Friday, December 21, 2007

Merry Christmas East Alabama Textile Workers

Russell Hubbard of the B'ham News reports 1,300 job losses expected in closing of east Alabama textile plants. This is impacting Valley, Eufaula, Piedmont, ... He writes:

It has been a bloody year in Alabama's textile belt. So far this year, textile makers have notified state regulators of their intent to eliminate 3,600 jobs, mostly through permanent plant closings. There were about 36,000 textile-related jobs in Alabama at the end of October, according to the Alabama Department of Industrial Relations.

The American Manufacturing Trade Action Coalition, which opposes free trade pacts such as the North American Free Trade Agreement, says more than 1 million textile jobs have been lost in the United States since 1994. That's when NAFTA, which eliminated tariffs on goods flowing between Canada, Mexico and the United States, went into effect.

While I'm the first to accept Alabama's future isn't in textiles, I'm also a long proponent of "fair trade" rather than so called "free trade". Fair trade helps regular folks on both sides of the American border. It is not so good for the fat cats and of course that's why neither party, although the GOP is far worse, is doing right. One can hope that these workers and the thousands of others (You know it gets exponential on the consequences don't you?) impacted with these losses will begin to demand policies that work for the little man. Then again, it may come down to boys not marrying boys or something of that sorts which helps corporatists distract people into voting against their own economic interests?

The Economic Policy Institute is a good place to start as to a better trade policy. Peace ... or War!

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