Amid Unemployed Millions, Corporation Still Turns to Cheap Migrant Labor
|December 31, 2003||Posted by Staff under The Progress Report|
Puzzling Labor Policy
Even Amid Unemployed Millions, Corporation Still Turns to Cheap Migrant Labor
Vice President Dick Cheney seems to be siding with the terrorists — or at least that will be the net effect of his program to prolong the unemployment crisis in Iraq. Everyone knows that economic distress makes it easier for terrorist groups to recruit new members.
This report is reprinted here with permission from our friends at Yellow Times, http://www.yellowtimes.org
by Lisa Ashkenaz Croke
Reconstruction subcontractors in Iraq are importing cheap migrant labor from south Asia.
“U.S. contractors are importing labor and expatriating the benefits,” complained one Iraqi construction manager to the Financial Times. “Where’s the benefit accruing to Iraq?”
Unemployment is rampant in post-war Iraq, with an estimated 7 million Iraqis out of work.
The Progress Report notes — this is a huge unemployment number, almost as great as the official number of unemployed in the United States.
Officials interviewed claim, without evidence, that Iraqi workers pose a “security threat” either as targets or potential recruits for guerrilla fighters determined to thwart rehabilitation of the country’s infrastructure.
The Progress Report points out — It’s the ones who are unemployed who are the potential recruits. Have U.S. officials still not learned this basic lesson?
“We don’t want to overlook Iraqis, but we want to protect ourselves,” said Colonel Damon Walsh from the Coalition Provisional Authority. Walsh also admitted to the Financial Times that the military has never outsourced resources on this scale, claiming that at least 20,000 more U.S. troops would be needed if not for migrant laborers.
The Progress Report observes — But Walsh failed to explain why the laborers had to be migrants. And that’s the whole point.
Example — workers for the Tamimi Company, which was contracted by Kellogg Brown and Root (a subsidary of Halliburton, Vice President Dick Cheney’s company) to provide food service for U.S. troops and administrators, live in temporary housing on the site of the Baghdad palace. The workers are paid three dollars per day and are scheduled to get time off once every two years.
The Halliburton subsidiary received an over two billion dollar open-ended contract from the U.S. for subcontracting in Iraq. This contract was won without competitive bidding — government insiders simply awarded the deal to Cheney’s Halliburton.
Also see the classic
How I Manage My Slaves
Is this whole corrupt mess just about money, or is something else going on? Tell your views to The Progress Report!