevailing market wage for similar workers employed elsewhere in the economy.” But, as the SASL authors correctly point out, “While this is true, it does not speak to the situation in which most garments are produced throughout the world – which is by firms subcontracted by multinational corporations, not the MNCs themselves (p.101).
This paper expands on the existing literature by comparing sweatshop wages, without regard to whether a firm is multinational or a domestic subcontractor of such, to standards of living in the countries in which they employ workers. We compiled a list of countries where U.S. news sources have reported sweatshops. The apparel industry is widely cited in the press for using sweatshops most frequently, so apparel industry wages in these countries are compared to average income, average wages and poverty earnings, in the next section of this paper. In the third section we compare the wages at individual firms accused of being sweatshops with these same standard of living measures. Apparel Jobs Compared to Average Living Standards
The apparel industry has drawn the most attention the press for its use of sweatshop labor. Sometimes a U.S. firm directly employs Third World workers, but more often subcontractors actually produce the products. Table 1 contains the average apparel industry wages in countries where sweatshops supposedly exist.2
Apparel industry wages are low by U.S. standards, but they compare favorably with the average standard of living in these countries. Figure 1 shows the average apparel worker’s earnings as a percent of average per capita income. Since no data documenting the average number of hours worked in the apparel industry were available, we provide four estimates that vary the hours worked per week between 40 and 70. The 60 and 70 hour estimates are more likely to be accurate since these employees often work long hours and six days per week.
UNDERARMOUR GLOBAL CAMPUS WILL HAVE GARMENT SWEAT SHOP GLOBAL FACTORIES.
Figure 1 shows that if working 70 hours per week, apparel workers’ average income exceeds the average income in each country.3 In 9 of 10 nations, average apparel industry income exceeds the national average at only 50 hours per week. Apparel workers in the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Honduras, and Nicaragua earn 3 to 7 times the national average.
National income per capita divides the total output of the economy by the total population, both workers and non-workers. If apparel industry workers tend to be young and without a family, or women and children, then comparing apparel wages to average income per capita gives a fairly accurate assessment of how they live compared to others in their economy since their income is only supporting one person. Women and children were often the workers in 19th century U.S. and British sweatshops, and some anecdotal evidence from the Third World suggests this may be true there too.
It is also useful to compare apparel industry workers’ earnings to just other workers’ wages. Unfortunately, good wage data does not exist. To approximate average wage data, we have used employment participation data to adjust average income per capita to reflect average income per worker. Data on labor force size do not count workers in the informal sector, which can be quite large in these countries, but the value of what informal workers produce is often estimated in GDP measures.4 Accordingly, our measure of earnings per worker likely overstates average income per worker and thus causes us to understate apparel industry wages as a percent of average income per worker.
Figure 2 shows that despite this bias, average apparel industry wages equal or exceed average income per worker in 8 of 10 countries. At 70 hours of work per week, apparel worker earnings in six countries exceed 150 percent of average income per worker, and they more than double the average in three countries.
We can also compare apparel industry earnings to the dire poverty in these countries. Table 2 reports the World Bank’s estimated percent of the population that lives on less than $1 and $2 per day. In most of these countries more than half the population lives on less than $2 per day. Yet, in 9 of 10 countries, working 10 hour days in the apparel industry lifts employees above (and often far above) the $2 per day threshold. Even in the one exception, Bangladesh, working 10 hour days in the apparel industry results in earning more than the 36% of the population living on less than $1 per day.
The apparel industry has been widely criticized for “exploiting” Third World workers in sweatshops, but the data show that these workers are better off than most people in their countries. Although the apparel industry as a whole pays better, anti-sweatshop activists sometimes single out particular firms as exploitative. We next look at examples in which specific firms have been protested for being sweatshops. Wages in Sweatshop Firms Compared to Living Standards
Our data come from popular press articles that document sweatshop wages.5 Many of the wages quoted come directly from anti-sweatshop activists. Thus, any bias would understate the actual level of compensation.6 Despite this, we find that when compared to per capita income in these countries, most sweatshops pay more than the average standard of living.
Table 3 lists the wages that sweatshop workers reportedly earn and, when available, the company involved. These wages are obviously quite low compared to those in the U.S., but a high percentage of people in these countries earn less than $1 or $2 per day. In 41 of 43 cases, working 10 hour days results in earning more than $1 per day, and in more than half the earnings are greater than $2 per day. Sweatshop wages raise workers’ standard of living higher than a significant fraction of the population.
Figure 3 shows average reported sweatshop wages as a percent of each country’s average income.7 Since many news articles contained hourly wage data without stating the number of hours worked, we again created four estimates that vary hours worked per week between 40 and 70. When articles reported daily wage data, we based our calculation on six days of work per week. The 40 hour estimate is probably low again since most sweatshop employees work long hours and often work six days per week. When articles provided estimated hours of work, most were in excess of 70 per week; we included the actual hours in the 70 hour estimate when they were available.
