Archive for the ‘workers’ Category

Transparency? Biden Appears At Union Event But Cameras Not Allowed

March 5, 2009

Gaffe-prone Vice President of the United States Joe Biden appeared before a union meeting today that did not permit the prying eyes of media cameras and microphones.

The Veep, who is well known for his ramblings and stupid remarks, has been coached repeatedly to stay on message and to adhere rigorously to prepared remarks as they scroll across the telepromter.  Now maybe he can escape a public event without putting his foot in his mouth by simply not allowing the media to record his outings.

Vice President Joe Biden addressed the nation’s largest union groups today as Congress is considering the heavily union-supported Employee Free Choice Act.

The AFL-CIO Executive Council meeting and newly appointed Labor Secretary Hilda Solis are both in Miami this week drumming up support for the bill that would give workers the option of unionizing by getting a majority of the workers to sign cards or a petition instead of holding secret ballot elections.

Biden addressed union members Thursday morning before heading to the Miami Intermodal Center, a transportation project funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Know why nobody listens to Joe Biden?  Because he says stupid stuff, or isn’t recorded at all and certainly doesn’t have Obama’s ear….

Nobody listens to Joe Biden because he isn’t worth hearing….

Toby Hardin of the Telegraph in London wrote about an Obama news conference on February 10:

As reporters started giggling, Obama came close to conceding that Biden was indeed a joke. “You know, I don’t remember exactly what Joe was referring to, not surprisingly.”

Related:
Obama Confirms: Nobody Listens To Joe Biden

US Vice President Joe Biden gestures while US President Barack ... 
US Vice President Joe Biden gestures while US President Barack Obama signs an Executive Order in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building January 21 in Washington, DC. That day the Veep made fun of the Chief justice for his inabiklity to recite the oath of office; which Biden flubbed himself despite a cue card….(AFP/Getty Images/Brendan Smialowski)

From Fox News:

Vice President Joe Biden’s office said Thursday it is honoring the wishes of the union to not have the press attend, which the AFL-CIO acknowledged after previously telling FOX News it was the vice president’s decision….

So much for transparency, but who’s messing with Joe?

Cameras have been banned from Vice President Biden’s address to AFL-CIO leaders in Miami Thursday. 

The vice president’s office said Thursday it is honoring the wishes of the union to have press cameras barred.

“Traditionally, the AFL-CIO Executive Council meetings are closed press. Each of its sessions this week have been closed press,” spokeswoman Elizabeth Alexander said in a statement. 

The AFL-CIO acknowledged Thursday that it was its choice to ban cameras after telling FOX News a day earlier it was the vice president’s decision. Alexander said the veep tried to change the rule but was denied.

“As part of its unprecedented commitment to transparency, Vice President Biden’s office asked that a change to the policy be made so that a pool of print reporters would be allowed to cover the speech and a full transcript of the vice president’s remarks will be sent out this afternoon.”

President Barack Obama doesn’t go anywhere without his TelePrompter:
http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0309/19663.html

Rush Limbaugh never uses a teleprompter….

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Obama Says Stimulus Means Re-Hiring; CEO Says No Can Do

February 13, 2009

Barack Obama’s love and faith in the stimulus is a lot greater than just about anyone else’s.

Related:
Pastor Obama Continues With Holy Stimulus, But The Congregation Isn’t Buying

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BY KAREN TRAVERS AND JAKE TAPPER
ABC News

At a Caterpillar Inc. plant in Peoria, Ill., today, President Obama said that his proposed economic stimulus would allow the company’s CEO to rehire recently laid-off employees. But the head of the company said he will have to fire more workers before he can rehire anyone who has been let go.

President Barack Obama addresses employees at the Caterpillar ... 
President Barack Obama addresses employees at the Caterpillar plant in East Peoria, Ill., Thursday, Feb. 12, 2009.(AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

Obama has said twice in the past two days that Caterpillar CEO James Owens indicated his company would be able to rehire some of the 20,000 recently laid-off employees.

“Yesterday, Jim, the head of Caterpillar, said that if Congress passes our plan, this company will be able to rehire some of the folks who were just laid off,” Obama said today in Peoria.

But when asked today if the stimulus could do that, Owens said, “I think, realistically, no. The honest reality is we’re probably going to have more layoffs before we start hiring again.”

