(govtwatch4) ANGRY IN AMERICA

Submitted by Editor on Fri, 26/11/2004 - 21:07

KITTY PILGRIM, HOST (voice-over): Tonight, on Thanksgiving Day, a salute to heroes, the men and women who risk their lives in defense of democracy and the American way of life.

"CHEROKEE"
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25 Nov 2004

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The job needed to be done. Just went and did it.

PILGRIM: We'll have their stories, and Veterans Affairs Secretary Anthony Principi will join us.

Then, "America Works." We pay tribute to some of the hardworking men and women who make this country work, from the innovators who built America to the everyday heroes who keep it running.

And, "Made in America," the corporations and small business owners who fight every day to keep American jobs and know-how in this country.

DAVID MCDONALD, PRESIDENT & CEO, PELCO: We believe in the power of the American worker.

PILGRIM: Our feature series, "Made in America."

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANNOUNCER: This is a special holiday edition of LOU DOBBS TONIGHT. Sitting in for Lou Dobbs, Kitty Pilgrim.

PILGRIM: Good evening.

Tonight a special report on this Thanksgiving, a celebration of the men and women who make this country great, from our troops serving in 120 countries around the world to the hard working people here at home.

In the course of this program, we hope to celebrate this country's greatness with our loved ones overseas. We will bring you the stories of many of our country's heroes, who are serving and have served in Iraq.

But first, we begin tonight with some of the people who are fighting to keep American jobs and know-how in this country.

David McDonald is a CEO of an American company that values its employees. He believes American workers are the most productive in the world. And he's doing everything he can to keep jobs in this country.

Casey Wian reports from Clovis, California.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CASEY WIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Who's watching the Statue of Liberty? What about this summer's Republican National Convention or the Olympic Games in Athens, Greece? Security cameras for all three with made by Pelco, a home-grown manufacturing company in central California that's committed to keeping jobs in the United States.

MCDONALD: First we're, I think, unusually patriotic in our mindset. And we believe in the power of the American worker. We have very productive, motivated people who are very efficient at producing our products.

WIAN: Pelco has customers all over the world: Buckingham Palace, the Panama Canal, New York's Central Park. But the company refuses to send its 1,500 U.S. manufacturing jobs overseas in search of cheaper labor.

MCDONALD: Many of those things look good on paper. When you consider the logistics cost, the impact potentially to quality, the scheduling difficulties and other challenges, the little savings that you can generate on paper often go up in smoke in the real world.

WIAN: In fact, by investing in state of the art equipment and unique employee motivation programs, McDonald says it's actually cheaper to manufacture in the United States.

>From the American flags on its workers' uniforms and throughout its factories to the September 11 memorials that decorate Pelco's headquarters, here patriotism seems at least as important as profit.

Nine-eleven hit home there, because many of the company's clients, including the Empire State Building, Ellis Island and the New York police and fire departments were at or near Ground Zero.

MCDONALD: We've always had a very, I'd say, special relationship with New York City and many people there that we know. And that tragedy, I think, affected us, therefore, much differently than it might have other people.

WIAN: The realities of a global economy make it necessary for Pelco to buy some foreign-made components, and it does have an international sales and customer service staff.

But the company says the security systems it sells here and abroad will always be made in the USA.

(on camera) While other companies expand overseas, Pelco will soon open its largest plant here, 144,000 square foot, room for 500 new employees.

Casey Wian, CNN, Clovis, California.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

PILGRIM: Now a growing effort is under way to encourage people in this country to buy American-made products. Now, one group calls itself simply Mad in America.

Lisa Sylvester has their story.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

LISA SYLVESTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Fred Tedesco's company, Pay-Ted, makes springs and small mechanical assemblies for larger companies.

But in the last three years, he's closed three plants and laid off 48 employees after his biggest customers turned to foreign suppliers. Then he got mad, literally, starting a group called Mad in the USA.

FRED TEDESCO, PA-TED SPRING CO.: There's a tremendous number of people, up to, maybe, 17 million in this country, that are underemployed, that either can't find work or can't find full-time work or have had to take a pay much lower than what they were used to. That's not America.

SYLVESTER: Members of Mad in the USA are threatening to boycott companies, including Wal-Mart, that favor foreign suppliers over domestic ones. Pay-Ted has warned its company's insurance carrier, The Hartford Financial Services, that it will pull $200,000 worth of annual business if the financial firm does not stop outsourcing overseas. It's just one of the home-grown movements aimed at keeping production and work in America.

Out of work computer programmers and service workers are also turning up the pressure on Congress, emphasizing how job losses hurt.