In 9 of 11 countries, the reported sweatshop wages equal or exceed average income, doubling it in Cambodia, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Honduras (at 70 hours). However, these figures do not include non-monetary compensation. Nike’s employees in Indonesia, for example, receive free health care and meals in addition to their wages (Jones 1996). Since 7 of 8 Indonesian examples alleged Nike factories to be sweatshops, not including non-monetary compensation causes our Indonesian sweatshop wage estimates to appear far lower than they should. If firms in other countries also provide additional benefits, their wages may be similarly understated. Overall, even with our data limitations, Figure 3 demonstrates that most of the jobs that some anti-sweatshop advocates protest raise their workers’ standard of living above their nation’s average.
The above figure compares sweatshop wages with average income for both workers and non-workers. We can again make the adjustment, with the same data limitations as before, to compare protested sweatshop jobs with average income per worker. Due to not counting the large informal sector, we are again likely understating sweatshop earnings as a percent of average earnings per worker. The bias that our data often come directly from those with the most incentive to understate earnings also remains.
Figure 4 shows that the average protested sweatshop worker earns more than the average worker in Cambodia, Haiti and Nicaragua. In most countries the protested wages are more than 60 percent of the average. It is important to remember the biases and limitations of this data when comparing these numbers.
In addition, the relevant comparison facing an individual worker is not average wages but individual alternatives. Sweatshops make a worker better off when they pay more than that specific worker’s next best alternative. Thus, even where earnings are less than 100 percent of average wages, as long as workers voluntarily choose to work at the sweatshop, it makes the individual worker better off.
Some caution should be used when looking at the data for China. A few articles reported that the Chinese government "forced" people to work in sweatshops. If this is true, then we cannot assume that the jobs make the workers better off. Since the extent to which the Chinese examples were voluntary or coerced was unclear, we averaged them all. As such, coerced labor may be causing their reported wages to be a lower percent of average income than other countries.
Few dispute that multinational firms tend to pay their workers more than domestic firms in the Third World. Critics of sweatshops maintain that because subcontractors make many products for multinational firms, measuring only multinational firm wages does not address critics’ complaints against sweatshops. We have addressed the deficiency in the literature by comparing apparel industry wages in countries that supposedly have sweatshops and the wages of individual firms accused of being sweatshops to measures of average standards of living in these countries. The data clearly show that overall, apparel industry workers are far better off than most people in their economies. However, while the best available, the data used was far from perfect. Biases are likely causing us to understate earnings as a percent of living standards. Despite data limitations, individual firms accused of paying sweatshop wages often still compare favorably with other standard of living measures.
Guangdong Is a typical International Economic Zone model developed by US corporations and Clinton/Bush global policies. What we see moving forward in privatization of US transit has been developed with this MASTER PLAN in mind. Getting people to and from work ----and then being isolated with no transit after work-----or being captured on global corporate campuses with no public transit is what exists now overseas. We can have rapid buses with rates that rise so high-----people will only be able to access them with work bus passes. Moving the county citizens here in Maryland to global factories will look just as in this article.
Maryland is a conservative state and voters are being duped by the constant refrain of socialist public sector----they are being duped that public private partnerships have anything to do with citizens and their voices or our laws. The conditions meted out by the Amazon.com global corporate campuses and global factories-----by UnderArmour and its global corporate campuses and global factories----with more global campuses to come----will see Greater Baltimore looking like GUANGDONG,.China.
When I say that the University of Maryland Land Trust policies tied to bonds and affordable housing is tied to corporate factory housing ----worker housing and dormatories-----THIS IS IT. Imagine this picture on UnderArmour's campus in West Port ----knowing that the current size will grow considerably. They pretend the citizens own these affordable housing on Land Trusts------but the goal is to use the bond debt to transfer control of these Land Trusts to the global corporation----in BAltimore's case----that would be the UnderArmour campus.
IT IS VERY, VERY, VERY, VERY BAD HOUSING POLICY.
This article is very long-----please glance through
Factory of the World: Scenes from Guangdong
Guangzhou’s train station was a depressing sight. It was nearly midnight and the day’s waves of travelers had receded, leaving a tidemark of litter on the concrete floor. The place was filthy and cold. Many of the city’s jobless migrants had come to spend the night here. They arrived in groups of seven or eight, men and women from Guangxi and Yunnan, mostly in their thirties and forties, pulling heavy plastic bags of personal belongings across the station floor. They’d search for a corner and sit, leaning against their bags. Some dozed off quickly, weary after a day spent walking around the city looking for work. Others kept their eyes wide open, on the watch for security officers.