Read the rest:
http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/story
?id=6866995&page=1

Here’s What $800 Billion Stimulus Means to America as We Knew It

February 1, 2009
The $800-billion bill that cleared the House last week brings back big government: to school buildings, worker paychecks, electric lines and more. Here’s a look at where the money would go.
By Janet Hook
Los Angeles Times
February 1, 2009
Reporting from Washington — With Congress moving toward passage of an $800-billion-plus economic stimulus plan, big government is back. Unabashed. With a vengeance.

The stimulus is bigger than the Pentagon’s entire budget. It’s more than the United States has spent on the war in Iraq. And its hundreds of provisions reach into almost every aspect of American life — including workers’ paychecks, local schools, digital television and modernizing medical records.

A bank employee counts US dollar bank notes. The euro fell sharply ...
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Perhaps not since the Great Depression has Congress set out to expand and redefine so dramatically the government’s role in the economy, all in one bewilderingly complex blueprint.

“The three-decade-long period where the default assumption was that government is the problem, not the solution, has clearly ended,” said Bill Galston, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and a former aide to President Clinton.

If the enormous stimulus plan succeeds, it’s likely to mean a larger, more activist government for years to come. If the plan is judged a failure — whether because the economic crisis persists or the public becomes disenchanted — the idea of government as an active player in national life could be discredited anew.

Even as Senate Democrats and Republicans begin sparring over the bill, it remains a challenge just to understand what’s in the plan. The version passed by the House last week ran 647 pages; the Senate version, which may come to a vote this week, will probably be longer.

Read the rest:
http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/was
hingtondc/la-na-stimulus1-2009feb01,0,3984
149.story

Related:
Economic Stimulus About “Soul of America”

Economic Freeze In China and India Can Change Governments, Insiders Worry

December 27, 2008

Asia’s two big beasts are shivering. India’s economy is weaker, but China’s leaders have more to fear…

India pays an economic price for its democracy. Decision-making is cumbersome. And as in China, unrest and even insurgency are widespread.

The Economists (UK)
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THE speed with which clouds of economic gloom and even despair have gathered over the global economy has been startling everywhere. But the change has been especially sudden in the world’s two most populous countries: China and India. Until quite recently, the world’s fastest-growing big economies both felt themselves largely immune from the contagion afflicting the rich world. Optimists even hoped that these huge emerging markets might provide the engines that could pull the world out of recession. Now some fear the reverse: that the global downturn is going to drag China and India down with it, bringing massive unemployment to two countries that are, for all their success, still poor—India is home to some two-fifths of the world’s malnourished children.

The pessimism may be overdone. These are still the most dynamic parts of the world economy. But both countries face daunting economic and political difficulties. In India’s case, its newly positive self-image has suffered a double blow: from the economic buffeting, and from the bullets of the terrorists who attacked Mumbai last month. As our special report makes clear, India’s recent self-confidence had two roots. One was a sustained spurt in economic growth to a five-year annual average of 8.8%. The other was the concomitant rise in India’s global stature and influence. No longer, its politicians gloated, was India “hyphenated” with Pakistan as one half of a potential nuclear maelstrom. Rather it had become part of “Chindia”—a fast-growing success story.
The Mumbai attacks, blamed on terrorist groups based in Pakistan and bringing calls for punitive military action, have revived fears of regional conflict. A hyphen has reappeared over India’s western border, just as the scale of the economic setback hitting India is becoming apparent. Exports in October fell by 12% compared with the same month last year; hundreds of small textile firms have gone out of business; even some of the stars of Indian manufacturing of recent years, in the automotive industry, have suspended production. The central bank has revised its estimate of economic growth this year downwards, to 7.5-8%, which is still optimistic. Next year the rate may well fall to 5.5% or less, the lowest since 2002.

Still faster after all these years

If China’s growth rate were to fall to that level, it would be regarded as a disaster at home and abroad. The country is this month celebrating the 30th anniversary of the event seen as marking the launch of its policies of “reform and opening”, since when its economy has grown at an annual average of 9.8%. The event was a meeting of the Communist Party’s Central Committee at which Deng Xiaoping gained control. Tentatively at first but with greater radicalism in the 1990s, the party dismantled most of the monolithic Maoist edifice—parcelling out collective farmland, sucking in vast amounts of foreign investment and allowing private enterprise to thrive. The anniversary may be a bogus milestone, but it is easy to understand why the party should want to trumpet the achievements of the past 30 years (see article). They have witnessed the most astonishing economic transformation in human history. In a country that is home to one-fifth of humanity some 200m people have been lifted out of poverty.

