April 1, 2005: Headlines: COS - Dominican Republic: Politics: Congress: Bristol Press: Chris Dodd promises to reintroduce U.S. workers protection act

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Dominican Republic: RPCV Chris Dodd (Dominican Republic) : RPCV Chris Dodd: Archived Stories: April 1, 2005: Headlines: COS - Dominican Republic: Politics: Congress: Bristol Press: Chris Dodd promises to reintroduce U.S. workers protection act

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Chris Dodd promises to reintroduce U.S. workers protection act

Chris Dodd promises to reintroduce U.S. workers protection act

Chris Dodd promises to reintroduce U.S. workers protection act

Dodd promises to reintroduce U.S. workers protection act
By SCOTT WHIPPLE, Special to The Bristol Press
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NEW BRITAIN -- Stressing that manufacturing in Con-necticut plays an important role in creating jobs and providing national security, U.S. Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., said Thursday he will reintroduce the United States Workers Protection Act.

The legislation is aimed at ensuring that hard-earned American tax dollars remain invested in America’s jobs, the senator said. The bill restricts federal contract awards to companies that use overseas workers either on their payroll or through foreign subcontractors. It also limits federal taxpayer dollars from being sent to states if those states use those resources to send jobs overseas.

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"Workers in Connecticut and across the nation are first-rate," Dodd told employees at Okay Industries. "It doesn’t make sense to ship jobs halfway around the world to save a buck. This legislation is a step toward stopping the needless export of good American jobs."

Dodd told Okay’s owner, Greg Howey, that his company’s success is proof American manufacturers can develop a skilled workforce to compete globally. Okay manufactures surgical devices, automotive and aerospace components, fire protection gear, motor parts and M-16 magazines.

The state’s senior senator toured the facility, greeted workers and answered their questions.

According to Dodd, in the last five years, the United States has lost 3 million manufacturing jobs. Forty percent of Fortune 1000 companies are currently using some form of overseas outsourcing and as many as 14 million white-collar jobs could be sent overseas in the next decade, causing billions of dollars in lost wages for American workers, he said.

Dodd said the proposed legislation allows for two exceptions: a presidential waiver on national security grounds and an exemption if the good or service being provided is unavailable domestically.

Last year, the legislation passed the Senate as an amendment to the JOBS Act of 2004 with overwhelming bipartisan support, 70-26. However, at the conference meeting to iron out differences between the Senate and House of Representative versions, Republicans voted to strip the Dodd amendment from the bill.

At Okay, Dodd said as soon as the Senate returns next week, this legislation will be his first order of business.

Frank Johnson, executive director of the Manufacturing Alliance of Connecticut, told The Herald, "To me, it’s common sense that you’d want taxpayer dollars to support American industries--not only from the economic, but from the security point of view."

Relating a story about security, Dodd told Okay workers about a company that obtained a contract to manufacture hand grenades for the war in Iraq. The company then outsourced parts of the contract to another offshore manufacturer. But, the second offshore manufacturer disagreed with the war and refused to supply the parts.

"Whether or not you approve of our policy in Iraq," Dodd said, "our troops are going be disadvantaged because we outsourced the job to a company that disagrees with us."

©The Bristol Press 2005

When this story was posted in March 2005, this was on the front page of PCOL:

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Story Source: Bristol Press

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Dominican Republic; Politics; Congress



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