These were migrants who hadn’t been able to return home after the last round of layoffs. Some had lost their jobs weeks before but stayed on in Guangzhou because they hadn’t been paid and couldn’t afford to buy even a bus ticket home. Others had lost their jobs that very day, and since their living quarters had been provided by their employers, they’d became homeless immediately. They certainly couldn’t afford a private rental — the cheapest single room in the city cost about 400 yuan per month, about half their previous monthly wage So they clustered here, sleeping on the station floor until morning, when the police and station staff would chase them away. But once night fell again, they’d return and find corners in which to sleep.
There are three to four million migrant workers living in Guangzhou, which has a total population of about ten million. Many of those I saw sleeping at the station, as well as those who might have left for their villages after a few homeless nights, were first-generation migrants who’d come to Guangzhou in the hope of higher wages and abundant opportunities. Guangzhou was meant to be a life-changing experience. As many of them told me, most had been working there for more than a decade; they had devoted their prime to this city.
Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong province, became one of China’s major ports and trading centers in the middle of the 18th century. Because of its reputation for receptiveness to change and exposure to foreign influences, the city — known historically as Canton — was widely considered the most Westernized in China. Yet despite many decades of political upheaval, the tumultuous transfer of power in the mid 20th century from the Chinese Nationalists to the Communists, and the establishment of the People’s Republic of China, had brought little improvement to most people’s lives. …
Today Guangdong has developed into China’s largest provincial economy, with a GDP surpassing five trillion yuan. 1 It is the center of China’s export-led manufacturing industries; the Pearl River Delta region, comprising nine prefectures — Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Dongguan, Zhongshan, Foshan, Huizhou, Jiangmen and Zhaoqing — and the autonomous regions of Hong Kong and Macau, has been China’s strongest magnet for international capital since the economic reform that began three decades ago. After Deng Xiaoping announced the decision to open China to world markets at the Third Plenary session of the Eleventh CPC Central Committe in December 1978, three cities in Guangdong — Shenzhen, Zhuhai and Shantou — became together the first of four Special Economic Zones established to pilot the reforms. Guangzhou later joined the group as one of the first mainland cities to be opened to the world market; its Free Trade Zone, set up in 1992, hosts international trade, processing industries and computer software.
The Special Economic Zones quickly began drawing international capital to the region. 2 Today Guangdong province hosts an estimated 60,000 factories, which every day produce some $300 million worth of goods and account for about 30 percent of China’s exports and one-third of the world’s production of shoes, textiles and toys. In a speech in December 2008 marking the 30th anniversary of national economic reform, Wang Yang, secretary of the CCP’s Guangdong provincial committee and widely considered one of the future leaders of the nation, claimed that Guangdong had sustained an average annual growth rate of 13.8 percent over the past three decades.
This is a success story, to be sure; but it has been a success story only for some. “Guangzhou has become the first Chinese city to reach a per capita income of $10,000,” the provincial government announced in early 2007. But it was later discovered that this figure had not factored in the estimated 3.7 million migrant workers living and working in the city at the time: a blatant exclusion which underscores the reality of the widening wealth gap. In November 2011, a survey conducted by Guangzhou Society and Public Opinion Research Centre revealed a high degree of class polarization, with many low-income interviewees reporting significant dissatisfaction with the gaps in income and living standards. Indeed, you become aware of the huge disparities as soon as you enter the city; when migrants arrive they are overwhelmed not only by the vast transport system and endless traffic jams, the thick fumes and suffocating air, but also by the visible inequality — the most ruthless aspect of Guangzhou’s urbanity — between the haves and have-nots. In Guangzhou you see the upper-middle classes shopping in world-class malls, dining in restaurants run by famous chefs, drinking in luxurious wine bars, spending in a single night what it takes a manual worker two months to earn; all the while beggars wait outside and migrants search for a floor for the night.
But — at least until the global financial crisis — there was no lack of places for migrants to work. Automobiles, petrochemicals, and electronics and information technology together account for over 40 percent of the economy in Guangdong. Major corporations like Apple, Sony, Motorola and Toshiba manufacture many of their products in Shenzhen. Guangzhou is one of the centers of the Chinese auto industry, and the big petrochemical multinationals — including Shell, Total, Du Pont, Exxon, et al. — operate in the city as well. And the list goes goes on and on.
