More Cracks Appear In the MTP Foxconn Plan As Milwaukee County Demands an Investigation and Reopens Old Battle Lines

Jeramey Jannene
Eyes on Milwaukee

Will Milwaukeeans Pay for Foxconn Power?

Yes, according to ATC spokesperson. Ald. Robert Bauman wants city to investigate issue.

The $4.1 billion Foxconn deal is reactivating old battle lines.

At the center of Republican opposition to the Milwaukee Streetcar project was the notion that if utilities like We Energies had to pay to relocate their equipment in Milwaukee that would result in their suburban customers paying for the project. That belief led to a controversial case before the state’s Public Service Commission and ultimately a streetcar-specific change in state law. The city ended up having to pay all the relocation costs, a move that added over $15 million to the final price of the streetcar.

Now Alderman Robert Bauman is drawing attention to the potential that the same thing is happening in reverse with Foxconn in Racine County. Milwaukee customers are slated to be on the hook for paying for utility work to connect Foxconn’s 1,200-acre campus to the electric grid.

American Transmission Company, a private utility partially owned by We Energies parent WEC Energy Group, is proposing a $140 million project, including a substation and high voltage power lines to serve the proposed Foxconn campus. According to ATC that campus, which is planned to include up to 20 million square feet of buildings on the south side of Highway 11 in Racine County, would consume more than six times the energy used by the next largest factory in Wisconsin.

The cost for the ATC project would be paid by Wisconsin ratepayers. “The typical residential customer would pay pennies per year over the life of the project,” ATC spokeswoman Alissa Braatz told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

In an email to other city officials Bauman states “Ironically, we are building three substations for the streetcar that we are paying for, not all rate payers (not to mention the $15M in utility relocation costs we are paying for as well). I also know that many real estate developers have had to pay exorbitant costs for electric utility modifications to serve their developments, not rate payers.”

Bauman is sponsoring a communication file that requests the Department of Public Works and City Attorney’s office to report on “public works projects occurring outside of the limits of the City that may involve absorption of utility construction or relocation costs by We Energies rate payers residing in the city of Milwaukee.”

ATC must receive authorization from the Public Service Commission to move forward with the project. The city could object to the proposal, similar to what MacIver Institute President Brett Healy did in 2011 regarding the streetcar.

In 2014, Bauman introduced a file that would grant the City Attorney and Department of Public Works the discretion to object to “municipal public works projects in the We Energies service area that will involve absorption of utility relocation costs by We Energies.” That file directly cites the PSC’s ruling on the streetcar project as the reason for the authorization.

That file is still being held in committee. Bauman intends to bring it forward with the communication file.

The next meeting of the Public Works Committee, which Bauman chairs, is scheduled for January 4th.

The utility measure isn’t the only iron Bauman has in the fire regarding Foxconn. Earlier this month the alderman launched an investigation into the feasibility of building a satellite city for Milwaukee residents that will work for Foxconn. The Foxconn campus, which could employ up to 13,000 people, is proposed for a site over 25 miles from downtown Milwaukee. Bauman has stated his preference is for a robust transit system to connect the campus to Milwaukee, but short of that the city might need to invest in affordable housing near the campus.

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While the Journal Times reports:

Alderman: Milwaukee shouldn’t have to fund Foxconn-related projects

MILWAUKEE — A Milwaukee alderman expects the City Council to object to having its ratepayers share in the cost of $140 million in new electrical transmission line infrastructure needed to serve the planned Foxconn Technology Group manufacturing campus in Mount Pleasant.

And Alderman Robert Bauman believes that Milwaukee will prevail.

American Transmission Co. is seeking approval from the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin for new electric transmission line infrastructure. It includes the new Mount Pleasant substation south of Braun Road along the east side of County Trunk Highway H and Braun Road to provide electrical service for the Foxconn campus.

ATC says the impact on a typical residential electric bill will be shared among approximately 5 million customers over a 40-year period. Company spokeswoman Alyssa Braatz said the project will cost ratepayers “pennies per month, pennies per year.”

ATC will submit an application to the PSC in February and is requesting a decision by August.

On Thursday morning, the Milwaukee city attorney briefed the city Public Works Committee, of which Bauman is chairman, about whether the city could plausibly object to sharing in the cost of ATC’s Foxconn-related projects.

The city attorney said Milwaukee does have standing to object, Bauman said. He added, “That’s probably what we’re going to do.”

Please join Cindy and I is JUST SAYING NO to allowing Governor Scott Walker, Representatives Robin Vos,  Cory Mason & MTP President David DeGroot to violate the Wisconsin Constitution (and their Oath of Office) by granting special rights to Corporate interests, stealing people’s property, destroying multi-generational Farms alongside an entire long established Community, loosening environmental protections, permitting heavy metals water pollution, instituting slave labor wages, providing taxpayer subsidies to multi-billionaire Corporations, and politician overreach.

Foxconn CEO Terry Gou Plays Maharashtra, India Government Officials For Fools – Is Scott Walker and Wisconsin Next?

From the Indian Express:

Written by MANASI PHADKE | Mumbai | Published: May 8, 2016 2:31 am

Make in Maharashtra: Foxconn’s $5 billion investment plan in state runs into delay

Prior to its much larger unit at Talegaon in western Maharashtra, Foxconn, the world’s largest contract electronics manufacturer, was to start a mobile phones production facility in Navi Mumbai by March or April.

