The faces of global competition:

Compa, Lance

UNIONS, PROTECTIONISM. & HUMAN RIGHTS The faces of global competition LANCE...

...senators urging controllers, is ill-positioned to lecture others...
...Isounions can use labor rights laws to challenge our own govern- lated in protectionist huddles, American workers can accomment to make foreign aid and trading rights contingent on those plish none of those goals...
...trade legislation cites place...
...THE EDITORS entrusted to the church, which faithfully hands this down from generation to generation through the assistance of the Holy I N THE FALL of 1985 I agreed to give this plenary session...
...unions able to fashion a their workers...
...Under the new law, though, such insurance could measure because of the flat-out production by rich Chilean be denied to investors in Pinochet's Chile, South Korea, mines...
...the other wants all products stopped at and grants...
...the blood, but they are devoid of political content...
...But we can do it...
...Depending on where one sits, it's either the "social dumping," as it has been called, of goods made by clumsy protectionists against the principled free traders, or workers unable to defend themselves against abusive working realistic "fair trade" advocates versus Social Darwinist conditions, could be remedied by trade countermeasures here free-marketeers...
...as any further legislation that might be enacted...
...FIDELITY, FAIRNESS, & THEOLOGICAL RESPONSIBILITY AMIN, 17M No- h 40% R VIA nin r];CCi2hnt in the church CHARLES E. CURRAN broader intention of using this case to raise up the important issues which the theological community, the hierarchical Serious theological positions are not very adequately conveyed in wire-service news reports or live TV interviews...
...activities with one another...
...regime massed thousands of troops in combat gear to Instead of targeting "cheap labor" itself, labor rights prop- block the rally...
...military support for tive for U.S...
...With the changes in the American workers are not served by investing their human law, GSP benefits and OPIC insurance protection can be and political capital in marches against imports, foreign car- denied to companies producing in countries that systematically smashings at Labor Day rallies, lobbying for protectionist violate labor rights...
...Minimum wage, hour, and child labor laws exclude confidence in an open trading system...
...workers are locked in competition with tariffs...
...Radio, and Machine Workers of America (UE...
...The early councils of the fourth, fifth, and subtheologian...
...their jobs...
...Better yet, a move to make Most unions are seen as protectionist, and the label is often labor rights abuses a trade law violation could force governjustified...
...the years, El Salvador has received almost $1.5 billion in direct United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of economic and military aid from the U.S...
...markets...
...This debate is joined...
...The ments for example, deliberately crush trade union organizing unions agreed to substantial pay and benefit cuts in 1983, and bargaining efforts which might raise wages and improve but the biggest company, Phelps-Dodge, was not satisworking conditions...
...unions, churches, human rights groups, and supporters in Congress is shifting the focus of the ~~ T'S A GLOBAL economy and we've got to be competi- trade debate to where it belongs: on ways of sustaining an open tive...
...God's revelation has been handed over and the College Theology Society...
...When the socialist administration of LANCE COMPA works in Washington, D.C...
...Such approaches ignore the role of The OPIC provision removes a small but important incenU.S...
...Free traders on one since...
...corporations looking for offshore production its 3,000 union members...
...But here's what is happening in the real world that free traders fail to see: UNIONS involved in the labor rights movement recognize In Chile, the-president of the public employees' union that different countries are at different levels of develop- was abducted, tortured, shot in the head and decapitated in ment, and that the products from such countries should not be 1982, one week after a press conference at which he declared excluded from the U.S...
...The same injustice exists where cut...
...Labor Secretary William tion vote that eliminated the unions from its mines...
...The point is, all workers should be able to country where thousands of workers are fired every year for organize and bargain without facing death or prison for trying to organize a union, and where the full power of the their union work...
...Writing in Business Week [June 23, tion from Chile's low-priced ore produced under condi1986], economist Allan S. Blinder terms it "a clinker .. . tions of the dictatorship - agreed to new contracts calling setting us up as the moral arbiter of world labor relations...
...from coverage nearly half the entire workforce who toil in Pease and several other members of Congress, along firms of less than thirty employees...
...America says, that "Most people think union members In Thailand, thousands of children between the ages of are one-dimensional when it comes to trade: 'Buy Ameri- ten and fourteen labor fifteen hours a day, seven days a week in can,' and let it go at that...
...companies to shift operations overseas...
...Last May, before the final decision by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Father Curran Catholic church and Catholic theology...
