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  • IBM to laid-off: Want a job in India?
    countries Through a program dubbed Project Match IBM will help interested workers whose jobs are on the chopping block to identify potential opportunities in growth markets and facilitate consideration by hiring managers in those markets according to an internal company document obtained by CNN The company also will help with moving costs and provide visa assistance it says Other countries with IBM opportunities include Argentina Brazil China Czech Republic Hungary Mexico Poland Romania Slovakia Slovenia South Africa Turkey and United Arab Emirates according to the document Only satisfactory performers who are willing to work on local terms and conditions should pursue the jobs the document says IBM would not immediately confirm if it means that the workers would be paid local wages and would be subject to local labor laws A spokesman for Alliance IBM a workers group that is affiliated with the Communications Workers of America but does not have official union status at IBM slammed the initiative IBM not only is offshoring its work to low cost countries now IBM wants employees to offshore themselves spokesman Lee Conrad told CNN At a time of rising unemployment IBM should be looking to keep both the work and the workers

    Original URL path: http://www.911omissionreport.com/ibm_india_jobs.html (2016-02-14)
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  • Exclusive: Over a million immigrants land U.S. jobs in 2008-10
    in a sign of the times the pace of job growth for new arrivals has also slowed to an average of 550 000 a year from 2008 to 2010 from over 750 000 a year from 2000 to 2008 Sum said it was fair to estimate that around 35 percent of these workers were undocumented or illegal Many immigrants acquired jobs in traditional low wage work associated with foreign undocumented and especially Mexican labor hotels and food services retail trade sanitation cleaning and construction There are a number of programs by which the United States lets foreign workers into the country to fill gaps in its domestic labor market but employer groups complain little is done in this area for legal unskilled workers There is basically no unskilled immigration that is legal There are basically no provisions in the law for unskilled immigrants said Bill Hammond president of the Texas Association of Business Farm workers in particular argue that Americans would not do the tough field work that is rife with undocumented workers titling one recent union campaign Take Our Jobs The slogan meant that if Americans wanted their jobs then take them But it is likely they don t Immigrant hiring also comes despite stepped up workplace enforcement against companies that hire illegal immigrants and the rapid expansion of the online E verify system used by employers to check immigration status Some of those who entered the country since 2008 were employed in sectors that generally require a high level of skills and education such as finance and insurance But the 28 500 new arrivals since 2008 who found work in the finance and insurance sector only comprised 2 6 percent of the 1 1 million migrants Over 90 000 of the newcomers since 2008 got work in health

    Original URL path: http://www.911omissionreport.com/1mln_immigrant_jobs.html (2016-02-14)
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  • Corporations are getting rich using federal prisoners as captive labor pools.
    an opportunity With a stroke of his pen the Federal Prison Industry Unicor was born designed as a work program to teach inmates skills they could use when they were released The presidential order later made into law carried with it a requirement that all federal agencies would have to buy from FPI when they needed any of the products manufactured by the prison industry The initiative got 4 million in tax revenue seed money but was required to be self sustaining from then on Private businesses could not bid for the work even if they offered lower prices and better quality Conversely Unicor was prohibited from selling to private businesses a limitation honored more in the breach these days thanks to Bureau of Prisons legal maneuvering Prison industry advocates say the factories with fences train inmates for jobs on the outside They say the work reduces recidivism and boredom and gives inmates a source of income to help pay their court fines support families or spend at the commissary Critics on the other hand describe them as Dickensian places where laborers have no workplace protection are routinely exposed to cancer causing toxins and are exempt from federal labor laws which means they can be forced to accept wages lower than those in Third World countries Private companies seeking government business complain they are forced to compete unfairly with Unicor For the last several years the U S Chamber of Commerce labor unions and prison reform groups such as FedCure have all pushed for legislation that would outlaw Unicor s preferential treatment and require the corporation to pay minimum wage Members of Congress from states whose manufacturing businesses have lost millions in government contracts to Unicor have taken up the cause but to