Yet in China, too, the present downturn is jangling nerves. The country is a statistical haze, but the trade figures for last month—with exports 2% lower than in November 2007 and imports 18% down—were shocking. Power generation, generally a reliable number, fell by 7%. Even though the World Bank and other forecasters still expect China’s GDP to grow by 7.5% in 2009, that is below the 8% level regarded, almost superstitiously, as essential if huge social dislocation is to be avoided. Just this month a senior party researcher gave warning of what he called, in party-speak, “a reactive situation of mass-scale social turmoil”. Indeed, demonstrations and protests, always common in China, are proliferating, as laid-off factory-workers join dispossessed farmers, environmental campaigners and victims of police harassment in taking to the streets.

Read the rest:
http://www.economist.com/research/articlesBySubject/displaystory.cfm?subjectid=6899464&story_id=12773135&source=most_commented

Related:
China Faces Social Unrest As Up To 150 Million Migrants Go Home Without Work

Will Obama Help? Labor Seeks to Renegotiate Auto Bailout

December 24, 2008

The nation’s automakers are preparing to ask for wage and benefits concessions from their workers in early January to meet the conditions of a $17.4 billion federal aid package, but labor officials say they will seek to renegotiate the terms of the bailout rather than make those sacrifices.

The remarks by union leaders have set up yet another contentious battle in the auto industry.

In agreeing to provide federal assistance to General Motors and Chrysler, the White House demanded the firms cut worker compensation to the levels paid at the U.S. divisions of Toyota, Nissan and Honda. But Ron Gettelfinger, president of the United Auto Workers, said earlier this week that he would seek to remove the wage-reduction provision of the loan, calling it “an undue tax on the workers” who have already made “major” sacrifices for the benefit of the auto industry.

Gettelfinger said that what is being asked of the autoworkers — who agreed to concessions in 2003, 2005 and 2007 — is “unrealistic.” He has said he wants to work with President-elect Barack Obama to remove the wage provision.

Public agree with auto bailout….so far.  From CNN:
http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/12/2
2/poll.auto.bailout/index.html

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/articl
e/2008/12/23/AR2008122302475.html?hpid=topnews

China Faces Social Unrest As Up To 150 Million Migrants Go Home Without Work

December 20, 2008

The global economic downturn has had a devastating impact world-wide.  But in China, up to 150 million migrant workers have been sent home as factories have closed due to the global recession.

Because the Communist government in China controls the state media, it is not easy to determine the full extent of this economic slowdown and what it means.  But many Western analaysts say the vast numbers of citified Chinese migrant works who are now returing to the country side without work poses the danger of social unrest within China.

Last January, during the Chinese Lunar New Year travel period, snow and cold disrupted 2.2 billion travel trips by either rail, air or bus.

This year the late January 2009 New Year is already underway for some as millions are headed home without work due to the struggling economy….
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John E. Carey
Wakefield Chapel, Virginia

Related:
China’s Migrant Unemployment Sparks New Effort

Police stand guard, top,  as workers gather at the gate of Jianrong ... 
Police stand guard, top, as workers gather at the gate of Jianrong Suitcase Factory in Dongguan, Southern city in China, Friday, Dec.19, 2008. Workers at a suitcase factory in southern China are in a standoff with police over a wage dispute, one of a series of protests in southern China, where thousands of companies have gone bust this year. More than 30 police, some with riot helmets and shields, are guarding the front of the factory Friday in the southern city of Dongguan.(AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

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By William Foreman
Associated Press

Laid-off migrant worker Chen Li had red scrape marks on his right cheek from a scuffle with riot police outside his factory that went bust this week in southern China.

Now the angry young man is going home early to his village in northern Hubei province for the annual Chinese New Year holiday, where he says he will be bored and idle for a couple of months. It’s restless migrants like Chen who are among the biggest worries for Chinese leaders trying to maintain social order during a souring economy.

“I’ve grown used to living in the city now,” said Chen, 25, looking urbane Friday in a new but slightly dusty blue suit. “I just can’t stand the country life anymore.”

