Mexico: Helping Corporate America Cut Worker’s Wages

 North American Integration  Comments Off on Mexico: Helping Corporate America Cut Worker’s Wages
Nov 092007

“G.M., struggling with its own problems, did little to publicize the new factory [in] Mexico. But while any talk of increasing production elsewhere or adding low-wage jobs in Mexico risks creating animosity in the United States, there is no hiding the relentless advance of the auto industry here. (Detroit, Far South, Elisabeth Malkin, NYT, July 26, 2006)

Adding to that, the United Auto Workers have entered into a new era, according to Mark Trumbull when the generation of UAW members “…will receive lower pay and benefits than their predecessors…”as a result of the new contracts with American automakers. And this (negative) “labor trend in Detroit could have spillover effects beyond the auto industry.” [1]

NAFTA and trade agreements which the United States has with other countries (a growing list) ends the understanding that American corporations once had with its workers. That unwritten social contract meant that as the corporation prospered, so would the workers.

But here in the USA these days, American workers are considered just another tool of production for global corporations, who have NO LOYALTY to their nation or its citizens. And American workers are an expensive tool, which makes it impossible to compete with third world countries in manufacturing.

The standard for low wages is China, where wages can be as low as 15 cents per hour with no overtime pay (time and a half) and no benefits. That includes working up to 84 hours weekly. And, as we know, it also means that products, which are CONTAMINATED, pour into our nation without inspection by the U.S. Government. Inspections are just another impediment to profits.

The recent contract approval by the United States automakers and the UAW are designed to help the companies compete with Japanese car plants in the U.S.  Under a Ford agreement, some replacement workers “would be paid on a lower scale, starting at $14 per hour” (compared to an experienced Ford worker who made $28.88 per hour in 2006). Large job cuts and plant closings are scheduled for the three American auto companies over the next 5 years. [2]

But on the other side of the border, Mexico is becoming a significant auto maker where companies like General Motors, DaimlerChrysler, Nissan, Volkswagon and China are investing billions into new plants and cheap Mexican labor.

The reason: Wages for an auto worker in Mexico can start as low as $1.50 per hour and reach $3.50 per hour for experienced workers. Benefits can double that amount. (A total package with benefits in the U.S. can top $42 per hour. Now consider that the curent minimum wage in America is $5.85). (photo: PT Cruiser at Mexico plant)

It is clear that corporate America and the government have a plan to build a North American Community (a union) which is based on lowering American wages in order to become “competitive” in world trade. Whenever you hear the word competitive from George Bush, a member of his administration or a corporate CEO, it means that American wages must be drastically lowered (with less benefits or none at all).

The Council on Foreign Relations plan for Building a North American Community can be found in an article on a U.S. Department of State embassy website. The site links this plan to the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America, SIGNED by Bush, President Fox of Mexico and Prime Minister Martin of Canada on March 23, 2005 in Waco, Texas. On the site, this plan is called a “blueprint” for the SPP (a union of North America with governing institutions listed). [3]

This blueprint for the merger of North America, which the U.S. Department of State recognizes on the website, emphasizes the goal of being more competitive in the world. Under the CFR plan, pages 27, 28, WHAT WE SHOULD DO BY 2010 states:

“Move to full labor mobility between Canada and the United States. To make companies based in NORTH AMERICA as COMPETITIVE as possible in the global economy, Canada and the United States should consider ELIMINATING ALL BARRIERS TO THE ABILITY OF THEIR CITIZENS TO LIVE AND WORK IN THE OTHER COUNTRY. This FREE FLOW of PEOPLE would offer an important advantage to employers in both countries by giving them access to a larger pool of skilled labor, and would enhance the well-being of individuals in both countries by enabling them to move quickly to where their skills are needed. In the long term, the two countries should work to extend this policy to MEXICO as well, though doing so will not be practical until WAGE DIFFERENTIALS between MEXICO and its TWO NORTH AMERICAN NEIGHBORS have DIMINISHED CONSIDERABLY.” [4]

In order to diminish American wages considerably, the corporate/government alliance (led by George Bush) is counting heavily on cheap Mexican labor to make it happen. That’s why he wants a “comprehensive immigration bill” that would “legalize” up to 20 million illegal aliens from south of the U.S. border and set the scene for many more millions to cross over.

Such an immigration bill (H.R. 1645, THE STRIVE ACT) also has a security section that would put some controls on immigration with a common security perimeter around North America. It would utilize a North American driver’s license/ID (REAL ID in America) and other systems which would allow people and commerce to flow across the continent (eventually) on the NORTH AMERICAN SUPER CORRIDOR SYSTEM.  [5,6]

In addition, Mexico is going to help with the backlog of cheap, contaminated products being shipped to America from China and waiting to be unloaded at California ports. So it has teamed up with China’s Hutchinson Whampoa to “expand the deep water ports…at Lazaro Cardena and Manzanillo on Mexico’s Pacific coast.” The Chinese company also plans to build another deep water port at Punta Colonet in Baja California. [7]

Cheap Mexican labor will transfer the cargo onto trucks and trains. The cargo will be cleared and taken north to the United States and Canada by Mexican truck drivers over the Nafta Super Corridors being constructed. By avoiding American truckers and longshoremen, corporations like Wal-Mart can be more competitive and bring in more profits at the expense of working Americans.

According to Rich Vogel, “The list of transportation jobs that will be offshored to Mexico (for the NAFTA corridor project) is long; port employees from supervisors and inspectors to crane operators and longshoremen; railroad construction and maintenance workers and supervisors; highway construction and maintenance workers, local and long haul truck drivers, and an army of logistical support for the entire network… the ongoing privatization of the Mexican economy and the ground transportation rules of NAFTA are facilitating the plan to divert jobs to the south.” [8]

So we can expect the corporate/government cabal to continue their goal of uniting North America into a trading state, run by trade agreements (initially), with a diverse and mobile population competing for low wages and temporary jobs with little or no benefits.

There would be no loyalty to a sovereign nation because the people would be citizens of North America, a corporate/government construction with no history, no common culture or language, nothing to unite a disparate mass of humanity. America would then be just part of a large geographical area filled with the sights and sounds of desperation, as hope dims for any sign of salvation in a land without a soul.

[ The social contract that has propelled this nation to greatness has never included a clause that suggests we are all interchangeable and replaceable with the rest of humanity. When every person on Earth (or even in our hemisphere) has an equal claim on residence and employment in America, our existence as a nation will cease.

However we choose to define ourselves as a nation, it must be something more than an amalgamation of workers, consumers, or even taxpayers, who happen to occupy a defined geographic area.

If the social bonds that hold the nation together are shattered, we will become slaves to destiny instead of masters of it. When people no longer believe that their nation and their society is loyal to them, social order will inevitably break down (and with it, ironically, the world’s economy itself).

Far from promoting liberty and prosperity, a world without borders will inevitably lead to conflict, misery, and chaos–in other words, tyranny. (Ira Mehlman, 09/23/2005) ][9]

  3. Debunking the U.S. Government’s…, Oct. 19, 2007, footnotes #1, #2.
  4. pp. 27-29.
  5. This blog, The STRIVE ACT Mandates…, Sept. 11, 2007
  6. This blog, The North American Driver’s License…, Sept. 24, 2007