date the corporation has been able to fend off all such efforts By 2006 Unicor had come a long way from that initial 4 million Last year according to its annual report the corporation held assets of 730 million in 108 factories and service centers at 79 prisons across the country Its gross sales were 718 million with profits of 71 2 million Those profits were produced by more than 21 000 inmate laborers who made on average 1 700 for a year s work The profits aren t as one might suspect plowed back into the prison system to say improve healthcare services at Carswell or reduce the inflated prices for basic personal hygiene supplies at prison commissaries Instead it is plowed back into Unicor One its harshest critics is U S Rep Pete Hoekstra a Michigan Republican who has been trying since at least 2000 to get legislation passed that would reform Unicor and force it to compete with private companies He said that the requirement that federal agencies must buy from Unicor allows it to perpetuate itself without regard to whether that is the best option for agencies and for prisoners themselves One congressional aide who asked for anonymity said that Hoekstra has found no evidence that those who run the corporation are enriching themselves But he said it s a giant Ponzi scheme that requires more and more millions to feed its ever expanding enterprises In recent years Unicor has added to its list of factory made products what it calls services computer recycling centers industrial laundry services printing shops and call centers all for sale to private for profit companies in spite of the law s prohibiting language BOP Director Harry Lappin who is also head of Unicor maneuvered around that little obstacle in the law apparently successfully when he testified before a congressional committee last year that the corporation s new offerings are a service not a product and that therefore the law does not apply Unicor now advertises its call centers on its web page and in its catalogs as domestic outsourcing at offshore prices Three major national communications networks use the domestic outsourcing call center at Carswell for their directory assistance services according to FPI program director Todd Baldau Baldau refused to name the clients citing proprietary information However two inmates who currently work at the center who asked not to be identified for fear of retaliation said the companies are Excel Telecom Cricket Communications and Metro 411 Calls and e mails to the three companies were not returned Baldau would not say what the companies pay Unicor for inmate labor for their call centers but the corporation s 2006 annual report listed sales of 27 8 million from its 18 service centers including Carswell with profits of 2 5 million The policy that all prisoners in federal lockups must work including the less critically ill patients in prison hospitals is designed to keep prisoners occupied as much as anything bureau spokesman Mike Truman said in an interview for an earlier story Life can get very boring in prison he said and reducing boredom reduces the potential for trouble among inmates Working for Unicor is a privilege for good inmates with a smidgen of education said a former Carswell prison employee who asked not to be named They are monitored heavily are lectured frequently and really do their jobs in fear of losing them if they mess up The work is easy conditions are better than any other jobs there and the work is useful on their resumés once they get out That s why jobs with Unicor are coveted The call center at Carswell has been open for more than five years Women sit in a small guarded air conditioned building near the center of the compound taking directory assistance calls in eight hour shifts 24 hours a day Sweatier non Unicor jobs basically cover maintenance work at the prison camp and hospital including groundskeeping floor scrubbing plumbing welding carpentry and cleaning the boilers that provide hot water and heat for the compound They even work on the elevators said former inmate Dana Corum And that s a full time job because those dang elevators were always out Prison officials also refused to discuss details of Unicor pay scales But one of the inmates who provided the names of the Unicor client companies wrote to the Weekly that the pay starts at 23 cents an hour with incremental raises that top out at 1 15 an hour She said that after 18 months on the job the women get an additional 10 cents an hour for longevity and another 5 cents an hour for each 18 months after that up to 80 months At that point they will have maxed out at around 1 45 an hour There are a few premium pay positions that rate an extra 25 cents an hour for being extra important to the operations or the most liked she wrote It takes political shit to get these spots The Spokane Area Journal of Business reported last year that regular call center jobs in this country start their workers at more than 11 an hour plus benefits Call center personnel in India by comparison make between 159 and 204 a month although those salaries are expected to rise soon as other offshore costs of business have already begun doing Then there s Carswell where monthly pay ranges from 36 to 180 a month And since the prison laborers receive