Caterpillar Plant Closure Costs Pulaski County 240 Jobs
Bluefield Daily Telegraph November 27, 2013 - closure of the Caterpillar mining equipment plant in Pulaski, Va., is another troubling blow to the coalfields of Southwest Virginia. The company announced last week that it will be shutting down its mining equipment plant in Pulaski, laying off 240 workers and moving the mining equipment production to its plant in Houston, Pa...The closure and move is expected to be completed by mid-2014.Yet there is more to this story:
The Pulaski facility made scoops, coal haulers and other mining equipment, according to the Associated Press. ... Earlier this year, the company also announced that it was shifting production at its Tazewell, Va., and Beckley facilities to the Pennsylvania plant...
Sen. Phillip Puckett, D-Russell, said last week. Pulaski is located in Puckett's 38th Senatorial district. "The jobs in Pulaski were some of the best jobs in the area. I donít think that the coal industry is dead. Iíve seen nothing on the front burner that replaces 40 percent of our energy needs right now. Coal has a role to play in the future, but what we really need is a national energy policy that will include coal."
The rest of the article goes on about Republicans blaming Obama and the EPA, but they have wasted millions in Tobacco and other grants that was supposed to wean the region away from the coal industry which is in decline more because of natural gas being cheap than the EPA. They are more to blame than the EPA.
Puckett is another example of this corruption - he too was on the Tobacco Commission and he too pilfered millions for his pet projects and cronies. In 2014 he was caught up in a scandal of resigning his State Senate seat accused of getting a cushy six-figure job with the Tobacco Commission. He didn't get the job and another political food fight erupted in Richmond.
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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.
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