BP has been caught red-handed using dirt cheap prison labor to clean up the oil spill along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico as thousands upon thousands of non-inmates beg for work. So why would BP use prison labor when there are so many others who would gladly do the work? Well, prison labor costs far, far less of course. As bad as this is for BP's public image, the truth is that we should not be too hard on them. After all, exploiting cheap labor around the world has become an obsession for the big global corporations that dominate our economy. To these gigantic global predators, the American Dream is not about providing good jobs so that middle class Americans can buy homes and send their kids to college. No, to these behemoths the goal is to find the closest thing to slave labor that they can so that they can dramatically increase their profits.
So yes, it is wrong that BP has been using cheap or free prison labor to clean up the oil spill. But the truth is that they can defend themselves by saying that "everyone else is doing it" and they would be right. We have set up a system where the exploitation of labor is highly rewarded.
In a recent article for The Nation, Abe Louise Young shined a light on BP's hiring practices down in the Gulf. It turns out that people highly objected to seeing workers with uniforms that said "Inmate Labor" on them, so now BP is being much more sneaky about things....
I got an answer one evening earlier this month, when I drove up the gravel driveway of the Lafourche Parish Work Release Center jail, just off Highway 90, halfway between New Orleans and Houma. Men were returning from a long day of shoveling oil-soaked sand into black trash bags in the sweltering heat. Wearing BP shirts, jeans and rubber boots (nothing identifying them as inmates), they arrived back at the jail in unmarked white vans, looking dog tired.
Now, it must be admitted that cleaning up the oil on these beaches is not a good job. In fact, there are some very real health hazards that come along with cleaning this stuff up.
So the loss of these jobs is not really worth getting all worked up over.
However, what is worth getting worked up about is the tens of millions of good jobs that have been shipped off to China, India and a host of third world nations.
Today, a very high percentage of the products that we buy in "big box" retail stores are manufactured in close to slave labor conditions on the other side of the globe.
We certainly enjoy the "low, low prices" that we get as a result of this cheap labor, but then we wonder why Steve, John and Frank down the street are out of work and can't get jobs no matter what they do.
The truth is that there are approximately 6 unemployed Americans for every single job opening out there today.
There are not nearly enough jobs for everyone, and that is not going to change any time soon.
Not that it is wrong to make money. Making money is a good thing. But is there not something wrong with a system where 66% of the income growth goes to 1% of the people?
The truth is that the very rich are getting much richer while the rest of us are increasingly struggling.
For example, only the top 5 percent of all U.S. households have earned enough additional income to match the rise in housing costs since 1975.
Are you stretched to the max trying to pay for your home?
You are not alone. Tens of millions of American families are up to their eyeballs in debt and are trying to figure out how to survive from month to month.
The reality is that the middle class is being squeezed like they never have been before.
The current economic system does not value the labor of working class Americans. In fact, hiring American workers is seen as a big negative in today's economic environment.
Unless something fundamentally changes, and right now that does not seem very likely, an increasing number of Americans are going to become chronically unemployed and jobs are going to become even more scarce.
Solidarity Poster for Polykarpos Georgiadis and Vaggelis Chrisohoidis (greece)
did anyone speak of a
“…A handful of capitalists
have organized a criminal gang
and have kidnapped the proletarians,
demanding for ransom
their labor force,
merchandising their human activity,
their time(which is turned into money),
their own being itself…”
tovaggelis ChrisohoidisandPolykarpos Georgiadis
who the persecuting authorities, exactly because they denied to betray values and people,
accuse them as participators in the kidnapping of industrialist Milonas
anarchists from Serres from north-greece
Anarchists solidarity protest outside Korydallos prison, the main prison in Athens, at the time of the change of the year. This protest happens every New Year's Eve for the past six years. This year more than 400 people took part in the protest that interacted with the prisoners inside through shouting mutual slogans and fireworks. The main slogan was "The passion for freedom is stronger that your prisons".
A society that punishes/the condition of incarceration/the prison of the mind/the prison as punishment/the rage of the damned will sound on the ruins of prisons/those denying obedience and misery of our era even within its hellholes/will dance together on the ruins of every last prison/with the flame of rebellion avenging whatever creates prisons.
To the prisoners struggle already counting one dead and thousands in hunger strike across greece, we stand in solidarity and anger until the destruction of every last prison.
ARSON AND WILDFIRE FOR EVERY PRISON
SOLIDARITY TO ALL PRISONERS IN GREECE
VIDEO FROM THE COMRADES IN THE SUPERMARKET IN SALONIKI 15/6