Monday, April 1, 2013

China Meets with Wisconsin (Manufacturers and Commerce)

A month ago, I questioned who were going to get those mining jobs in Northern Wisconsin - if they ever do materialize.  In said article, I referred the gentle reader to the fact that Canadian mining companies were bringing Chinese miners to do the work, instead of hiring the local miners:
A major B.C. labour organization denounced on Monday the “mass importation” of Chinese workers to mine coal in the northeast part of the province, saying it is “preposterous” to suggest British Columbians don’t have the skills to fill close to 2,000 full-time jobs destined for foreign workers.

“We want to register our grave concerns about the uses and abuses of the Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) program as it relates to projects in British Columbia,” the organization told Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Premier Christy Clark in an open letter.

It was issued by the Bargaining Council of the B.C. Building Trades Unions, made up of 15 unions representing 35,000 craft construction workers, including underground miners.

“We believe this mass importation of labour is completely unnecessary and is simply a strategy to employ lower-paid workers who are compliant with the culture of coal mining in China,” wrote BCBCBTU President Mark Olsen.

“The coal mining in that country is patently unsafe and the industry there shows little regard for the life, health and well-being of the workers in that country.”
It's a serious enough concern that Senator Dave Hansen is asking for answers.

The answers are starting to look not so good, especially when we see something like this:

On March 18, Chinese Consul General Zhao Weiping met with Mr. Kurt Bauer, President of Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce in Madison, the capital city of Wisconsin. They exchanged views on the trade and investment cooperation between China and Wisconsin.
Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce (WMC) are huge proponent of the mine.  I'm sure that there was a lot of discussion regarding that.

It's bad enough that it looks like the Chinese are looking to invest and/or mine our natural resources.  They are going to be much less prone to worry about the environment impacts - even with the Republicans having loosened all the safety nets - since they won't be here to deal with the impact of the mining.

But I can't help but wonder if Scott Walker gave WMC permission to speak on the state's behalf, or whether WMC had included that when they bought Walker in the first place.

1 comment:

  1. Since Walker wants the authority to sell any state property he desires, perhaps he'll even sell the Chinese a highway or two.