JIM SCHOLLAERT, AMTAC: If they can hit these congressmen back in their districts, and their senators back in their states, large groups of CEOs of these small companies can go in with their mayors, with their education officials, their utility people.

SYLVESTER: Companies that outsource overseas have gone on the defense.

The Hartford Financial Services Group says, "Outsourcing gives The Hartford greater flexibility to quickly take on new projects, access diverse skills and better control costs. It also enables our employees to use their skills for more strategic projects."

But business owners like Fred Tedesco say large corporations are missing the point. If Americans can't work for decent wages, they won't be able to afford the products and services the big companies are offering.

(on camera) Some small business owners are breaking away from large lobby groups like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers, and forming their own trade associations, because they say these larger groups represent corporate interests.

The U.S. Chamber of commercial and the National Association of Manufacturers disagree with that assessment, saying the vast majority of their members are mom and pop operations.

Lisa Sylvester, CNN, Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

PILGRIM: The loss of manufacturing jobs in this country inspired one man to take action. Robert Zimmermaker has made it his personal mission to buy only American-made products. And he says it's easier than you might think.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

PILGRIM (voice-over): The American flag outside this house is made in America. So are roughly 90 percent of the items inside.

Robert Zimmermaker, an electrical technician at a major defense company, believes in buying American products. He has a book and a web site urging others to do the same.

ROBERT ZIMMERMAKER, BUYS AMERICAN: If everybody would just change maybe one or two or five buying habits, the positive impact on the U.S. economy would be nothing short of fantastic.

PILGRIM: In his kitchen, we rummage through the fridge.

(on camera) Aquafina.

ZIMMERMAKER: Aquafina is a Pepsi brand of water. If you were to buy Dannon water, for instance, you would be supporting a French brand.

PILGRIM: OK. Kraft.

ZIMMERMAKER: Kraft is an American company. A foreign competitor for Kraft would be Wishbone, which is owned by Unilever.

PILGRIM (voice-over): The pantry. We check labels. Quaker cereal, Arizona tea, Kellogg cereal, Glad Bags, Sweet and Low, all American.

(on camera) And it says right here, "Made in the USA."

ZIMMERMAKER: Right.

PILGRIM (voice-over): In the living room, American furniture and carpet. Harder to do because a lot of furniture is imported from Asia these days.

The garage. The garden tools are American: a Toro lawn mower, Trek 1200 bike, Black & Decker lawn edger.

His family supports his decision. But they make some exceptions. Eleven-year-old Brittani likes all-American skateboard fashions.

BRITTANI ZIMMERMAKER, DAUGHTER: Basically, like, skate companies Hurley, Independent, Dickey, stuff like that.

PILGRIM: Fourteen-year-old Matt has a tough decision when he founds a cool imported shirt.

MATT ZIMMERMAKER, SON: It's made in Mexico or something. So I've got to decide if I want to, like, buy it or just get a different one.

PILGRIM: His wife, Linda, says it takes a lot of work to shop.

LINDA ZIMMERMAKER, WIFE: I was in a store a couple weeks ago, looking at an iron, and I didn't know what it was. So I came home and researched it and went back and made the right decision.

PILGRIM: He has a Lincoln town car with Goodyear tires. It's impossible to buy an all-American car, he says. Most cars use some imported parts.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

PILGRIM: Even Roger admits it's almost impossible to buy American all the time, but each purchase certainly provides an opportunity.

Well, one company's products have been proudly American made for more than a century. W.R. Case and Sons products have been carried into war, the White House and even outer space.

Philippa Holland has the story.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

PHILIPPA HOLLAND, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): For 115 years, W.R. Case and Sons Cutlery Company has been making knives by hand in America, sometimes with generations working side by side.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Here, I cut these slots. Now my job's done, and I hand it up to my daughter.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK. We're going to fracture and spin.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I've been here 30 years. I met my husband here. He's been here 34 years. My daughter works here with me. She's been here 12 years.

HOLLAND: There's both family and national history at Case. Members of the U.S. military have carried Case knives into every conflict of the past century. One of Case's loyal customers also happened to be a commander in chief, the 34th president of the United States, Dwight D. Eisenhower.

TOM ARROWSMITH, CEO & PRESIDENT, W.R. CASE & SONS: When he had a special guest, he gave them a gift of a Case pocketknife. We've since named the pattern the Eisenhower pattern, and it carries his signature on the blade.

HOLLAND: NASA commissioned a Case knife for its astronauts to carry on the first manned space missions.