no benefits and no Social Security the private companies that contract with the prisons save on those substantial costs as well Average cost to an employer for health insurance for a family of four in 2007 is around 9 000 a year according to Towers Perrin a global business financial management firm And then there s that 9 1 percent matching contribution to Social Security and Medicare for each employee Unlike Indian workers American inmates don t have to pay for all their living costs from those salaries but Indian workers on the other hand don t have to pay almost 2 for soap Inmates are required to buy all personal items and often meet some dietary needs from the prison s commissary Most can t afford just the basic things that are necessary for their health and hygiene said Lewis who is one of the few who has a family able to put money into her prison account to a maximum of 300 a month A commissary price sheet lists a bar of bath soap at 1 65 deodorant at 2 80 and a box of regular tampons at 5 30 For diabetics who must buy their own non sugar products a 50 count box of Equal packets costs 3 80 Many of the women at Carswell come from poor families Some have been abandoned by their families and only a few have loved ones who can send them money for such basic needs Corum a diabetic spent five years at Carswell off and on She was sent to Marianna Fla for a year midway in her sentence as retaliation she believes for speaking to the Weekly for an earlier story about the hospital s poor medical care Her condition deteriorated so badly at the Florida facility that she was finally sent back to Carswell She finished her sentence two years ago She did not work in the call center but had friends who did Even though the women work under strict guidelines which forbid them to ask callers for personal information or tell them their calls have been routed to a prison the jobs can be enjoyable and provide some relief from the rigidity of prison life Corum said They had some fun but the pay is still lousy she said and the whole thing is a racket that s making money for the prison and unfairly competing with legitimate businesses Unfair competition with private business is high on the Communications Workers of America s list of concerns with the federal call centers because of the resulting loss of jobs for its members said Candice Johnson a spokeswoman for the national union Generally outsourcing has been the big issue with American communications workers she said But if those outsourcing companies are now bringing back that work to the federal prisons and still paying the same low wages that is still an unfair advantage over the other companies that have stayed here and are trying to provide good paying jobs and good service Johnson said the CWA believes the prison jobs do not provide the training that such work requires in order to give good customer service Good companies value good customer service she said That was a big problem with the call center jobs that were sent overseas in the first place she said Foreign workers read from scripts and if the customer s problems didn t fit the script the employee was stumped and the customers ended up angry and frustrated For that reason she said companies like AT T and U S Airways are in the process of bringing their call centers back to this country People in prison need the opportunity to learn skills but Unicor is not the answer she said The system has its defenders outside the prison system Journalist Harry Sheff in an article for a web based business magazine wrote in July that Unicor call centers don t compete with American jobs they only take on contracts that were about to be outsourced overseas Other voices of protest are coming from the U S Chamber of Commerce whose director of legislative affairs told National Public Radio in September We do not believe Federal Prison Industries should continue its unfettered expansion into the commercial marketplace The business community is extremely concerned about this Future expansion by Unicor is possible because of the enormous increase in the prison population in recent years an involuntary workforce numbering close to 200 000 now and increasing by about 2 5 percent annually Unicor now offers more than 140 products and services for sale to other government agencies with more than half its output bought by the Department of Defense by far its largest customer especially since the beginning of the Iraq war Like every other defense contractor Unicor has benefitted from the war and dislikes competition While we expect the continuing war effort to provide another year of excellent work opportunities for our inmates that situation will not last indefinitely Unicor directors wrote in the 2006 annual report We are positioning to a post war environment Another similarity between Unicor and other military contractors has been its propensity for corruption When she was at the Federal Correctional Institution Marianna in Florida there was a big Unicor scandal Corum said They were selling stuff government stuff out of open air sheds on the grounds just like a flea market Corum said she witnessed huge trucks pulling up and unloading all kinds of computers and electronic equipment There was a real racket going on People who