Migrant labor is what powers the export-led manufacturing empire. The wages of factory workers in Guangzhou are about one-twelfth of working-class wages in the United Kingdom. Not only do workers have few social rights, thanks to the exclusion and segregation institutionalized by the hukou household registration system; in practice they also have few labor rights, since employers often abuse the existing legal protections. And since the migrant labor force is seldom organized, workers struggle alone against injustice and exploitation. Some see no way out, and some find the most tragic way out. …
Foxconn dormitory, Shenzhen. [Photo by yuan2003]
In 1988, the Hon Hai Precision Industry Company, Ltd., commonly known as Foxconn Technology Group, the world’s biggest manufacturer of electronics components and a major supplier to Apple, opened its largest plant in Shenzhen. There, in addition to components for the iPod, iPad and iPhone, Foxconn produces motherboards for Intel and parts for the Sony PlayStation, Nintendo Wii and Amazon Kindle, among others. In the summer of 2009 Foxconn also produced notorious headlines when one of its employees, Sun Danyong, a 25-year-old engineer from Yunnan province, jumped to his death from his 12th-floor apartment apparently, according to the China Labour Bulletin, “after management accused him of stealing an iPhone prototype.” 3 Foxconn made headlines again in 2010, when 14 workers committed suicide, followed by three more in 2011. …
Southern Weekend, a newspaper in Guangzhou, sent the reporter Liu Zhiyi to work undercover at Foxconn for 28 days. He reported grim working conditions and a harsh labor regime. Employees were compelled to work long hours with short breaks to sleep and eat; they were required to sign a “voluntary overtime affidavit,” relinquishing the right to keep their overtime to the 36-hour legal limit; but wages were so low they had to work a lot of overtime to make ends meet. Alarmingly, many migrant workers believed they weren’t likely to find better conditions elsewhere in the region generally. …
Migrant workers’ camp in Shenzhen. [Photo by dcmaster]
I went to visit the factory of Yin Yu Decorative Lighting Co., Ltd, in the town of Heshan, on the southern outskirts of Guangzhou. Built in 1732 under the Qing emperor Yongzheng, Heshan is surrounded by mountains and, according to local legend, in the old days there were many white geese (the literal translation of Heshan is “goose mountain”). By Chinese standards the town is tiny, with a population of 460,000, and it seemed a tranquil place, with unassuming concrete buildings; but since the reform and opening up, Heshan has attracted foreign capital and a number of industries, including electronics, printing, textile and shoe manufacturers. Founded in 1979 and located in the center of town, Yin Yu Ltd. is the largest workplace in Heshan, with thousands of employees (the company’s website states only that Yin Yu has “more than 100 employees”). The majority of migrants here work in the factories of Yin Yu, assembling and producing lamps and light fixtures for sale in China and for export to Southeast Asia, Europe and the U.S.
When I arrived, assembly workers were on the day shift, and the streets were quiet. The few workers I did see were office clerks, whose ranks included both locals and migrants. I noticed one young woman, with short hair and attractive almond-shaped eyes, dressed in school-uniform-like work clothes: a white shirt and black trousers. She walked energetically, with her head up, and looked my way. When I introduced myself and said I was interested in hearing about her working life, she was immediately excited. Her name was Ling; she was 22 and came from Hubei province. Though she hadn’t gone to university, she had studied business administration at a vocational college back home. After graduation she found an office assistant’s job at Yin Yu Ltd. Her parents had been thrilled: working for an international company in Guangdong was seen as a marvelous achievement. Ling’s parents believed their daughter would earn a regular income and eventually do very well.
Ling was a talker, the sort who befriends people easily. … “Come and have tea,” she said, inviting me to her dormitory as we walked past shops and noodle stores. Ling’s dormitory was a block of apartments with a public square in the middle. As we approached, I realized that the building was well guarded and Ling would have to smuggle me past the security officers. “Don’t worry. Just follow me,” Ling said. “You’re female and this is a women’s dorm — they won’t even notice you.” Ling was right — the guards didn’t even look at me.
Migrant worker heading home for the Chinese New Year, Shenzhen. [Photo by dcmaster]
I followed her upstairs and through the corridors. Ling’s room was tiny but bright; she’d left the window open, letting in the sunshine and breezes. She pulled over a wooden stool for me, while she sat back on her metal bunk bed, which occupied half of the room. “My roommate’s at work,” she said. “She works in the office, too.” On her desk, piled with instant noodle packets, there was an electric kettle; Ling boiled some water and poured me a jar of green tea. Then she confessed why she hadn’t been concerned about breaking the dormitory rules: She was planning to quit her job.
Ling had spotted Yin Yu Ltd.’s recruitment advertisement back in Hubei. She’d just graduated and was eager to start work — to begin an independent life away from home. Her college degree got her a job at the lowest level of administrative work in the company — a job for which thousands had competed, Ling believed. She expected basic rights and entitlements, and respectful treatment.