Even as the state government is fervently working towards converting its multi-crore agreements signed to further its ‘Make in Maharashtra’ mission to actual investments, one of the state’s largest investment proposals, a $5 billion deal with Foxconn, has run into delays.

Prior to its much larger unit at Talegaon in western Maharashtra, Foxconn, the world’s largest contract electronics manufacturer, was to start a mobile phones production facility in Navi Mumbai by March or April. However, due to certain internal issues, the Taiwan-based company has now postponed its plans to mid-2016.

State Industries Minister Subhash Desai told The Sunday Express, “The company is having some issues with some of its clients. Representatives from the firm have said they plan to start production by June.”

Foxconn, the tradename for Hon Hai Precision Industry Co Ltd, has leased two industrial sheds at Turbhe, in a deal facilitated by the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC). The plots, leased for a five-year period, have a capacity of about 2 lakh sqft.

A senior official from the state industries department said, “The company will manufacture mobile phones of InFocus from the Navi Mumbai unit, and later has plans to make laptops as well.” InFocus, a US-based corporation, has a tie-up with Foxconn to jointly develop consumer electronics such as mobile phones, tablets and LED television sets.

A spokesperson from the Foxconn Technology Group said, “As a matter of company policy, we do not comment on market rumours or speculation. However, we can confirm that a pilot site in Maharashtra will begin manufacturing cellphones in mid-2016. Our significant plans in India are being finalised and will be rolled out in phases over the next five years.”

Separately, the MIDC is in the process of acquiring land, about 1,500 acres, at Talegaon for the company, which counts Apple, BlackBerry, Motorola and Xiami as some of its customers, to set up a larger manufacturing unit.

Some senior officials from the state government and the MIDC are, however, a bit jittery about Foxconn’s promised investment, which is touted to be one of the largest FDI projects in the country in recent times.

A senior official said, “The company is not communicating its overall plans in the state to us properly, which makes us a bit concerned. They should interact with the Maharashtra government more clearly.”

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WHOA!  WAIT! The above story is now 2 years old – published on May 8, 2016 2:31 am !

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Nearly two years later:

By: Express News Service | Mumbai | Published: November 14, 2017 5:22 am

Foxconn project stuck, minister says firm has stopped communicating

Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis speak to Velha village through video conference as a part of Digital Maharashtra along with Industrial Minister, Subhash Desai, Education Minister, Vinod Tawde, Prakash Mehta at Shanmukhanand Auditorium in Mumbai on Sunday. Express Photo by Ganesh Shirsekar. 02.10.2016. Mumbai.

Industries Minister Subhash Desai said Monday there had been no progress on the proposed investments from Taiwanese giant Foxconn. He said communication between the state and the company had been at a standstill.
“Geopolitical situations and the strained relationship between India and China may have affected prospects. The firm has stopped communicating with us about the project,” Desai said.

It has been over 26 months since the company first signed an agreement to invest USD 5 billion in the state in what was then touted as the largest FDI project in the country and the Devendra Fadnavis government’s major achievement.

The company has been for the last two years scouting for locations in Pune, Konkan as well as areas around Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust for its plant, which will manufacture components for mobile phones. The state government through MIDC is to help in procurement of the land. However, there has not been much headway on identification of the potential location or site, which had fuelled speculation on whether the company would go ahead with its plans.

Foxconn has revenues of close to $134 billion and caters to leading companies as a contract electronics manufacturer. Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had earlier said the tension between India and China had caused a minor blip in the project. He had also stated that the company had raised some issues with the Centre, which were being addressed, and that he was hopeful of the company’s investment in India.

Desai, meanwhile, defended Maharashtra’s status as an investment destination and said the perception that the state was losing out on investments to other states was wrong. “Most of the statistics being shown to state that Maharashtra is losing out as an industrial destination are deduced through the Industrial Entrepreneurs Memorandum.

These are submitted in two stages once while signing of MoUs and other when production actually begins. The filling of these IEMs is voluntary. There have been various instances when companies after taking approvals of mega project offer letters have not filed IEM. So to deduce that these IEM filings give true picture of total investment is wrong,” he said.

As per the Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion, Desai claimed, Maharashtra had seen an investment of Rs 9122 cr till September 2017, which was the highest in the country.

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Only 3 years earlier – in 2015 –

Written by MANASI PHADKE | Mumbai | Published: September 25, 2015 2:08 am

Foxconn scouts for land in state, industrial shed in Navi Mumbai

The terms of the investment and any incentives that are to be given to the company are still under discussion,” the official said.

Having committed to invest $5 billion in Maharashtra, Foxconn, the world’s largest electronics contract manufacturer, has started the groundwork for what is touted to be one of the biggest Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) projects in the country in recent times.

Besides land for a large manufacturing facility in Western Maharashtra, Foxconn is also scouting for an industrial shed in Navi Mumbai for ancillary operations and is gearing up for the functioning of its corporate office at the World Trade Centre in Cuffe Parade.

The Taiwan-based company has sent a request to the state government to help the firm identify a suitable plot in Navi Mumbai and facilitate the transaction.