worked there were buying the stuff dirt cheap Corum wasn t exaggerating In 2000 Rep Hoekstra chairman of the House subcommittee on education and the workforce opened an investigation into the racket that Corum had witnessed albeit a small part of it The FPI has been taking tens of thousands of items in excess federal government equipment especially computer equipment and using them to fuel an entry of unknown scope into the commercial marketplace he said at the opening of the subsequent hearing In other words they were selling used government equipment improperly and in huge quantities According to Hoekstra s office and transcripts of the hearings Unicor acquired the computers through a process that allows federal agencies that are replacing equipment to pass along outdated but still operable items for use by other agencies If other federal agencies don t need the hand me downs the equipment is supposed to be dispersed free to nonprofit groups schools or state governments It is never supposed to be sold In this case the computers were destined to be sent to poor school districts under a presidential order of Bill Clinton Somehow FPI got to them first hauled them out of the warehouses and began a huge illegal garage sale Hoekstra said He noted that at the time the U S Department of Justice was conducting a criminal investigation of Unicor It is high time he said FPI has been out of control for years exceeding its statutory authority and running wild through the marketplace without any Congressional authority Hoekstra s evidence showed that during 1999 FPI took almost 60 000 excess items from the Defense Department alone worth 481 million and in 2000 added 83 000 more excess items with value estimated at just under 89 million The company would have topped the 1 billion mark in illegal sales the chairman said if not for the vigilance of a dedicated public servant who blew the whistle FPI s defense was the dubious claim Hoekstra said that it did not break the law governing its existence because selling the equipment was a service and not a product the same justification echoed by Lappin last year when Congress questioned the call centers As a result of his own investigation Hoekstra introduced legislation that would have reined the corporation in It didn t pass that year but his spokesman said Hoekstra will keep reintroducing the bill for as long as it takes to get it passed The most recent scandal involved Unicor s recycling centers A single personal computer contains a toxic cocktail of cancer causing chemicals including up to eight pounds of lead according to a report by the Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition In 2002 SVTC found that prisoners at a maximum security prison in Merced Calif were recycling computers there by smashing them with hammers or raising them over their heads and slamming them on a metal table They were being showered with glass and toxic chemicals None was issued protective clothing or face or eye protection the coalition reported Air quality tests in the room showed high levels of toxins just a few feet from a food processing area Prison personnel refused a supervisor s repeated requests for improved safety measures The supervisor went public ultimately filing a whistleblower lawsuit By 2005 the BOP had admitted that in at least three of its factories prison workers had been exposed to higher than safe levels of toxic chemicals but officials said the problem had been fixed Not true said the government s Office of Special Counsel and called for an investigation by the Justice Department The investigation is ongoing In the meantime Unicor clients such as Dell and the state of California have cancelled their computer recycling contracts with Unicor under pressure from environmental groups labor unions and prison reform advocates Dell chief executive Michael Dell was met at a computer industry gathering by protestors in striped prison garb accusing him of hiring a high tech chain gang Still the scandal did not deter Arkansas from giving Unicor an exclusive contract to recycle all of the state s used computers Worker exposure to deadly lead followed by denials and cover ups is not new in the prison agency The Weekly reported on a similar incident that happened at Carswell in 1999 when three federal maintenance workers and a half dozen female inmate workers were ordered to dismantle a lead lined medical radiology room at the hospital They were given no protective clothing or breathing equipment even though they were working in a small room and had to crawl into some of the lead lined cabinets and grind the lead out Three of the civilian workers suffered such serious and irreparable lead poisoning that they can no longer work and their doctors have said it will shorten their lives Even their wives and children had high levels of lead in their blood Karen Lucchesi Lewis wishes that the same kind of pressure brought against Dell could be brought against the telephone companies under Unicor contract at Carswell But she is realistic enough to know that it is unlikely to happen

    Original URL path: http://www.911omissionreport.com/captive_labor_pools.html (2016-02-14)
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  • Wal-Mart shopping for subsidies?