...Refusing to accept the industry-wide pattern agreed ment" which results from such oppression becomes a power- to by other producers, the company provoked a strike by ful lure to U.S...
...12 September 1986: 461...
...investments against such losses due to political turmoil...
...copper companies in 1971, for example (with unanimous Commonweal: 458 support from all Chilean parties, left to right, it should be noted), OPIC made up the companies' claimed losses from T HE PRICE of copper on world markets, say industry what they called "inadequate" compensation by the Chilean analysis, has plummeted since the late 1970s, in large government...
...moved the issue of international labor rights to the top of the For those workers and their unions left at home, management's trade agenda, provoking an outraged response from Reagan demand to compete against foreign workers means cuts in administration policymakers...
...workers must compete with copper from Chile, steel and autos Unions in the Santiago, region must obtain police permission to from South Korea, textiles from Turkey, garments from Thai- hold a meeting...
...This last does not mean a U.S...
...But the kinds of labor rights language in a Senate trade bill by five former abuses by some of our trading partners against which Amerisecretaries of labor, national leaders of Catholic, Protes- can workers are forced to compete, cry out for correction, tant, and Jewish organizations, directors of the [NAACP regardless of free trade or fair trade ideologies...
...They face the death penalty if petition...
...All are still in custody, and Amnesty International reports they pressure to undercut American standards in the name of comare suffering continued torture...
...Still, there is an impulse toward solidarity among found guilty...
...But no company opposition to the economic policies of the Pinochet dictatorshould gain a competitive advantage in world trade because it ship...
...Military government vehicles were used in their kidnapregimes ban strikes, cripple collective bargaining, dissolve ping...
...economic and miliwhere and everywhere, regardless of conditions where tary aid, as well as nearly $500 million in U.S.-approved loans they are produced...
...One side wants products going any- received over $150 million in direct U.S...
...When the union struck policies, and share information and activities with coun- in protest, military troops occupied the work sites to enforce terparts in foreign countries...
...They govern (1) under the Pinochet labor code...
...Scripture, to understand better and more adequately the revelaFrom the very beginning I am conscious of my own preju- tion of God...
...They M COWING labor rights to the center of the trade debate were attending a meeting to plan the funeral of a murdered won't be easy...
...American workers that can emerge, even in hard times...
...We're trying to shift the debate, putting people In Taiwan, the right to strike is barred under penalty of back into the trade equation in a way that will give workers death...
...Companies will have to think twice the big Chuquicamata mine earlier this year, the Pinochet about shutting down a particular U.S...
...onents are taking aim at the conditions that create cheap labor In the meantime, depressed copper prices led U.S...
...After all, a trial controls...
...The prospect of a "union-free environ- fied...
...The Christian tradition is a living tradition, and defense of my position...
...These sentiments stir if they want to reach the American market...
...but I Society...
...Yet teaching office in the Roman Catholic church and the total that is the way many people have formed their opinions on the people of God need to address...
...John Cavanagh, a toured the United States earlier this year to meet American fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies who has coordi- unionists, was immediately arrested and imprisoned on his nated an informal labor rights "working group," says the return to South Africa...
...report a genuine enthusiasm: not for the prospect of shutting out foreign products, but for the hope of better pay and working conditions for their foreign counterparts...
...Creative FATHER CHARLES E. CURRAN teaches moral theology at Catholic Uni- fidelity is the task of the church in bearing witness to the word versity of America...
...Some U.S.-backed govern- unions in the Southwest and Rocky Mountain states...
...As long as workers abroad tem of Preferences (GSP), and the other authorizing funds for are seen as part of the problem, however, the American labor the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC...
...self-interest, too...
...The Chaing dictatorship with many union, church, and human rights groups, are appoints and controls official labor leadership...
...The general context for the entire case is that of the Roman Curran controversy...
...United behind an international With a program of international labor solidarity, unions that labor rights program, working people can press their governrepresent workers of multinational corporations in different ments for full employment policies, controls on multinational countries can coordinate bargaining, strike support, informa- corporations, expanded trade union rights, protection against tion exchange, and other...
...the border...
...In the right-wing regimes that provide havens for runaway shops, wake of nationalizations of American businesses by Cuba and and the legitimate aspirations of workers in other countries...
...I have made it very examined his case in an address to the College Theology clear that I am a believing Catholic and intend to do Catholic theology...
...Higher pay and standards abroad will relieve...