“They have raised a request for a readymade industrial shed on an urgent basis. We don’t know what purpose the company needs it for, but we are addressing their requirement,” said state industries minister Subhash Desai.

A senior official in the state industries department said the company was specifically looking for an industrial shed somewhere in Navi Mumbai of 50,000-60,000 sqm (12-15 acres) for assembly.

“This will mostly be a private plot, but the government will facilitate the process of identification and purchase for them,” he said. The state government has already committed 1,500 acres to the company, which counts smartphone makers such as Apple, BlackBerry, Motorola and Xiaomi as its customers.

“We have identified the land to be allotted at Talegaon and Khopoli and are in the process of closing negotiations for land acquisition at certain places.

The terms of the investment and any incentives that are to be given to the company are still under discussion,” the official said.

Meanwhile, Foxconn, the trade name for Hon Hai Precision Industry Co Ltd, has set up a corporate office on the 32nd floor, occupying almost the entire floor, in the World Trade Centre building, which also houses the principal office of the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC).

A senior MIDC official said the corporate office of the company would start functioning from October 1. “Besides, the company wants to wait for its plan of disclosure on the Maharashtra plant,” he added.

Foxconn had, last month, signed a memorandum of understanding with the state government for an investment of $5 billion over five years in a new manufacturing facility in the state that the chief minister said could create employment for about 50,000 people.

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Yep.

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Please join Cindy and I is JUST SAYING NO to allowing Governor Scott Walker, Representatives Robin Vos,  Cory Mason & MTP President David DeGroot to violate the Wisconsin Constitution (and their Oath of Office) by granting special rights to Corporate interests, stealing people’s property, destroying multi-generational Farms alongside an entire long established Community, loosening environmental protections, permitting heavy metals water pollution, instituting slave labor wages, providing taxpayer subsidies to multi-billionaire Corporations, and politician overreach.

 

Crony Capitalism & Foxconn: The Most Expensive Taxpayer-Funded Jobs Program In History

The costs for Taxpayers only continues to increase while the proposed Foxconn manufacturing facility has not yet materialized.

No doubt, WI Governor Scott Walker continues to make history!

OOPS! That sort of talk is strictly verboten.

The new history is forcing WI Taxpayers to fund one of the most expensive and potentially unconstitutional and destructive jobs programs  in the entire World!

 

Wisconsin & Foxconn: The Most Expensive Taxpayer-Funded Jobs Program In History

By Allan Golombek
December 26, 2017

The people of Wisconsin gave Taiwan-based Foxconn a billion-dollar gift for Christmas, on top of $3 billion they had already promised the company. So far, they haven’t even received a thank-you card – just the promise of the most expensive taxpayer-funded jobs in history.

This summer, Wisconsin politicians announced they had lured a new Foxconn LCD flat panel plant to southeast Wisconsin with a $3 billion incentive package, in return for a $10 billion investment from the company. But, like many government giveaways to the corporate sector, the bill to taxpayers has gotten even bigger. The Wisconsin Economic Development Agency agreed to a significant reduction in Foxconn’s commitment, down to $9 billion. This was after the state legislature okayed the deal without nailing down the details.

The state legislative bureau estimated it would take 25 years – until 2043 – until the Wisconsin government received enough in additional tax revenues to match the initial $3 billion investment. At $4 billion-plus, the break-even point will recede even further into the future.

But Wisconsinites aren’t the only ones who will pay the tab. At between $250,000 and $1 million per job, the Foxconn deal will raise the entry stakes for every jurisdiction seeking to attract new investments – or perhaps even just to retain them. Just like the value of your home is determined by how much the house down the street sold for, the going rate for government giveaways to companies is based partly on how much other governments have demonstrated a willingness to pay.

The steep price Wisconsin has committed to paying to host Foxconn will ripple across other states and municipalities. In 2015 alone, state and local business incentives came to $45 billion, including tax credits, property tax abatements, investment tax credits, R&D tax credits and customized job training, according to the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research. And the cost has been going up; business incentives have more than tripled since 1990.

And the Wisconsin state government is not even sure what the full price is yet – or how many jobs they will actually be getting for it. The village and county where the plant is to be located have chipped in another $764 million in tax incentives. The state has also agreed to spend over $400 on new roads and road widenings and improvements to facilitate the plant. (Although some of these transportation improvements were anticipated eventually.)

Local residents don’t just get to pay for the boondoggle through their taxes; they can also expect to pay increased electricity rates. American Transmission Company has announced it will spend $140 million to build a new substation to provide electric power to Foxconn, with the cost to be charged to electricity customers in southeast Wisconsin.

How many jobs will the deal actually create? The notion of 13,000 jobs is actually a goal, not a guarantee. The legislative bureau acknowledged that some estimates place the probable payroll as low as 3,000. The agency tasked with holding Foxconn accountable has a history of failing to verify job-creation claims and rewarding companies that fall short of quotas, according to state audits. How long will the jobs actually last? Foxconn has launched an extensive commitment to automation and robotics, eliminating tens of thousands of jobs in China with the introduction of specially-designed “Foxbots” – with the stated goal of eliminating almost their entire global workforce.