Ling had been quickly disillusioned. She told me how stressed and overworked she was; from the start she’d been required to work many hours of unpaid overtime, often until 11 pm. The overtime was semi-compulsory: If you refused , you were seen as unwilling to work hard and would not be considered for future promotions. Performance was paramount. “I find it hard to breathe,” she said, describing how anxious she felt every day. “I have no life.” Yet her office job was envied by the assembly workers; the line workers could never imagine leaving the factory and walking around town during their shift hours. Also, Ling could hope for advancement; her position wasn’t “dead end,” which was how the factory workers described their own jobs.
Factory workers’ dormitory in Shenzhen. [Photo by dcmaster]
But Ling described the promise of promotion as dubious — a “myth.” Since arriving at Yin Yu Ltd. months earlier, Ling had never been given a contract; and without a contract, nothing was certain. This prompted me to ask whether she expected to receive any compensation package when she left. “No, of course not,” Ling said emphatically. “They want to give me no choice except to leave without one single yuan in my pocket.” Ling explained that it was common practice for the company to offer a choice between “voluntary departure” (zi-li) and “resignation” (ci-gong). Voluntary departure doesn’t require management approval, but you forfeit any unpaid wages; resignation requires official approval, upon which you receive your full wages. But it was a no-win situation: If Ling chose to plead for approval, the management would likely refuse, forcing her either to remain or leave voluntarily without pay. Ling resented this kind of entrapment. “Life’s too short, and I am still young,” she said. “I don’t want to work under this kind of immense pressure and manipulation anymore — I’m not even given the most basic respect.”
What was she going to do after she left? She wanted to start her own business back in Hubei. The lonely months in Guangdong had made her homesick. What sort of business? She raised her eyebrows, and said she had a wild idea. In Hubei, the rising middle-class increasingly liked to keep pets. The households of the new bourgeoisie were investing not only in their one child; they were also lavishing money on pedigreed cats and dogs. “I’d like to open a pet shop,” Ling said, “There’s a demand to be met.” Her ambition was to earn enough to lead an independent life — to buy an apartment in town and find someone suitable to marry.
Ling walked to the narrow balcony and looked across the courtyard to the other wing of the building, where clothes had been hung out to dry. This was the kind of dormitory, she observed, where the “working girls” (dagongmei), mostly unmarried women from the rural provinces, lived. “Look at those apartments,” she said, pointing across the way. “They are so overcrowded, eight workers to a four-square-meter room.” Ling knew she was one of the luckier ones; as an office worker, she qualified for more spacious housing — a room shared by just two. This was the only advantage Ling enjoyed.
Dormitory, Shenzhen. [Photo by Steve Jurvetson]
For manufacturers like Yin Yu Ltd., the dagongmei have become the preferred workers; with few commitments and a strong drive to succeed in the cities, they are usually prepared to accept the lowest wages. They make up more than 70 percent of the manufacturing workforce in the Pearl River Delta.
Like many young women working away from home, Ling aspired to material comforts and new experiences. She’d always liked fashion, and followed clothing trends and enjoyed shopping for stylish shoes. … Ling’s roommate had recently suggested that they go together to the shops of nearby Guangzhou. The temptation had been strong, but Ling decided against spending her hard-earned wages on a spree. How could she explain that to her parents, who’d invested every hope in her career? She knew she had to maintain a modest lifestyle and save up for her future.
The afternoon passed quickly as we drank tea and chatted. At 4 pm, Ling said she had to return to work. I walked back into town with her, thanked her for her hospitality, and we said goodbye outside the factory. I watched as she walked through the gate and into the distance of the factory. The daytime workers would be coming off their shift at 5 pm. The heat was hard to bear — now around 30 degrees Celsius, in the middle of the summer in late July. …
Abandoned factory, Shenzhen. [Photo by dcmaster]
Railway Station, Again
Migrant workers’ discontent deepened after the beginning of the global recession. Jobs in Guangdong were being lost as factories shut down, one after another. The shoe manufacturing industry in the province, for instance, which supplies half of the global demand for footwear, was cutting many jobs; in 2007 about 1,000 shoemaking factories in the province shut down after laying off 150,000 to 200,000 workers. Then in 2008, approximately 10 percent of the 60,000 to 70,000 Hong Kong-owned factories based in Pearl River Delta closed following profit losses, including many that supplied the U.S. toy manufacturers Mattel and Hasbro. And the migrant workers have claimed that they were dismissed without notice and with unpaid wages, in violation of China’s relatively new Labor Contract Law.
