Friday, April 07, 2006

American Workers Accepting “Chinese Work Day” Challenge

Chicago Teamsters cheer the adoption of Chinese Work Day.
Say they will meet competition head on.

By Dominic Debs
International Press
Staff Writer
Thursday, April 8, 2006

Chicago. (IP) Workers from the “city with broad shoulders,” Chicago, IL, are starting what they hope will be a trend. “Chinese Work Day” is an attempt to make American workers more competitive and keep jobs in the United States. The announcement was made at the Teamster Union, Local 43 April 5, 2006.

Members of local 43 will take one day each month and work day similar to their bother workers in China. “Chinese Work Day” will entail 12 hours of challenging manual labor with only one break, 15 minutes for lunch. During this replica of Chinese working conditions, workers will be pressed hard by their bosses, not allowed customary “smoke” breaks, and pushed to the limits of their physical ability. They will receive the prevailing Chinese worker wage of $0.85 an hour with comparable Chinese health and worker’s compensation benefits.

A spokesman for the Teamsters said, “We’re in a dog fight to keep jobs right here in America. ‘Chinese Work Day’ is our way of showing that we have the brightest, most adaptable, and motivated work force in the world.” This second-to-no-one spirit was echoed by union worker, Ned Yablonski who said, “I take a back seat to no one. I can work a month of Chinese Work Days if I have to…and I may.”

The idea is spreading rapidly with several Southwestern state union locals jumping on board. In Texas, Dallas local Brotherhood of Electrical Workers president, Doug “Skeets” Christianson announced that the local will adopt Chinese Work Day. The local is also contacting Chinese worker groups in Shanghai about an exchange program. Christianson said, “I want to see first hand what we’re competing with. No place better to find out than the horses mouth.”

Bush Labor Department undersecretary for globalization, E. Douglas Pillsbury, III, gave a strong endorsement of Chinese Work Day. His written press release noted, “We may not like it but we live in a global not a gated community. Workers here can’t expect to compete with the Chinese or other low wage work forces unless they’re willing to make a real effort. Understanding and mirroring major foreign competitors might just keep jobs here in America.”


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