Moreover, how many of the jobs will actually go to residents of Wisconsin – the people paying for the party? The legislative bureau had estimated that about 10 percent of Foxconn workers would be residents of nearby Illinois. But a preliminary analysis commissioned by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation estimated as many as half of the construction workers and Foxconn workforce could come from outside the state.

The most ironic aspect of the deal is that the biggest shortage the state’s economy faces is not jobs, but the people with the skills needed to perform them. “We need bodies,” Gov. Scott Walker has admitted. Actually, they need skilled people. So much so that Walker has pledged to spend $6.8 million on an ad campaign to help attract residents from out of state to work for Foxconn. The state will spend $20 million on worker training over two years to ensure a pipeline of workers for Foxconn – and for small businesses that lose employees to the massive plant.

Rather than investing in people, too many governments are giving money to corporations in the pursuit of jobs that may not last long and may never return the investment. Wisconsin is setting the pace right now with its multi-billion dollar giveaway to Foxconn. Maybe it is time for governments to kick the habit. Sometimes, just saying ‘no’ could be a viable strategy.

Allan Golombek is a Senior Director at the White House Writers Group.

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From Urban Milwaukee & Murphy’s Law:

Bruce Murphy

Foxconn Subsidy Now Exceeds $4 Billion

Government subsidy keeps increasing while Foxconn’s required investment has declined.

When the state deal with Taiwanese company Foxconn was first announced, the numbers were bold and clear: the company would get $3 billion in subsidies from the state and in turn would build a $10 billion plant and create 13,000 jobs.

That stood not just as the largest subsidy in state history, but the largest government subsidy to a foreign company in American history.

But the giveaway has continued to grow, while Foxconn’s required investment has shrunk. After legislation was passed approving the deal without determining the specifics, the Wisconsin Economic Development Agency hammered out the details that dropped Foxconn’s required investment in its new plant to just $9 billion. The Journal Sentinel has reported this, yet its stories keep referring to the $10 billion plant.

Meanwhile the Village of Mount Pleasant and Racine County agreed to give Foxconn $764 million in tax incentives. The measure also commits the state to paying 40 percent of local governments’ expenses for the plant “if ever called upon to do so.”

The state will also spend $30 million on a new two-mile road east of I-94 to be called “Wisconn Valley Way,” and aimed at easing traffic congestion near Foxconn’s plant.

And last week we learned the Walker administration will also siphon $134 million from the state transportation fund to widen and improve several local roads near the future Foxconn factory, as a report by the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau disclosed. The Department of Transportation didn’t give the fiscal bureau an exact estimate for the local Foxconn roadwork when it was requested, but the bureau found the information “referenced in a grant application for $246.2 million in federal funds for the nearby I-94 project,” the Wisconsin State Journal reported.

Those roads include County KR, Braun Rd. and state Highway 11, according to Kevin Muhs, Deputy Director of the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission. The local roads will be turned into state highways so state transportation can be used on them.

The Foxconn development has also pushed the state to spend $252 million to expand I-94 from six to eight lanes from College Ave. in Milwaukee County south to Highway 142 in Kenosha County. While it was anticipated this would eventually be done, it was far from guaranteed, given huge shortfalls in the transportation fund and delays in other projects. What is certain is that the I-94 widening and $134 million in local road improvements by the state will lead to longer delays or cancellations of other projects in the state.

The state has also applied for $240 million federal grant to help pay for the I-94 widening.

Gov. Walker has also pledged to spend $6.8 million on an ad campaign to help attract out-of-state residents for Foxconn. “We need bodies,” he confessed. The Fiscal Bureau had estimated that about 10 percent of Foxconn workers will be Illinois residents, but a preliminary analysis commissioned by Walker’s Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. estimated as many as half of the construction workers and Foxconn workforce could come from other states, primarily Illinois, as the State Journal reported.

Meanwhile American Transmission Company has announced it will build a new substation to provide electric power to Foxconn at a cost of $140 million, which will then be charged to the 5 million customers of We Energies in southeast Wisconsin. The project “essentially would ask the public to contribute still more to Foxconn through higher electric rates,” the Journal Sentinel reported.

Foxconn has also been exempted from environmental regulations, and some experts believe this will cause pollution that might eventually require remediation paid for by taxpayers. And Foxconn’s newest demand is for its plant to be treated as a foreign trade zone, which could reduce its customs duties and cut the company’s costs. Odds are, it’s not the last demand the company will make.

Ald. Bob Bauman tallied the total costs for taxpayers in a speech before a Common Council committee and concluded it would cost $4.5 billion. That might be a tad high, unless you believe the I-94 widening would have never happened. But even without it, the total cost is nearly $4.1 billion, to get a $ 9 billion plant. That’s astounding: a cost of $1,774 per household in Wisconsin.

Back when the subsidy was $3 billion the Fiscal Bureau estimated it would take till 2043 or later for taxpayer to recoup all the money being spent, and even that was based on “speculative” figures on spinoff jobs, it noted. At $4.1 billion it’s safe to say it will take until 2050 to recoup those costs.

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A Video About Unsustainable Systems, Growth, Technology, The Market & Governments.

 

The Unconstitutional Foxconn Special Legislation Is Merely a Lawsuit Waiting to Happen

Special Edition Holiday Post: h/t A Better Mount Pleasant

Attorney Rick Eisenberg discusses his lawsuit against the city of Eau Claire, an action the attorney general’s office says could imperil Foxconn.