...coordinated or industry-wide bargaining is outlawed five internationally-recognized standards...
...The twenty-five have not been seen or heard from gressman Don Pease (D-Ohio), the chief sponsor of labor rights provisions in trade legislation...
...corporations...
...A final, The mission of the entire church is to be faithful to the word revised version of this text is to appear in the Proceedings of and, work of Jesus...
...standards on General Electric locomotives and Allen-Bradley indus- the rest of the world...
...common trade union program with the genuine, unfettered Only a massive effort at worker-to-worker contact and labor movements of our foreign trading partners...
...investments in Chile...
...everywhere...
...GSP movement cannot solve either its trade problem or its collec- benefits permit eligible third-world countries to export their tive bargaining crisis...
...overseas assets of U.S...
...multinational corporations, U.S...
...However, at the same time I have the fidelity involves a creative fidelity which seeks to preserve in its own time and place the incarnational principle...
...able working conditions with respect to pay, hours, and occu- agencies...
...Each element is July and charged with subversion for forming an independent grounded and defined in international law to allow for different labor federation in the capital city of Seoul...
...E. Brock has called labor rights language "a turkey . . . a In July, union members at Kennecott, ASARCO, and thinly disguised scheme to keep goods from certain countries other U.S...
...He thinks In El Salvador, the children of a telephone workers' the fund will relate labor rights research to the full range of union leader were kidnapped and tortured earlier this year U.S...
...Where plant shutdowns and runaway shops, and other steps to imfirms are foreign-based and governments suppress labor, U.S...
...Protectionism accepts the employers' products to the United States with reduced or eliminated premise that U.S...
...operation to move there...
...Immediately the in order to drive out competition - are unfair practices...
...and the Urban League, and several national union presi- Union leaders in this country involved in spreading the word dents...
...labor rights an unfair trade practice under U.S...
...mentary service Origins) so that readers can have fuller access both to Curran's position and his style of thought...
...economic and military aid, and collectively, (3) forced labor, (4) child labor, and (5) accept- nearly $1.5 billion in loans and grants approved by U.S...
...to restrict the entry of such goods...
...The cynics might be surprised at the countries' recognition of organizing and bargaining rights for solidarity that could result were U.S...
...In fact labor costs abroad are not lower simply be- copper companies to demand huge concessions from their cause a country is less developed...
...But when Chilean copper miners tried to organize Guatemala, Taiwan, and other countries where labor rights are an outdoor Mass and demonstration for wage increases at routinely suppressed...
...including Owen Bieber of the United Auto Workers about labor rights proposals to their rank and file members and Lynn Williams of the United Steel Workers...
...After all, that door swings both ways...
...Fidelity to the tradition does not mean merely dices and biases...
...tinue to blast the labor rights legislation as "back-door Thousands of our own members produce for export, like protectionism" which attempts to impose U.S...
...Eighteen other 12 September 1986: 459 In Guatemala, twenty-five top leaders of the national labor federation were hauled away by 'police in 1981...
...Last year, three leaders of the National Association of operates in a country where authorities kill and jail workers Teachers were kidnapped and murdered by having their throats who try to form unions...
...minimum wage or the imposition of OSHA standards on the In South Korea, twelve union organizers were arrested in rest of the world, as critics wildly charge...
...With the intervention of the sites...
...prove working and living conditions around the world...
...Commonweal is reprinting major portions of this text maintain that my positions are totally acceptable for a Catholic (which also appeared in the July 31 issue of the NC docutheologian who is a believing Roman Catholic...
...government was brought to destroy a union of air traffic Last month, a letter was sent to U.S...
...competition with one another...
...solely on that basis...
...Despite my intentions, I still might be wrong...
...But there's a moral dimension garment factories...
...Hundreds of other union leaders have new, fully-staffed International Labor Rights Education been detained, and many are unaccounted for, in the apartheid and Research fund will monitor, and, where necessary, regime's "state of emergency...
...for pay cuts of up to 20 percent...
...Roman Catholicism recognizes that revelation was Since that time there has been some water over the dam...
...Strike votes must be taken by open ballot in the land, coal from South Africa, printed circuit boards from presence of police, marking strike supporters for retaliation...
...legislation, and the like...
...concerned about labor rights abroad...
...law, in the Many unions and members of Congress from areas hit hard same way that illegal subsidies and "dumping" - selling by imports and plant closings respond with calls to restrict products in the U.S...
