What 70 New Jobs at Columbus McKinnon?

More "born again" jobs if could only find them.

May 27, 2014 Washington County Virginia: Another local company has failed to meet it's obligations to create 70 new jobs after getting a $563,000 corporate welfare package. The pork came from the Virginia Tobacco Commission, the Governor's corporate pork fund, and County taxpayers.

Columbus McKinnon a maker of forklifts in Damascus sent General Manager Lance Lacombe before the Board of Supervisors. I already knew they wouldn't enforce the agreement and would give an extension, which they later did. Local government never enforces these agreements and this is a repeating pattern.

But what Mr. Lacombe said raises more troubling questions. To quote Bristol Herald Courier:

He said the company currently employs about 235 people - up from 174 at the time of the agreement. (2009) He acknowledged that the 70 jobs were not consistent each year, as the number of people employed by the company fluctuates to meet the demands of the market.

Yes 174 at the time of the agreement but at one time they had employed beyond the perhaps 235 now I was told a few years ago - that constitutes rehires not new jobs.

About 235 people? Doesn't he even know? In other words there's no evidence of 70 new jobs and he seems somewhat confused. I was told the company once employed about 300 people (a bunch of their employees were in my college class) so even if we got the 70 which he seems to admit is not the case, those are rehires at best. My attempts to verify these claims have come to nothing.

This kind of information is barred under the Virginia Freedom and Information Act and the deals were conducted under closed session with no records being kept.

I'll emphasize I believe Columbus McKinnon has done nothing improper - the problem is political corruption and the misuse and waste of our tax dollars. I challenge those involved to produce a list of those 70 jobs - or whatever.

Mass Immigration Killing the Working Poor Here Too

Immigration reform will cause even more misery for the working poor as an additional 22 million more guest workers over the next decade will further displace native born low-wage workers and already have in East Tennessee and Tri-Cities. Low-wage black workers have been driven out of the labor force across the nation by immigration and the same thing is happening to poor whites in our region as employers hunt for more cheap-exploitable labor.

In fact this has been recommended to business as a way to lower labor costs in the tourist-retirement related industries this region is promoting. Simply put they want to bring in even cheaper labor to displace the working poor that already dominates our private sector labor market. The working poor are ignored and marginalized already and so the system of social apartheid will continue to flourish.