On Friday, Working America members and staff from around Pittsburgh sent a strong message to one of their U.S. Senators: it’s time to bring jobs home.
The Working America team visited the office of Sen. Pat Toomey to drop off letters and petitions in support of a bill to close unfair corporate tax loopholes and encourage job creation here.
“As a city that was built on blue-collar work and manufacturing we know as well as anybody the detrimental impact the outsourcing phenomenon has had on workers and their families,” said Kevin Brokt, field director for Working America. He noted that, in every neighborhood he visits, he hears that jobs are the most important issue.
Toomey has the chance to help by voting yes on the Bring Jobs Home Act, a bill that would help reduce the negative effects of outsourcing by ending tax giveaways to companies that ship jobs overseas—and give them incentives to create jobs here instead. This bill, S. 2884, would close loopholes and make sure we can create good jobs here.
This isn’t the first time Toomey’s constituents have called on him to support the bill. Earlier in the week, a group of Steelworkers and other union members even came with an apple pie in hand—but Toomey’s staff didn’t bring them in for a meeting. So when will Toomey listen to the people he works for—and how will he vote?
Todd Foose, a field manager with Working America, talked about the members he’s met who have been hurt by outsourcing:
This spring I met a Working America member here in the Pittsburgh area who really opened my eyes to what outsourcing means to far too many Pennsylvania families. She told me that she’d worked at the same company for nearly fifteen years. After all those years of loyal service and hard work, she and her co-workers came in one day to find that they were all going to be let go in less than six weeks. Their jobs were being outsourced. To add insult to injury, they also found out that day that they would have to spend those last few weeks training their own replacements.
She told me of one co-worker who quit right then and there rather than suffer the indignity of training someone to replace him. But most stayed. It’s a tough economy and jobs are hard to find. And you can’t collect unemployment if you quit your job. Even if you quit to preserve your dignity.
As I talked more with this Working America member, I realized there was a great irony here. While she would have to pay taxes on the unemployment compensation she received, the company that had sent her job overseas and left her unemployed was getting a huge tax write off to send American jobs somewhere else.
I wish I could tell you her story is unique. But all of us here today know that there are thousands more like her across Pennsylvania, and millions more across the country. It is time we stop asking women like her to have their tax dollars fund the companies that are shipping their jobs overseas.
Click here to contact your Senators and ask them to fight for tax fairness and good jobs.