    individual subsidies ranging from 1 million to about 12 million in the form of free or reduced priced land job training funds sales tax rebates tax credits and infrastructure assistance including investment in roads In total these subsidies amounted to 245 million the report said Separately the report found that 84 of Wal Mart s distribution centers received an average of 7 4 million in subsidies totaling about 624 million Additionally a database search for tax exempt bonds issued by state and local authorities indicated that another 69 Wal Mart stores received other low cost financing of about 138 million Wal Mart spokeswoman Mona Williams said the group was shooting itself in the foot with the report We think the report in fact shows that the subsidies are a great thing for us Do the math and you will see that every dollar invested with Wal Mart has returned more than 30 for the community We expect to see lots of other local governments will be asking for that 30 deal Williams said Bentonville Ark based Wal Mart operates more than 2 485 stores of its Wal Mart discount store and 456 Sam s Club warehouse stores in the United

    Original URL path: http://www.911omissionreport.com/wal-mart_1bln.html (2016-02-14)
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  • Wal-Mart draws ire even in poor parts of Brooklyn
    stores shows that Wal Mart depresses area wages and labor benefits pushes out more retail jobs than it creates and results in more retail vacancies the report concluded Wal Mart spokesman Steven Restivo said a store would bring good jobs and good shopping for fresh food to locals To push its case Wal Mart launched a public relations blitz in mid January with radio and newspaper ads and a website www WalMartNYC com which features positive coverage of the company New York City Public Advocate Bill de Blasio calls a possible Wal Mart store in New York a Trojan horse It looks appealing to a lot of families who are hurting but it turns into a big problem in the long term because of the net elimination of jobs de Blasio said Wal Mart has been trying to open in New York since 2005 but various plans floundered on objections from the community and union activists Now the company is reported to be looking at locations including East New York and Brownsville Brooklyn neighborhoods known for high unemployment crime and drugs Dilapidated buildings and empty lots are common and many residents live in public housing in these neighborhoods The U S Census data for 2007 2009 show the median family income in the East New York neighborhood is 33 485 in Brownsville it is 26 802 The median family income in all of New York City is 55 562 Planned Wal Mart stores have long met opposition in places such as Chicago where last year Wal Mart secured approval to build two new stores after agreeing to use union labor Despite the poverty in East New York and Brownsville many residents are against the stores setting up here It would be a disaster said Mark Tanis owner of an East

    Original URL path: http://www.911omissionreport.com/wal-mart_poorer.html (2016-02-14)
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  • Wal-Mart reveals probe of possible overseas bribes
    and have had anti corruption policies in place for many years said David Tovar a Wal Mart spokesman in an e mailed statement We expect every associate to act in a responsible manner and comply with all laws Though it did not reveal specific details regarding which countries or individuals were involved Wal Mart said it initiated the probe after discovering information during an internal review and through outside sources

    Original URL path: http://www.911omissionreport.com/wal-mart_bribes.html (2016-02-14)
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  • Wal-Mart silenced Mexican bribe inquiry: NY Times
    declined to make any executives available for comment and said the investigation was continuing Richard Cassin a U S FCPA lawyer said Wal Mart faces an uphill battle to convince the Justice Department and SEC that its problems are confined to Mexico A corporate attitude toward the corruption there that allowed a cover up to happen could signal wider compliance problems said Cassin who writes an industry blog FCPA Blog Before any resolution with U S authorities is possible the company has to look under every stone for possible corruption Are there any similar issues in China or other countries That s what U S authorities will want to know Wal Mart s shareholders will be asking the same question he said A spokesman at the SEC said it did not have any comment on the New York Times article A Justice Department spokeswoman declined to comment Wal Mart de Mexico or Walmex as the company is known locally has expanded rapidly since Walmart opened its first store outside the United States in Mexico City in 1991 then part of a joint venture In 2011 the Mexican unit reported total sales of 379 billion pesos 29 billion Walmart s fiscal 2012 sales for the year ended January 31 were 443 85 billion