From WILL

Voters With Facts v. Eau Claire

Type of Case: TIF Districts

Court: Eau Claire County Circuit Court, Wisconsin Court of Appeals

Case Number: 15-CV-175, 15-AP-1858

Filed On: March 12, 2015

Current Status: Pending before the Wisconsin Supreme Court

Eau Claire is using TIF districts to hand millions of dollars to a private developer in order to build a new performing arts center and other buildings in its historic downtown district. TIF districts have become the favorite tool of crony capitalists to pay off well-connected business owners while making it “look” like taxes aren’t being spent. TIF districts were created by the legislature to permit cities to deal with truly run-down dumps by permitting those cities to borrow against the growth in tax revenue that development of such blighted areas would bring. But cities are first supposed to make sure that (1) the area is truly blighted, and (2) development wouldn’t happen in the area without the TIF district.

In Eau Claire, neither of those two things happened – the government officials merely reached those conclusions without actually seeing any evidence that they were true. On behalf of Voters With Facts, a group opposed to the project, and dozens of local property taxpayers, we sued to challenge two TIF districts.

The circuit court dismissed our case, concluding that the plaintiffs lacked standing (despite case law stretching back a hundred years permitting taxpayers to challenge the unlawful expenditure of tax dollars) and that it would be improper for a court to “second guess” a city’s decision to create a TIF district.

We appealed, and the appellate court partially reversed.  The court agreed that the plaintiffs lacked standing, under a different theory than that used by the circuit court – that the plaintiffs were wrong on the merits and therefore lacked standing.  However, the court also concluded that our alternative claim for certiorari review could survive.

The Wisconsin Supreme Court granted a petition to hear the case, which will be scheduled for oral argument in the first half of 2018.

 More and more it appears that the only thing MTP President David DeGroot will be flushing down that bright new shiny sewer will be taxpayers  dollars!

From The JT:

DeGroot: Highway V gang has bad attitude

MTP President David DeGroot says: “Let’s  flush the Highway V-gang and their crappy attitudes down the shiny new sewer heading their way”.

David DeGroot, speaking as Trustee (now Village President)

Mount Pleasant

OK – Dave…..

But what happens when everyone doesn’t feel like letting you steal their property, give it to a foreign Corporation – and force them to pay for the privilege of you stealing their property by “special” unconstitutional legislation?

It’s time to end the madness.

Please join Cindy and I is JUST SAYING NO to allowing Governor Scott Walker, Representatives Robin Vos,  Cory Mason & MTP President David DeGroot to violate the Wisconsin Constitution (and their Oath of Office) by granting special rights to Corporate interests, stealing people’s property, destroying multi-generational Farms alongside an entire long established Community, loosening environmental protections, permitting heavy metals water pollution, instituting slave labor wages, providing taxpayer subsidies to multi-billionaire Corporations, and politician overreach.

At least it is only Taxpayer Money – and debt – which is endless – according to the Politicians who rule Wisconsin.

Talking Racine Dissects the Fuzzy Math Behind the $765 Million Dollars Mt Pleasant and Racine County are Borrowing for the Foxconn Development

Talking Racine episode 48, discusses the $765 Million dollars Mt Pleasant and Racine County are borrowing to extend services to the proposed Foxconn development. They break it down:

To make matters even worse, is what is being hidden from the WI Taxpayers who are providing the financing and backstopping of the Foxconn project.

From Milwaukee Business News:

Contract gives Foxconn chance at 3,000 job cushion to avoid clawbacks

Could leave employment well below targets without repayment

A Letter From The Indian Workers of the International Metalworkers Federation to Foxconn CEO Terry Gou

Concerned Residents of Mount Pleasant and Racine County need to be aware of how horrible Foxconn treats it’s workers in India before they allow the same conditions to set back the freedoms and rights that Workers in Wisconsin have already fought for, won, and enjoy:

Defying police attacks, Foxconn workers in India continue strike

Thousands of workers are continuing their walkout at a factory owned by Taiwan-based Foxconn corporation in Sriperumbudur, in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu despite violent attacks by police. On September 24, police forces broke up an occupation of the plant by workers, brutally beating dozens and detaining 1,200 workers for a whole day before releasing them in the evening.

            Striking workers at Foxconn plant in Sriperumbudur, India

This was the second occupation in Sriperumbudur broken up by police in recent months. In June, police attacked and arrested 300 workers conducting a sit-down strike at the Korean-owned Hyundai automobile plant in the city.

Foxconn Corporation, which has 920,000 employees worldwide, recently gained international notoriety for the brutal conditions inside its factories after 10 workers at its Chinese plant in Shenzen committed suicide. (See, “Foxconn suicides highlight China’s sweatshop conditions”)

With 7,000 workers Foxconn India is the third largest industrial employer in Tamil Nadu after Hyundai and Nokia. Workers at the factory began an occupation—a form of struggle widely practiced in India—on September 21. They demanded that management negotiate a pay increase and extend recognition to their trade union Thozilalar Sangam (FITS).