According to the Hong Kong-based newspaper Dagongbao, in the first ten months of 2008, 15,661 small and medium-size manufacturers in Guangdong either closed down, suspended or relocated their operations. In Dongguan, 117 factories reportedly shut down between September and October, and the factory owners fled, leaving more than 20,000 workers without pay. China’s State Council issued a notice in February 2009 requiring companies to notify local labor authorities before layoffs involving 20 or more employees or 10 percent of staff; but there were no legal penalties for companies that did otherwise. The government released figures in April 2009 showing that since 2008 around 25 million migrant workers had lost their jobs all over the country as a result of factory closures and business collapses. 4 In Guangdong alone, it was estimated, several million had lost jobs. According to the Ministry of Agriculture, about 10 percent of migrant peasants had lost city manufacturing jobs and 80 percent of them were now back in the cities trying to find work.
Beginning in 2007, millions of workers began to leave Guangdong to return to their home villages in Sichuan, Guangxi, Yunnan and other provinces, creating a backflow of migration. But since 2009, it’s estimated that about 9.5 million had already returned to Guangdong, once again hoping to find work. Few were sure if there was work to be found, or how long those jobs might last. The nighttime scene at the Guangzhou train station suggested that the situation was not looking good.
This is yet another face of International Economic Zone policies--------third world nations allow their natural resources to be fleeced for profit and developed nations CONSERVE natural resources for future generations. At an environmental mayoral forum where the question of export terminals and underground pipelines for crude oil and natural gas was asked-------
ALL HANDS WENT UP FOR BEING AGAINST THIS AND YET ALL OF THOSE HANDS HAVE WORKED THIS PAST DECADE TO INSTALL ALL THAT IS NECESSARY FOR GLOBAL POLS TO DO THIS.
PUGH, DIXON, MOSBY, STOKES ALL PRETENDING THEY WOULD FIGHT THIS-----WHEN BALTIMORE'S MARYLAND ASSEMBLY AND BALTIMORE CITY HALL POLS PRIVATIZED OUR PORT OF BALTIMORE INTO A FOREIGN ECONOMIC ZONE STRUCTURE THAT WILL HAVE GLOBAL CARGO SHIPS COMING UP THE CHESAPEAKE BAY TO LOAD AND TRANSPORT AWAY ALL THAT US NATURAL GAS AND CRUDE OIL.
THE BALTIMORE DEVELOPMENT POLS EMBRY AND WARNOCK ARE THE ONES PUSHING THESE POLS TO INSTALL INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC ZONES AND PROFITING FROM ALL THIS MESS-----HAVE YOU HEARD ANY OF THESE POLS SHOUTING AGAINST THESE POLICIES THESE SEVERAL YEARS? YET ALL THEIR HANDS GO UP AS FIGHTING AGAINST EXPORTING OUR NATURAL RESOURCES.
All of this shows how SHOW ME THE MONEY WALL STREET POLS COULD CARE LESS ABOUT THE FUTURE THEY ARE BUILDING FOR BALTIMORE AND ITS CITIZENS----INCLUDING ALL MARYLAND CITIZENS.
The right stance is to stop all exporting policies----from allowing export terminals----to funding pipelines for transporting all this fuel---no matter what underserved community these pipelines are buried-----
IT IS ALL BAD POLICY TIED TO INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC ZONE BRINGING THE US TO THIRD WORLD STATUS.
Fighting Dangerous Oil Trains in Baltimore
The city of Baltimore at risk. This map, produced by Forest Ethics, shows the evacuation zone (red) for oil train derailments and the potential impact zone (yellow) in case of an oil train fire.
Find out more at: www.explosive-crude-by-rail.org
Big Oil companies’ push to extract and refine more extreme forms of oil has led to a surge of trains carrying toxic, explosive, and climate-polluting oil on our nation’s rail lines.
Oil train traffic has grown by 4,000 percent in the past six years, due to the rapid increase in fracking for oil in the Bakken shale fields of North Dakota and in tar sands oil extraction in Canada. An alarming rate of derailments and explosions across North America has followed.
In Maryland, oil trains are a growing danger to communities near rail lines and to Baltimore in particular. The oil industry is targeting Baltimore — with its large and centrally located port — as a gateway to ship crude oil to East Coast refineries, or worldwide if the current U.S. export ban is lifted.
To protect our communities and climate, CCAN is fighting to put the brakes on Big Oil’s plans to use Baltimore as a gateway for extreme crude oil.
Oil Trains in Baltimore: Putting 165,000 residents at riskAlready, nearly half of all oil transported by rail to the East Coast comes to Maryland and Virginia. That’s nearly one in six barrels of the national total transported by rail. Rail companies have fought to keep oil train routes secret in Maryland, and have even sued the state to prevent their public disclosure.
However, we know these trains are already rolling through Baltimore in large numbers. A company called Axeon shipped more than 100 million gallons of crude oil out of the Fairfield Peninsula in South Baltimore over the years 2013 and 2014 (up from zero gallons the previous two years). Substantially more crude oil passes through Maryland communities, but that data is not captured by regulators unless the oil is unloaded.