...trade, investment, taxation, finance, and foreign aid because of their father's union activity...
...When Commonweal: 460 tapped, as in the growing campaign for international labor union-to-union cooperation can overcome the pressures in a rights, such a sentiment can lead to new bonds with workers capitalist, trading system that push workers toward cutthroat abroad...
...Arizona National Guard, the company hired strikebreakLabor rights provisions are key elements in other trade bills ers, resumed operations, and forced a union decertificanow being considered by Congress...
...In 1985 alone, OPIC insured over $150 million in pational safety and health...
...Local union leaders and other political activists are side, and hard-line protectionists on the other, see "prod- routinely kidnapped and killed by the notorious "secret antiucts, not people," as the main element of international Communist army...
...HUMAN RIGHTS The faces of global competition LANCE COMPA tionist, a new alliance of U.S...
...One might well ask Brock and Blinder about the moral dimensions of the jailing, torture, and murder of workers for union activities...
...copper companies - still faced with competiout of the U.S...
...market below their true cost of production foreign products entering the U.S...
...If no settlement is reached, other products from various countries that systematically vio- workers must accept the employer's final offer or abandon late workers' rights...
...In the past year this coalition has them overseas to runaway shops in search of cheaper labor...
...industrialists say as they shut trading system in which workers, as much as employers and down thousands of stateside factory jobs and ship consumers, have a stake...
...other revolutionary governments in the 1960s, Congress To alter the public perception of labor as diehard protec- created OPIC to insure U.S...
...That is what is involved in the labor rights levels of development and different social and political sysdebate, not whether labor rights laws would cause distortions tems, setting out basic rights that should be protected in the free traders' treasured market system...
...In the last three years, Guatemala has trade, adds Pease...
...market...
...They may be onto something...
...U.S...
...the firing of the entire union leadership...
...They are genuinely secure such jobs for the children...
...Over the past three Amy R. Newell, national Secretary-Treasurer of...
...Of course there is union leaders had been arrested in May for the same activity...
...says Concomrade...
...Yet in the last three years, Chile freedom of association, (2) the right to organize and bargain has received $6 million in U.S...
...market...
...Stop Imports" and "Buy American" have been the ments that engage in such abuses to end their labor repression main themes of many union campaigns...
...According to Cardinal Ratzinger, the...
...This paper is presented from my own per- repeating the very words of the Scripture or of older church spective and therefore is bound to serve as an apologetic or teaching...
...wages, benefits, and working conditions under the threat of The labor rights alliance is out to make violations of basic further job loss...
...Their parents must pay fees to employers to that o members are sensitive to...
...And yet, in the name of free trade, American prisoned, or exiled by the Pinochet regime for labor activities...
...OPIC guarantees federal insurance protection for the third-world pay levels - a contest Americans can never win...
...That is what U.S...
...Guatemala and El Salvador, appliances from Taiwan, and Strikes can last only sixty days...
...undesirable" unions, or depose union leaders for their politi- Thousands of other union organizers have been killed, imcal views...
...moving to create a permanent research and education fund In South Africa, Amon Msana, a union leader who to back up their labor rights campaign...
...for the United Electrical, Salvador Allende expropriated the Chilean properties of U.S...
...closed at the end of apostolic times, but revelation itself The Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has develops and is understood in the light of the different historiurged me to "reconsider and to retract those positions which cal and cultural circumstances of the hearers and doers of the violate the conditions for a professor to be called a Catholic Word...
...Spirit...
...and work of Jesus...
...prefect of sequent centuries illustrate how in matters touching the very the congregation, there is an inherent contradiction if "one heart of faith - the understanding of God and of Jesus Christ who is to teach in the name of the church in fact denies her - the living church felt the need to go beyond the words of the teaching...
...Thousands more have been push enforcement of existing labor rights laws governing jailed, killed, or driven into exile over the years for their labor trade benefits under the General System of Preferences activity, including both black and white activists organizing and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, as well black workers...
...They don't begrudge foreign workers their jobs or an opportunity to send prod- CYNICS in the Reagan administration and elsewhere conucts here...
...They define In 1985 the alliance won a labor rights provision in two the enemy as foreign products and, by implication, foreign important trade statutes, one governing the Generalized Sysworkers willing to work cheaply...
...Unions can be organized only in the single workThe 1985 labor rights clause in U.S...

Vol. 113 • September 1986 • No. 15


 
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