During boom years, workers like Chen would still be toiling on the assembly line, looking forward to banking another month or so of pay before the Chinese New Year, which begins Jan. 26. But this year thousands of factories have gone belly up in Guangdong province – the country’s main manufacturing hub – forcing the migrants to head home early.

With the global economic downturn, Christmas export orders were down for Chinese factories, and more bad economic news has followed. In November, growth in China’s factory output fell to its lowest level in nearly seven years. More than 7,000 companies in Guangdong closed down or moved elsewhere in the first nine months of the year, the official China Daily newspaper reported.

Workers are shown inside the Jianrong Suitcase Factory in Dongguan, ... 
Workers are shown inside the Jianrong Suitcase Factory in Dongguan, China, Friday, Dec. 19, 2008. Workers at the Jianrong Suitcase Factory are in a standoff with police over a wage dispute, one of a series of protests in southern China, where thousands of companies have gone bust this year.(AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

For workers like Chen, the chances of finding another job are low. This is the slow season, with Christmas orders already shipped off. A new hiring frenzy normally kicks off after the New Year holiday, when migrants flood back to industrial zones in one of the world’s biggest annual human migrations.

Until then, authorities will be under pressure to keep a lid on discontent in villages, where many workers may still be simmering over how their jobs came to a bad end.

It has become common in Guangdong for factory owners to suddenly shut down their cash-strapped plants and disappear without paying laborers.

That’s what happened at Chen’s factory – the Jianrong Suitcase Factory in the city of Dongguan. The plant shut down Tuesday without warning and its 300 workers began taking to the streets, demanding full payment of wages.

Local government officials eventually glued an announcement to the factory’s walls, saying its Japanese owner could not be located and the workers would only get 60 percent of the monthly wages they had earned since October. The laborers, paid an average monthly salary of 1,500 yuan, or about $220, refused to accept the deal.

Calls to the factory rang unanswered Friday, and there was no information on the owner or his whereabouts; the workers said the factory’s Taiwanese manager had not been seen since Tuesday.

On Friday morning, riot police with helmets and shields were called in and sealed off the factory compound, blocking the workers, who live in dormitories inside, from leaving. The plan appeared to be to keep them from protesting outside the factory until they collected their final wages and left for the holiday.

But by noon, about 100 workers got fed up and marched out of the factory. They were led by a short, stocky worker named Dai Houxue, who chanted, “There are no human rights here!” as he pushed away the arm of a policeman who tried to restrain him.

“They have been trying to lock us up in the factory because they don’t want us to come out and have the international media cover our protest,” Dai said.

The scene challenged the popular stereotype of Chinese migrant workers as being simple country folk, subservient to officialdom and great at “eating bitterness” – enduring hardship without complaint. In fact, for many, factory work is a mind-opening experience that exposes them to protest tactics and concepts like labor rights.

Read the rest:
http://www.thestate.com/world/story/62642
4.html?RSS=untracked

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In the crowds still stranded by snow at train stations around China stand some of the country’s most valuable economic assets: migrant workers.

This group of 150 million to 200 million farmers — more than the population of the United Kingdom, France and Australia combined — account for the majority of employees in China’s world-beating manufacturing sector, the bulk of its coal miners and most of its construction workers.

During the past two decades, according to a conservative estimate from UNESCO and the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, migrants have contributed 16 percent of gross domestic product growth.

Living for years at a time in coastal cities, China’s migrant workers have built the country’s skyscrapers and assembled its exports, sending tens of billions of dollars in earnings home to their families in poor inland provinces. For the workers known as “factories without smoke,” the Chinese New Year holiday is often their only annual vacation.

The forces that brought these smokeless factories to the cities took shape in the early 1980s, when Beijing, as part of an easing of central controls on the economy, loosened internal mobility regulations. Farmers have been pouring out of the countryside ever since, in what is believed to be the world’s largest internal migration.

They leave for mostly economic reasons: wages in the cities are higher than what workers could earn at home. And life there, many find, is more exciting than back on the farm.

Today, migrants dominate the Chinese labor force in dirty and dangerous trades: 70 percent of construction workers, 68 percent of manufacturing employees, and 80 percent of coal miners are migrant workers. But not all are on their hands and knees. More than 60 percent of staff in the service trade, according to state media, are migrants as well.
On average, migrants tend to be among the best educated people in their villages. Still, many have little more than a junior high school diploma. Many migrate as teenagers, often with friends or neighbors, leaving behind their family in the countryside. More than half are men, but the toy and shoe factories of southern China prefer women — they are easier to control, managers say, and their fingers more nimble.