Case uses American raw materials in all of its knives. The only exception are exotic materials like mother-of-pearl, not found in the United States.

Buying American is a topic that Arrowsmith frequently faces.

HOLLAND: As recently as last week, we had a little medallion that was going into a product. The purchasing people, as they need to, had shopped it a couple of ways. The domestic price was $1.25. The not domestic price was 48 cents. We chose to use the $1.25 part simply because that's how we do things.

HOLLAND: And if anyone at Case needs a reminder of the importance of buying American, they don't have far to look.

HOLLAND: Outside our doors is a quarter-of-a-million-square- foot facility that used to manufacture electronic components. I worked in that facility as a production superintendent a number of years ago, and they sold it to another company that has moved everything offshore. But, yes, it's easy for us to see every day, when we leave the parking lot, the effect of outsourcing.

HOLLAND: Losing a job to outsourcing is one experience Arrowsmith promises his nearly 400 employees they will never have.

Philippa Holland, CNN, Bradford, Pennsylvania.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

PILGRIM: In the clothing and textile industry, it's rare to find a brand that's still made in the United States. Hickey Freeman is one example. Every stitch of their fine men's suits are still made in America.

Peter Viles has the story.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

PETER VILES, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): When America's best golfers traveled abroad to play in the President's Cup, they wore hand-tailored blazers, not made in Milan, Italy, or London, England, but made back home in this factory in Rochester, New York.

Inside the factory, Hickey Freeman makes fine men's suits that retail $1,200 and up. And here's what's unusual: Hickey Freeman actually believes its factory is a special place. The workers there so well trained, so dedicated to quality that outsourcing is out of the question.

WALTER HICKEY, JR., CHAIRMAN, HICKEY FREEMAN: We've built a business that has been built on a consistency of a quality product. The only way that we think that you can get that is to have direct supervision from our quality people.

VILES: The top supervisor, Italian-born designer Bruno Castagna, says outsourcing work from his factory would be like an orchestra outsourcing the violins.

BRUNO CASTAGNA, EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT, HICKEY FREEMAN: Our them is like an orchestra. Each team player got it all to play.

VILES: When Jerry Hickey and Jake Freeman founded the company, the workforce was mainly immigrants. The company taught them to speak English. A hundred years later, tailoring still attracts immigrants.

The plant is unionized. Average pay is $11 an hour. Average work is not accepted. Perfection is our goal. Excellence will be tolerated. Anything less will not. Employees are actually given bonuses for spotting mistakes. Hickey Freeman is old-fashioned.

It buys the world's finest fabrics, mainly from Italy, competes based on quality, not on price, and believes fine clothing can still be made in America.

HICKEY: It gives me a great deal of pride to know that we have, in Rochester, about 800 people, and I'd like to keep it that way. VILES (on camera): In the end, it's not patriotism that keeps Hickey Freeman in New York. It's a business calculation. The company believes its reputation for uncompromising quality is one of its most valuable assets. Moving work offshore would put that asset at risk, and that's a risk that this company is unwilling to take.

Peter Viles, CNN, Rochester, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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Buy American

Submitted by Anonymous on Sat, 16/09/2006 - 07:05.

I have been involved in two unions. Unions are for losers. They exist for those that are deadbeats and wish to circumvent the system. I recall the closings of shoe mills in Brockton MA as well as clothing mills in Fall River and New Bedford MA. I didn't hear the UAW crying for the Garment Workers Union and buy only American. How many UAW workers wear New Balance sneakers (made or assembled in Maine)? How many UAW workers bought the last Made in America electronics, like televisions and computers? Chrysler has the Dodge 1500 assembled in Mexico. Ford uses Volvo transmissions in their domestically assembled vehicles. The UAW has bled US industries with historically well benefitted contracts. For years I purchased crap US cars only to get repeatedly burned. I owned two Dodge Omnis and one K-car. I learned my lesson after buying 15 new "Made in USA" cars. I bought 2 Volvos, both had over 200,000 miles on the odometer. I also put 215,000 on a VW and put 140,000 on an '02 Camry and 125,000 on an '01 Tundra. No problems on these cars at all. I'd like permission from 1000 UAW workers to go through their homes and look through their dresser draws, closets, etc. to see how many items were not Made in USA.

Let's see, Ford owns Land Rover, Mazda, Volvo and Jaguar. G.M. owns Saab, Isuzu, an association with Subaru and Toyota, etc., etc. I don't feel bad about losers. I do, however, refuse to purchase anything Made in CHINA. The are the greatest abusers of human rights. They torture, murder and starve thousands of peasant workers.

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