Category Archives: Jobs

Labor Day

Labor Day. A day when Americans across the nation gather around grills and honor the worker. It is a National Federal holiday that celebrates the economic and social contributions of workers.

First celebrated in 1882 Labor Day over the years has lost its purpose. It’s gone from honoring the people who’s backs this country was built on to just being a — Monday off.

We are in the midst of an economic crisis with millions of Americans unable to find a job and millions of others giving up looking. Manufacturing, the segment that made this country great, is leaving our shores for cheap labor elsewhere. General Electric’s CEO Jeffrey Immelt, in a recent speech talked about being crazy about China, China, China, China, China, and subsequently moved it’s X-Ray manufacturing there. GE has laid off one-fifth (20%) of their American workers since 2002.

To reward Mr. Immelt for his dedication to the American worker, President Obama named him to serve as chairman of the Council on Jobs and Competitiveness.

I don’t know where this country goes from here. The American Dream is being shattered every day. Family’s who once had a modest home  in a nice neighborhood are now living in their cars, a throw back to the days of the Great Depression. People are hungry and angry and frustrated. Without the right kind of change it’s likely to only get worse.

As we celebrate this labor day think about where we are and where we are headed.

And the great owners, who must lose their land in an upheaval, the great owners with access to history, with eyes to read history and to know the great fact: when property accumulates in too few hands it is taken away. And that companion fact: when a majority of the people are hungry and cold they will take by force what they need. And the little screaming fact that sounds through all history: repression works only to strengthen and knit the repressed.
The Grapes of Wrath

In general our country does not have a great track record for protecting the rights of the worker. Actually, it’s quite the contrary. History speaks for itself.

Bisbee Deportation

Pullman Strike

Coeur d’Alene, Idaho labor confrontation of 1899

Coal Strike of 1902

Great Railroad Strike of 1922




Is GE Helping China Compete Against Boeing?

Nelson Ching/Bloomberg News - Lin Zuoming, president of Aviation Industry Corporation of China, with Jeffrey R. Immelt, G.E.'s chief, at a 2009 event in Beijing.

Things that make you go hmmmm.

The NY Times recently reported that GE would sign a lucrative joint-venture deal with a state owned Chinese manufacturer to provide the same high-tech avionics technology Boeing uses in their new advanced airliner the 787 Dreamliner.

Considering China’s recent introduction of a stealth fighter, does anyone besides me see this technology share as a bad thing. The technology includes the highly sophisticated computer control and networking system, core to the avionics brain of the Dreamliner. This sounds like a very bad idea to me.

The first customer of this joint-venture is the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China, also a government owned company. They manufacture the C919 Airliner which is a 200 seater and directly competes with the Boeing 737.

This comes on the tail of Boeing’s recent announcement that a soft aircraft market has pushed them to layoff 1,100 workers across multiple locations.  How many more layoffs will come should Boeing begin losing airliner sales to the Chinese?

Chairman of the Board, CEO and President of Boeing, Jim McNerney Jr., was recently overheard musing about the possibility of moving the company to China. McNerney is no stranger to the GE company having spent over 19 years in various GE businesses, including President and CEO of GE Aircraft Engines, President of GE Asia-Pacific, and an Executive VP position at GE Capital.  His GE roots run very deep.  Somewhere in a back office where billion dollar deals are made, the GE/Boeing connection runs to the very top executive levels. You can bet that Boeing’s McNerney and GE CEO Jeff Immelt talk frequently.

Which brings everything back to here.  In Immelt’s own words, he’s “A nut for China. Every business discussion at GE should be including China, China, China, China, China.” The funny thing about that is, I’m struggling to see how helping China build jobs helps the US build jobs at home. (GE Laid off approximately 18,000 US workers in 2008) Jeffrey Immelt is President Obama’s pick to lead the Council on Jobs and Competitiveness.

Here’s another little tidbit. In March of 2010, President Obama appointed Boeing CEO, Jim McNerney, to chair the Export Council, which operates as an advisory committee on international trade. You would think the kind of technology transfer this GE deal contains would have to be signed off on by this council. Hmmmm… coincidence?

If this joint-venture is successful, US Jobs will be lost. And GE does not get into these things to lose. More will be revealed, hopefully before another million US jobs are lost.

Corporations have neither bodies to be punished nor souls to be damned. ~Chinese Proverb

Jeffrey Job-Killer

I read this article in the New York Post yesterday about GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt, being tagged by President Obama to lead the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. Hmm… interesting pick.

I spent exactly ten years drawing a GE paycheck, year-after-year listening to HR buzz words like staff reductions, cut backs, reorganization, and the ever popular, doing more with less. The less part of that statement meant less people.

Let’s examine how the GE CEO has (or has not) created jobs at GE.

In 2009, GE eliminated 18,000 jobs for US workers. Since Immelt took the helm in 2002, U.S. headcount is down to 134,000. During his tenure, GE workers based in the US, as a percentage of total employees, has fallen from 52% to 44%.  We will find out what the job-killing toll is for 2010 when the annual report hits the streets in February.  If 2009 is any indication, I’m guessing U.S. headcount could be down to 25,000, or less. Any employee growth that GE has seen since Immelt came to power was overseas. Maybe it’s just my imagination at work. I remember when they brought good things to life.

Since 1980, when GE had 405,000 employees worldwide, they have been relentlessly shedding jobs to a global workforce of 304,000, nearly 40,000 of those jobs were lost under Immelt’s management. GE’s own website clearly shows a steady decline in US jobs since 2005.

It smells like business as usual between big corporation and the White House. GE secretly had itself classified as a bank so it could take advantage of nearly $80 Billion in TARP funds. Free government money? Resistance is futile!

“I am a nut on China!” ~Jeff Immelt CEO of GE, Dec 6, 2002

Go HERE to see the full context of Mr. Immelts love affair of China. You really don’t want to miss this. Be sure to watch the video. I noticed when he needed money to see GE through some tough economic times he didn’t go to China, China, China, China, China, with a hand out.  He came to the United States taxpayers. (You’ll have to watch the video for that to make sense.)