Wages vary by city and company, but many migrants in export factories in the south take home about Rmb1,000 a month ($139) — or even more. They sleep 12 to a room in bunkbed dormitories furnished by their employers, working six and sometimes seven days a week for months at a time. Wages are not always paid on time, occasionally not at all.

By Alexandra Harney
CNN
Alexandra Harney is a Hong Kong-based writer and the author of  “The China Price: The True Cost of Chinese Competitive Advantage” (Penguin Press, 2008).

Read the rest:
http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/asiapcf/02/01/chi
na.migrants/?iref=newssearch

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The vast majority of the Chinese, that is its 900 million peasants, still do not enjoy the basic right – enshrined both in the United Nations charter and the Chinese constitution – to choose where they live in their country.http://www.atimes.com/atimes/China/EC08Ad02.html

 

Under the country’s household registration system, called hukou, they are tied to the land, locked out of the more affluent urban life. Only a relatively small number are temporarily allowed to work in the cities.

Some of the rural migrants are construction workers, sent home when the job is over. Many others are young girls making toys, clothing and shoes in the sweatshop factories in China’s coastal cities.

Official figures put the number of people who leave the fields to labor in cities at about 90 million. Some economists say it is as high as 130 million.

Many peasant workers are only paid at the whim of their employers, and can be expelled without appeal at a moment’s notice because they have no legal right to live there. Because of this status, they have little access to the judicial courts.

This year, several state-run newspapers reported cases of desperate public protest, such as that of two men in the southern city of Guangzhou who stood on the edge of a high building and threatened to jump if they were not paid before the Chinese New Year in February.

While working in the cities, peasants do the dirtiest and most dangerous jobs. They are barred from access to schools, hospitals, nurseries and public housing and enjoy almost no legal rights. Nearly all the central government’s budget is spent on providing for the urban population, leaving the rural migrants as second-class citizens in their own country.

–From: Antoaneta Bezlova, Asia Times

“Bailout Fatigue”: Automakers’ Treatment May Extend To Other Industries

December 15, 2008

In punting on a $14 billion rescue plan for the US auto industry, the US Senate has signaled that the struggle over who gets federal help – and who is left to take their lumps in the marketplace – is likely to be an acute and ongoing issue for lawmakers into the next Congress.

The auto bailout now falls to the Bush administration, at least for the moment. The White House said Friday it may tap part of the $700 billion meant to buttress the shaky financial-services sector for the purpose of saving any of Detroit’s Big Three from collapse. At time of writing, the administration was deciding what mechanism to use to help the industry.

By Gail Russell Chaddock
Christian Science Monitor

General Motors workers file out of the General Motors Assembly ... 
General Motors workers file out of the General Motors Assembly Plant in Arlington, Texas, during shift change Friday, Dec. 12, 2008. Festering animosity between the United Auto Workers and southern Senators who torpedoed the auto industry bailout bill erupted into full-fledged name calling Friday as union officials accused the lawmakers of trying to break the union on behalf of foreign automakers.(AP Photo/Tom Pennington)

Regardless, this month’s fight in the lame-duck Congress over the auto bailout is a cautionary tale for how lawmakers are likely to deal with future calls for help. Lesson No. 1 is that swift congressional action based on the premise that an industry is too big to fail – or that job losses in the absence of a government bailout would be cataclysmic for the economy – cannot be counted on.

It’s an argument that worked for the financial-services industry, which in early October extracted from Congress as much as $700 billion in government funds to save it from ruin tied to mortgage-related debt. But the way the Treasury Department has allocated the first $350 billion in the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) has led to buyers’ remorse among many lawmakers – and appears to be making them more reticent to dole out dollars to ailing industries.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/csm/2008
1215/ts_csm/awhyone

Obama Plans Huge Investment in Infratructure, Jobs; China Pledges $22 Billion For Northern Railroads Alone

December 7, 2008

Yesterday Barack Obama promised a massive industrial, infrastructure and jobs program to benefit the U.S. economy.  Today China announced a single multi-faceted railroad project with an investment of $22 Billion….Part of China’s plan is to mine the natural resource coal: a pollution creator so great it is viewed like poison in much of the West…

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By  Peter Baker and John Broder 
International Herald Tribune
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Obama’s remarks showcased his ambition to expand the definition of traditional work programs for the middle class, like infrastructure projects to repair roads and bridges, to include new-era jobs in technology and so-called green jobs that reduce energy use and global warming emissions. “We need action — and action now,” Obama said in an address broadcast Saturday morning on radio and YouTube.