Mass arrests, Locking up of Foxconn Workers and FITS Union Leaders, Illegal Suspensions, Repression of Indian Workers

Dear Mr. Gou,

On behalf of 25 million metalworkers represented by the International Metalworkers’ Federation (IMF) with strength in more than 100 countries, I write to convey our outrage at the locking up of Foxconn India employees and their trade union leaders at Vellore Central Jail after the Indian employees asked Foxconn for their legal rights. We call on you to ensure:

–        that the complaints behind these charges are dropped and to ensure the immediate release of Foxconn India Thozhilalar Sangam (hereafter, FITS Union) honorary president A. Soundararajan, Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) Kanchipuram District Secretary E. Muthu Kumar and the ten other FITS union leaders;

–        that all the Indian Foxconn workers victimized by suspension or paycuts for participating in union activities be immediately reinstated at their jobs with full back pay; and

–        that Foxconn immediately enter good faith negotiations with the FITS union to resolve these issues and ongoing problems stemming from working and employment conditions at the Foxconn plant in Nokia SEZ of Tamil Nadu, India.

In our view, the recognition and pay issues raised by Foxconn’s Indian employees need not have escalated to hunger strike, sit-in strike and mass arrest if the management had not turned a deaf ear to the workers’ written requests of August 24, 2010 and September 6, 2010 that Foxconn India management recognize the FITS Union—which had already gained legal status as a trade union of the Foxconn employees under the Indian law with registration number 504-KPM—and for Foxconn to begin wage talks with FITS Union.

Foxconn India management’s clear lack of willingness to negotiate with FITS Union, and management’s sudden September 21 announcement of its intention to conclude wage negotiations with another group (the Foxconn India Thozhilarlar Munnetra Sangam FITMS union, hereafter FITMS) forced these Foxconn employees to opt for 1500-person mass hunger strike and sit-in as of 12 am on September 22, 2010. Only then, on September 22, and in the presence of officials of the Tamil Nadu government and other witnesses, did the Foxconn India management agree to begin talks with the FITS union, scheduling the first round of negotiations for September 27, 2010. The government authorities categorically advised the Foxconn management not to engage in any actions that might victimize workers.

Trusting the company to uphold its commitment before the employees and the government in good faith, the Indian Foxconn employees of FITS Union stopped the sit-in hunger strike.

For these reasons, Foxconn’s posting notice the very next day (September 23) that it would dock 8-days of wages from the workers who participated in the peaceful sit-in and the company’s claim that it had just concluded an agreement with FITMS and thus could not bargain with FITS as publicly promised the day before is treated as a betrayal by the local community. This is why the Foxconn workers continue to demand negotiations and why the local labor authority asked Foxconn on October 1 to provide a written response to the FITS demands.

This failure of the Foxconn India management to respond to conciliation initiatives with dialogue and the sheer betrayal of their publicly-made commitments gave the Foxconn India employees no choice but to resume the sit-in on September 24, 2010 calling for negotiations or even for a fairly administered ballot to demonstrate FITS is the union representing the overwhelming majority of Foxconn India employees.

Having undermined efforts to establish working relationships by the above behaviour, the Foxconn management then turned to brute repression of the workers by having 1500 striking workers including women workers brutally dragged out, detained illegally by police until 8 pm–in some cases, giving rise to incidents where Foxconn women workers report being harassed and physically abused.

We remind you that on 22 September, 27 September, 30 September and 1 October, Tamil Nadu government authorities instructed Foxconn India not to victimize its Indian workers since punishing workers for exercising labor rights is illegal. Despite the categorical, unambiguous guidance of the Tamil Nadu labor authorities with explicit reference that it would be illegal for the company to continue with suspension of 23 trade union activists, Foxconn India appears intent on openly flouting the Indian government authorities and the law in order to deny fundamental human rights such as freedom of association and collective bargaining to its employees in India.

Less than a month ago, you stood before the Chinese press to make the claim, “Foxconn is not a sweatshop.” Yet, unlike your loose allegation that Foxconn management style was unrelated to the string of suicides in your facilities, the sequence of events in India and illegal suspensions taken by Foxconn to bully Indian workers into submission are direct acts taken by Foxconn management in flagrant disregard of local labor authorities with tight causality. Denying your employees the freedom of association, even locking up the Foxconn workers and their union leaders for exercising labor rights are in our view egregious rights violations characteristic of a sweatshop.

We urge you to take immediate action to address the rapidly worsening situation in Tamil Nadu Foxconn. I have today also written to the government authorities in Tamil Nadu and to the CEO of Nokia to advise them of the situation and to seek their assistance in redressing the abuses of workers’ rights at Foxconn.

Sincerely,

Jyrki Raina
IMF General Secretary

Standing up for the Rights of Wisconsin Workers and Property Owners is going to require a Community Effort!

Please join Cindy and I is JUST SAYING NO to allowing Governor Scott Walker, Representatives Robin Vos,  Cory Mason & MTP President David DeGroot to violate the Wisconsin Constitution (and their Oath of Office) by granting special rights to Corporate interests, stealing people’s property, destroying multi-generational Farms alongside an entire long established Community, loosening environmental protections, permitting heavy metals water pollution, instituting slave labor wages, providing taxpayer subsidies to multi-billionaire Corporations, and politician overreach.

