For immediate release
October 26, 2004
South Carolina Jobs: Where Have They Gone? Ask Jim DeMint.
What: Rally of laid-off workers and students who want to know “Where have the jobs gone?”
When: Thursday, October 28, at Noon
Where: Olympia Park, 1050 Olympia Avenue (Across from Olympia Mills)
Who: Workers who have already or may soon lose their textile and manufacturing jobs from Celanese and other plants. Benedict College, Allen University, University of South Carolina, and area high school students who fear the job market they will enter when they graduate. State Representative Gilda Cobb-Hunter Local leaders and clergy
Background: In the past week, our communities have lost another 693 jobs and two more plants have closed. Today’s workers are losing ground – jobs are moving offshore and wages are falling. Today’s students are tomorrow’s workers, and they are wondering what they have to look forward to. They pile up debt to pay for their education, only to face a stagnant job market upon graduation.
When asked by a reporter to speak about job loss and what can be done, DeMint said, “first of all, there’s been somewhat of a hysteria about lost jobs.”
Rather than using his time in Congress to create jobs, Senate candidate Jim DeMint has become part of the problem. DeMint was the only member of South Carolina’s delegation who refused to support an effort to extend apparel and textile quotas and thus save jobs in South Carolina, which could cost South Carolina 42,000 jobs by 2006. DeMint was the only member of South Carolina’s Congressional delegation to vote for Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) with China, a vote that cost thousands of jobs in South Carolina. In December 2001 DeMint’s last minute vote switch saved Trade Promotion Authority (Fast Track) for President Bush. The final House of Representatives vote was 215-214. DeMint cast the deciding vote. Since that vote, South Carolina has lost nearly 30,000 more manufacturing jobs.
UNITE HERE is the newly merged union of hospitality, gaming, apparel, textile and laundry workers. The new union represents nearly half a million workers in the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico. For more information, please see www.unitehere.org or call Bill Chandler 601-594-3564 or Amanda Cooper at 917-533-4050.