Obama’s plan, if enacted, would be in part a government-directed industrial policy, with lawmakers and administration officials picking winners and losers among private projects and raining large amounts of taxpayer money on them.

Read the rest:
http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/12/07/am
erica/07radio.php

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China plans to invest $22 billion to build more railways in the coal-rich northern province of Shanxi as part of a bid to ease chronic congestion and promote domestic growth in the face of the global economic slowdown, state media reported Sunday.

China is in a railway-building boom, adding hundreds of miles (kilometers) of track each year in an expansion that rivals the construction of railroads in the 19th century American West. Ramping up construction can help create jobs at a time when the country’s economic boom appears to be stalling, with growth expected to slow this year to about 9 percent, down from last year’s 11.9 percent.

Expanding the rail system will also help alleviate severe bottlenecks, especially for transport of the coal that is used to generate three-quarters of China’s electricity supply.

Shanxi, which accounts for a third of China’s coal output, will get 1,250 miles (2,000 kilometers) of new track by 2015, the official Xinhua News Agency reported Sunday.


Above: China virtually “took over” in Tibet with a vast  influx of Chinese people and this railroad….

Construction of at least three new railway lines will start in the first half of next year, Xinhua said, citing provincial officials and the Ministry of Railways.

The building of a railway in the central-southern part of Shanxi will enable the province to ship coal directly to coastal ports in eastern Shandong province, Xinhua said.

Calls to provincial officials and the Ministry of Railways information office rang unanswered Sunday.

–Associated Press

GM’s Failure Would Be A World of Hurt

December 7, 2008
As the U.S. automaker’s revenue has fallen in the U.S., forcing it to turn to the government for a bailout, international operations have remained profitable.
By Ken Bensinger
The Los Angeles Times
December 7, 2008
Nearly three-fifths of the employees at General Motors Corp. work for a company that makes cars that are admired, popular and profitable.

They just don’t work in the United States.

GM has a bigger presence outside the U.S. than in it, employs more people in other countries than here, and actually makes money selling cars everywhere from Sao Paulo to Shanghai. Its U.S. revenue has sunk 24% in the last three full years, but in the rest of the world, GM can boast a 28% increase.

Now, as lawmakers mull whether to provide billions of dollars in loans to keep the Detroit-based company from collapse, GM’s global reach has become in many ways its most overlooked asset and a key to its ultimate survival.

“A major argument for keeping GM out of bankruptcy is the strength of its foreign footprint,” said Kimberly Rodriguez, a partner at accounting and management consulting firm Grant Thornton, which works with auto companies….

Related:
Get the Feeling Russia and China Are Slicing Up The World and the U.S. Will Be Left Out?

GM's Opel plant 
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IN GERMANY: An employee works on an assembly line at GM subsidiary Opel in ƒsBochum. Of the company’s 252,000 workers, 152,000 work outside the United States. Photo: Volker Hartmann, AFP, Getty Images

Read the rest:
http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-gmworl
d7-2008dec07,0,5011709.story

China ‘faces mass social unrest’

December 5, 2008

Rising unemployment and the economic slowdown could cause massive social turmoil in China, a leading scholar in the Communist Party has said.

About 500 protesters rioted at a toy factory in southern China on 25 November 2008

Chinese authorities have already had to deal with workers’ protests

“The redistribution of wealth through theft and robbery could dramatically increase and menaces to social stability will grow,” Zhou Tianyong, a researcher at the Central Party School in Beijing, wrote in the China Economic Times.

“This is extremely likely to create a reactive situation of mass-scale social turmoil,” he wrote.

BBC

His views do not reflect leadership policy but highlight worries in elite circles about the impact of the economic slowdown.

Mr Zhou warned that the real rate of urban joblessness reached 12% this year and could reach 14% next year as the economy slows.

China’s annual GDP growth has already slowed to 9% in the third quarter, from 10.1% in the second. Some forecasters see growth slowing to 7.5% next year.

Read the rest:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/7766921.stm