 

 

The Boom/Bust Lessons of Williston ND Will Prove to be a Bitter Pill for Scott Walker and SE WI to Swallow

From Wisconsin NPR

“Walker Announces National Ad Campaign To Attract Workers”

Walker To Seek $6.8M For Ad Campaign To Lure Millennials To Wisconsin

Gov. Scott Walker on Wednesday announced plans to seek approval from the state Legislature to spend $6.8 million in state money on a marketing campaign aimed at luring more workers to Wisconsin.

“We need to go beyond our borders to attract and then in turn retain more talent here in the state of Wisconsin,” Walker said at a Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce event in Madison.

At the event, the governor introduced a plan to work with the state Legislature to fund and launch a campaign to attract who he called “Midwest millennials” to live and work in the state.

The campaign will target millennials by focusing on things like cheaper homes and shorter commutes in Wisconsin, compared to urban areas in neighboring states.

“I support the governor’s plan to market Wisconsin’s employment opportunities to out-of-state workers,” said Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau, in a statement. “I look forward to hearing more about the proposal in the coming weeks and discussing it with my caucus when we reconvene in January.”

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester, said he’s been aware of the campaign for a while, which he said is being helmed in the Assembly by Rep. Mike Rohrkaste, R-Neenah.

If Governor Scott Walker needs to spend at least $6.8 million to attract (maybe) 13,000 workers to SE Wisconsin what does that say about SE Wisconsin and the people who live there?

And what happens when those projected construction jobs – at least 10,000 are claimed – END?

The lessons from the Bakken Shale Oil Field and Williston ND will prove why Walker’s misstep in calling for Out of State workers will create a nightmare with an exploding demand for social services, Police, Fire, and unemployment claims.

From Reuters Investigates:

What The Boom And Bust Of Williston, North Dakota Teaches Us About The Future Of Cities

The fracking party is over, and a quiet desperation has descended on the state’s once-booming communities and the thousands of people who were drawn to them.

More than 80,000 people poured into North Dakota, looking to stake their future on the fracking economy. The state’s Bakken oil patch, centered here in Williston, was a magnet for oil workers, business investors and job-hungry folks.

That future has evaporated. Those who haven’t packed up and left the Bakken are facing a new reality of smaller budgets, fewer residents and the physical detritus of a building boom that left behind hundreds of empty apartments.

Williston’s Walmart has cut hourly pay 15 percent. The Salvation Army, facing slipping donations, reduced gasoline and food assistance by a third. Statewide, oil tax revenue is down nearly 70 percent from this time last year.

EXTREME MEASURES: Dave Van Assche has started taking odd jobs around the U.S. to cover costs at his once-thriving postal services business. REUTERS/Andrew Cullen

“No one has any money to spend here anymore,” said an exotic dancer at Williston’s Heartbreakers strip club. She estimated that tips had gone down more than 60 percent since last fall.

Until recently, oilfield roughnecks were making more than $100,000 a year on average. Few command those salaries today. Many of those roughnecks used to line up outside Heartbreakers every day for its 4 p.m. opening, regardless of the weather, which plumbs 0°F (-18°C) in the dark of winter.

‘ALL YOUR EGGS IN ONE BASKET’

North Dakota has lived through cheap oil before.

Booms and busts in the 1950s and 1980s left many of the state’s western communities mired in debt. Williston didn’t pay off the millions of dollars it owed from municipal projects of the 1980s oil boom until the early 2000s.

Despite that experience, many welcomed the infusion of capital when Continental Resources Inc, Whiting Petroleum Corp and other oil producers began using horizontal fracking in 2008 and 2009 to tap the 7.4 billion barrels of oil estimated to lie beneath their feet.

New roads, schools, community centers and other public facilities began sprouting up, funded largely by oil tax revenue.

NAKED TRUTH: Oilfield workers used to line up nightly to get into Heartbreakers, but the strip club closed recently after a sharp decline in business that left it nearly empty most nights. REUTERS/Andrew Cullen

Now, Continental and others have stopped fracking altogether in North Dakota. Statewide, there are only eight crews fracking new wells for the few companies still willing to pay for the service. Two years ago, there were 45, a peak for the teams that pump water, sand and chemicals deep underground to extract oil and natural gas.

“This boom, it’s over, at least it feels that way,” said Mark Ohl, who lost his job on a drilling rig after Continental canceled its contract. “But if you don’t know the oil industry is cyclical, you’re an idiot.”

Ohl now spends days hunting for jobs and drinks Pabst Blue Ribbon beer most nights at Cattails, a Williston dive bar with a deer head and Bud Light beer mirrors pinned to the walls.

The slowdown has also inflicted pain on community budgets. Williston’s debt and other liabilities nearly quadrupled from 2008 to 2014, to $158 million, as the city sought to keep pace with growth.

Yet the city’s sales tax receipts fell 47 percent in March from a year earlier, according to the state treasurer.

Moody’s Corp, the credit rating agency, downgraded Williston’s general obligation bonds in March to junk status, citing the city’s reliance on those sales taxes to repay debt.

“Putting all your eggs in one basket can be very risky, and I think we’re seeing that bear out in Williston and North Dakota now,” said Hetty Chang, a Moody’s analyst.

