The UAW and AFL-CIO affiliates held the first of several nationwide events launching their “America Wants to Work” mobilization campaign today near Master Lock’s flagship factory, which brought back production jobs from China last year.
UAW Local 469 members at Master Lock saw a beacon of hope when newly negotiated contract language between the union and company brought jobs back from China in 2011 – something workers would like to see become a trend in American manufacturing.
“The return of solid, middle-class jobs to Milwaukee was huge for us, especially in this economy,” said Ron McInroy, director of UAW Region 4, which covers Wisconsin, who spoke at the news conference held at UAW Local 9’s union hall in West Allis, Wis.
“Master Lock provides a great example of what we can achieve when we work together to invest in America and American workers,” McInroy added.
“For the first time in 15 years, our plant is running at full capacity,” said Local 469 President Mike Bink, who also spoke. “While we’ve made significant progress at our plant, we recognize that we still have a ways to go to get American’s back to work.”
The mobilization will also focus on the Bring Jobs Home Act, a legislative package introduced by Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., that would eliminate tax breaks allowing companies to deduct expenses associated with moving operations overseas, while still encouraging them to assist displaced workers. It would also provide a tax credit to corporations that bring jobs back to the United States.
Rep. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis. (2nd District), who is running for Senate this November, also spoke at the news conference. She explained that for decades in Wisconsin they have had too many middle-class jobs going overseas.
“We need to stop rewarding companies that ship jobs overseas and start rebuilding American manufacturing through targeted tax cuts for companies that keep jobs here in the United States,” added Baldwin, who has represented Wisconsin since 1999 and is a 2012 candidate for the U.S. Senate. “That’s why I support Sen. Stabenow’s Bring Home Jobs Act, which would end tax benefits for firms that move jobs or businesses overseas.”
The Bring Home Jobs Act is expected to be voted on in early July when Congress convenes after the Independence Day recess. In the spirit of the Fourth, we need to bring the jobs home.