STEPS TO CONCEAL PAYMENTS Middlemen or gestores are used in Mexico to help companies perform a variety of tasks from obtaining residency permits and resolving tax issues to obtaining planning authorization They are often legitimate actors in Mexico s bureaucracy but a lack of transparency in the system can make it impossible to know whether bribery is involved in their dealings several foreign businessmen working in Mexico told Reuters The Times reported that Cicero the former Walmex executive gave names dates and bribe amounts adding that he knew so much because for years he had been the lawyer in charge of obtaining construction permits for Walmex Cicero identified Eduardo Castro Wright as the driving force behind years of bribery according to the Times adding that no Walmex leaders were disciplined Castro Wright became CEO of Walmex in 2003 and was named CEO of Walmart US in 2005 He became a vice chairman in 2008 and led e commerce from 2010 until January of this year and is set to retire July 1 He could not be reached for comment Wal Mart found documents showing that Walmex s top executives not only knew about the payments but had taken steps to conceal them from Wal Mart s headquarters in Bentonville Arkansas the Times reported Wal Mart hired Willkie Farr Gallagher a law firm with extensive experience in FCPA cases to look into the matter but when the firm suggested a thorough investigation it was rejected for a more limited preliminary inquiry the paper said Willkie Farr could not be reached for comment The Times said Wal Mart s own lead investigator a former F B I special agent said there was reasonable suspicion to believe Mexican and U S

    Original URL path: http://www.911omissionreport.com/wal-mart_mexican_bribe.html (2016-02-14)
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  • Does your boss want you dead?
    became the lead plaintiff in a class action lawsuit against the company after she discovered Wal Mart collected 300 000 from a life insurance policy it owned on him Vicki Rice believes job related stress contributed to the heart attack and says it is totally immoral for Wal Mart to profit from his death In a lot of circumstances the families dont get anything said attorney Mike Myers of Houstons McClanahan Clearman which represents survivors suing companies over corporate owned policies The company tries its hardest to keep the policy a secret Labor leaders and some lawmakers have denounced the policies as unjust and repulsive The companies say profits from the policies can help offset the increased cost of employee benefits and enhance the businesses bottom lines Corporate owned life insurance actually comes in two flavors Executive or key person policies that insure the lives of top executives This coverage has been around for decades and has a clear business purpose since losing the expertise knowledge and contacts of top managers can be financially devastating for companies Broad based or janitors policies that insure rank and file workers Here the purpose is basically profit The life insurance proceeds are tax free The policies have an investment component that allows companies to earn tax deferred returns while the employee is still alive And of course companies can take out tax free loans on the policies All these gains and income are used to fund operations pay for executive compensation or boost other benefits No one knows how many corporate owned policies are issued on executives versus rank and file workers Wal Mart alone had taken out about 350 000 such policies between 1993 and 1996 Nestle USA had policies on 18 000 workers in 2002 The Wall Street Journal reported Enron had 500 million in policies on workers Sales of the policies came to a virtual standstill in September 2003 according to the insurer trade group ACLI when the Senate Finance Committee approved legislation that would have taxed payouts made to companies if the employee had left more than a year earlier That indicates that most policies arent being sold to protect companies financially against the loss of key current employees Strong insurance industry protests led the powerful committee to reconsider its action Further work on the issue has been postponed until 2004 and indications are that the senators are softening on the idea of greatly restricting the policies said Jack Dolan ACLI spokesman Companies insist that janitors policies have a legitimate business function but the IRS has been cracking down arguing that many of the arrangements are nothing more than tax shelters The agency has been particularly harsh on once popular leveraged policies in which policy loans were used to pay premiums In the mid 1990s the tax agency began disallowing billions of dollars in interest payment deductions the companies had been taking on such loans Companies efforts to defend their programs have been largely unsuccessful a U S Tax

    Original URL path: http://www.911omissionreport.com/boss_want_dead.html (2016-02-14)
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