According to a Forest Ethics analysis of known rail routes, oil trains travel in close proximity to Baltimore homes, schools, churches, and major economic hubs like the Inner Harbor. When overlaid with U.S. Census data, that puts 165,000 Baltimore residents in the oil train “blast zone” — the area that would be directly impacted if a train were to derail and explode.
Explosive Oil: Too Dangerous for the Rails
Explosive Trains. This photo shows the aftermath of a DOT-111 train derailment and subsequent explosion that brought crude oil into Lac-Mégantic, Québec. The explosion killed 47.The Bakken crude oil that the oil industry is moving on trains is more toxic and explosive than conventional oil. It contains a higher concentration of flammable methane and toxic fracking chemicals.
Not only are the contents extremely hazardous, but the trains themselves are outdated and dangerous. A study by the National Transportation Safety Board found that crude oil trains have a high incidence of failure. The oldest model trains, labeled “DOT-111,” have derailed dozens of times in the past year. But newer “CPC-1232” train car models have also exploded in recent derailments.
When accidents happen, the human and environmental impacts are costly. The deadliest oil train explosion occurred in July 2013 in Lac-Mégantic, Québec. Twenty crude oil trains derailed and exploded, killing 47 people and flattening 30 buildings. In April 2014, 10 newer tank cars carrying crude oil derailed and exploded in Lynchburg, VA, spilling about 30,000 gallons of Bakken crude oil and setting the James River on fire for two hours. Since January 2015, five trains have derailed and exploded across North America.
In May 2015, the U.S. Department of Transportation issued new rules intended to improve the safety of oil trains. However, the rules include loopholes and weak standards that would allow hazardous trains on the rails for years to come.
Air Pollution: Disproportionate Impacts to South Baltimore
The South Baltimore area that oil companies want to use as a gateway for processing and shipping crude oil already bears a disproportionate burden of toxic industrial pollution compared to the rest of Maryland. In particular, the Curtis Bay neighborhood of South Baltimore is the most polluted neighborhood in the state of Maryland, hosting 37 percent of all toxic stationary source air pollution in Maryland, and more than 87 percent of all toxic stationary source air pollution in Baltimore City.
Climate Change: Deepening Dependence on Harmful Fossil Fuels
The tremendous growth of Bakken shale oil production in North Dakota has also led to a rapid rise in the production of associated natural gas, which is often “flared off” on-site – so much so that it can be seen from space. Flaring at the Bakken shale emits roughly 6.7 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year, which is the greenhouse gas pollution equivalent of adding about 1.4 million cars onto the road each year.
Fracking wells leak gases into groundwater and into the air. One of the gases, methane, is approximately 86-times as potent a greenhouse gas pollutant as carbon dioxide over a 20-year timeframe. The combination of flaring and methane leakage during Bakken oil extraction contributes to cumulative heat-trapping emissions that are potentially much higher than other sources of oil.
Community Organizing: Beating Back Big Oil’s Plans Mayors, first responders, neighborhood associations, and citizens are coming together all over the country to take a stand against oil trains and crude oil export terminals — including right here in Baltimore.
In 2014, Texas-based Targa Terminals applied for a permit to establish a new crude oil shipping terminal in South Baltimore to send millions of gallons of crude oil through the Chesapeake Bay to East Coast refineries. But Maryland regulators hit the pause button on Targa’s plans in June 2015, in response to detailed technical comments submitted by CCAN and the Environmental Integrity Project, along with comments from hundreds of concerned citizens.
Thanks to your help, we’ve prevented an immediate increase in oil trains moving through Baltimore neighborhoods — for now. But stronger city, state and federal action is urgently needed to protect our health, safety and climate.
Take Action!Leaders at all levels can protect communities from dangerous oil trains:BALTIMORE CITY COUNCIL: Councilmembers can put a moratorium on any new permits until local emergency management, health, and safety officials can study the impacts and dangers associated with crude-by-rail and crude oil shipping within densely populated urban areas.
Take Action: Urge Baltimore’s City Council and Mayor to Put the Brakes on Oil Trains!
STATE LEGISLATORS: Our state legislators should support legislation during the next General Assembly session to require rail companies to disclose the route, frequency and volume of crude oil being transported by rail. Delegate Clarence Lam introduced such a bill in 2015.
FEDERAL LEADERS: Our federal leaders can enact an immediate ban on oil trains, because there is NO safe way to transport extreme tar sands and Bakken crude oil. At a minimum, the Department of Transportation can take the oldest and most dangerous cars, including DOT-111s, off the rails.
To get involved with the campaign, contact: Jon Kenney, our Maryland Community Organizer at Jon@ChesapeakeClimate.org or 240-396-1985.
This is what US Foreign Economic Zone ports like Port of Baltimore are building to do------huge export terminals for crude oil and natural gas. THIS IS CRAZY STUFF. All of Baltimore's communities are under threat whether from underground pipeline to underground rail tunnels----and don't forget increased trucking of these products to Baltimore export terminals.
You can see this article was from 2012----this is what shows you the Obama climate change actions were all posing progressive as global warming will soar with all this increase in tar-sand oil and fracking.LAll of this shows global pols moving the US to the same International Economic Zone structure as in Asia.
How the U.S. Became 'The China of Refined' Gasoline
By Matthew Philips March 02, 2012
Photograph by Eddie Seal/Bloomberg
(An earlier version of this story misstated North Dakota’s monthly oil production as 1.6 million barrels.)
You hear all the time that America is too dependent on foreign oil. For the better part of the past 50 years, the U.S. has imported the majority of its crude. But that dependance is quickly diminishing. According to the Energy Information Administration, crude oil imports fell to 8.9 million barrels a day in 2011, the lowest level in more than a decade. Since 2005, foreign imports have dropped from 60 percent of U.S. consumption to 45 percent last year, according to U.S. Department of Energy data.
In December 2011, for example, the U.S. imported 1.3 million barrels a day from Saudi Arabia, compared with 1.6 million in December 2007. The decline in imports from Venezuela has been even steeper—just 860,000 barrels per day compared with 1.3 million four years earlier, although Venezuela’s declining production capacity has also been a factor in the drop.
While the U.S. is becoming less reliant on foreign crude, the world is becoming more reliant on gasoline and diesel fuel refined in the U.S. This week, we learned that in 2011, the U.S. became a net exporter of gasoline, diesel and other fuels for the first time since 1949. Such refined products were the top U.S. export in 2011, beating out such staples of U.S. manufacturing as Detroit’s autos and Boeing’s (BA) airplanes.
Story: The Fabric of Our Power-Hungry Lives“We have become the China of refined products,” says Fadel Gheit, a senior energy analyst at Oppenheimer & Co. “We’re dumping product into other countries’ backyards.”
Just as Chinese manufacturers are able to make many products for a cheaper price due to lower material and labor costs, U.S. refiners have two key competitive advantages over foreign rivals: cheaper natural gas and access to a cheap, abundant supply of oil. Natural gas is a key raw material for refineries, which use it predominantly as a source of fuel to operate. Since last summer, the price has fallen 50 percent in the U.S., while hydraulic fracturing methods have significantly increased the supply of natural gas in the U.S.
More importantly, the price of the crude oil that most U.S. refineries process has been trading at a steep discount to the international supplies of crude that foreign refineries have to use. Most foreign refineries buy oil that’s pegged to the price of Brent crude, which has risen more than 25 percent in the past year due to the uprisings in Libya and Egypt and recent concern over Iranian oil disruption. Meanwhile, U.S. refineries in the Midwest and Gulf Coast process crude that’s pegged to the price of West Texas Intermediate, which has stayed low, thanks to all the oil gushing out of North America. Since 2009, North Dakota has more than doubled its monthly oil production to 16 million barrels as of December 2011, surpassing the output of Ecuador late last year. That supply has kept WTI-priced oils cheap, while the cost of Brent-priced oils has skyrocketed.
Video: Crude Oil Prices `Dangerous'; Base Metals; Energy“This cheaper supply of crude has given U.S. refineries a tremendous competitive advantage over their competition,” Gheit says. “Just like China, we are using cheaper raw materials to sell a product priced in a global market.”
Although a number of unprofitable refineries on the East Coast have had to close because they lacked access to cheaper WTI-priced oil, those in the Midwest and Gulf Coast are expanding. Even though a new refinery hasn’t been built in the U.S. since the 1970s, refining capacity in the U.S. has been steadily increasing, climbing 0.8 percent, to 17.7 million barrels a day in December from a year earlier. Marathon Petroleum has finished a $3.9 billion expansion of its refinery in Garyville, La., and Total (TOT) completed a $2.2 billion expansion of its refinery in Port Arthur, Tex., which can now process a wider range of crude. In 2011, the Garyville refinery more than doubled the amount of diesel products it exports, to 27.6 million barrels, says Marathon Petroleum spokesman Shane Pochard.
Refineries should continue to export more of their product rather than sell it inside the U.S., where demand remains close to a 15-year low thanks to more fuel-efficient cars and a greater share of ethanol in our tanks. This points to a future where an increasing share of the world’s refined fossil fuels come with a sticker: Made in the U.S.A.