 

From Fox News US:

Dark side of ND’s oil boom: Meth, heroin, cartels – all part of growing drug trade

The oil boom in the Bakken shale fields has touched off an explosion of growth and wealth on this remote wind-swept prairie. Big money is raining down in small towns. Oil rigs light up the night sky. But the bonanza suddenly flourishing here has also brought with it a dark side: a growing trade in meth, heroin, cocaine and marijuana, the shadow of sinister cartels and newfound violence.

Small-town police forces have been struggling to keep pace. In nearby Watford City, for instance, police calls for service have multiplied at a staggering rate — almost 100 times — in a five-year period. County jails overflow on weekend nights. Local sheriffs no longer know every name and face when they stroll down Main Street.

Drugs and dealers are popping up in all kinds of places: Heroin is being trafficked on isolated Indian reservations. Mexican cartels are slowly making inroads in small-town America. And hard-core criminals are bringing drugs in from other states, sometimes concealing them in ingenious ways: liquid meth in windshield wiper reservoirs.

“Organized drug dealers are smart,” says U.S. Attorney Tim Purdon. “They’re good businessmen. They go where the demand is and that’s what we’re seeing here. … There’s simply a lot of money involved, a lot of money flowing around in those communities.”

With the problems becoming more pronounced, the feds are pouring in resources to bolster local police and drug task forces.

“We’re battling our butts off to stay ahead of this,” Purdon says. “Our concern is that this is an open market and as people start to compete, the violence will increase. … There’s nothing less at stake here than our way of life.”

These days, the drug trade looks a lot different.

Meth is still most common, but most of it originates in Mexico. It’s more potent and is generally being found in larger quantities. (In Ward County, about two hours away, meth seizures jumped from $63,200 in 2012 to $404,600 last year, according to the sheriff’s office.)

Heroin is more visible, something that “scares me,” says Busching, who adds that he’d probably rate the drug problem in his county a 7 on a scale of 10.

Prices are up, too, fueled by demand in an area where lots of young men are flush with cash, far from their families and have little to do in their spare time. Authorities say a gram of meth that might sell for $120 in big cities can cost $200 in Williston. In Montana, an ounce that might have sold for $800 in 2008 now goes for about $2,400-$2800.

Guns also are increasingly becoming part of the business.

“We’re seeing a lot more armed drug traffickers than I’ve previously noticed,” says Derek Hill, an ATF agent in Bismarck. “It’s kind of a two-way street,” he adds, with guns used as protection and for barter.

The ATF opened a bureau last year in the tiny town of Bottineau and within the first five months, the agent had opened 14 weapons cases throughout western North Dakota, many also involving drugs, says Scott Sweetow, special agent in charge in the region.

Another difference: Authorities are seeing more criminals from out of state, some with long rap sheets. One of the suspects arrested by the Bottineau agent had 15 felonies, according to the ATF.

Local police chiefs deal with the tragic results.

In New Town, a hamlet that sits on the Fort Berthold reservation, Art Walgren, police chief until recently, said he knew when a new batch of heroin arrived, because there’d be a rash of overdoses.

Like many oil patch towns, drugs are part of a larger crime wave that includes more thefts, bar fights and domestic violence. “We kind of run around plugging holes in the dikes,” Walgren said, “hoping they don’t break.”

Local police desperately need the help.

A North Dakota State University study released last year, called “Policing the Patch,” found the number of police calls for service in Williston had quadrupled from 2005 to 2011 to nearly 16,000. In Watford City — about 30 miles away — there were just 41 calls in 2006. In 2011: almost 4,000.

Nearly a third of police officers in the study said the drug problem is acute.

Judge David Nelson sees some of those lawbreakers in his court.

A 31-year veteran of the bench, Nelson, presiding judge of the Northwest judicial district of North Dakota, says the most dramatic change in crime that has occurred is the degree of violence. “It’s not just two guys duking it out and shaking hands,” he says. “The knives come out. People drive cars over other people. The guns come out.”

Nelson estimates more than half his cases involve newcomers.

Before the boom, he says, “I pretty much knew most of the defendants. I knew their parents, their kids, their grandparents, their next-door neighbors. Now I can go weeks and see people I’ve never seen before. It’s amazing how many people are arrested within days of getting here.”

With workers living in temporary addresses and drug dealers adept at blending in, investigators find it hard to develop the kind of who’s who of local crime that other police departments have at their fingertips.

Every day, Sheriff Scott Busching — a self-described “die-hard, old-school cop” — faces the ever-changing landscape that is the Bakken:

More serious traffic accidents. (He stopped riding his motorcycle, selling his Harley.) More arrests. And a county jail filled to capacity. (The average nightly inmate population has jumped from 24 five years ago to 135.)

The veteran sheriff says he once employed a “North Dakota nice” philosophy where law enforcement tried to solve problems, whenever possible, by avoiding tickets and jailing people. Now there’s no time for that.

 

So Governor Scott Walker along with Representatives Robin Vos and Cory Mason want to violate the Wisconsin Constitution, steal people’s property, destroy generational Farms & a Community, loosen environmental protections, and provide taxpayer subsidies to multi-billionaires and their Corporations – YOU CAN COUNT US OUT OF THEIR CRIMINAL REVOLUTION AGAINST THE PEOPLE!

The Foxconn Deal By The Numbers – It’s Simply a Bad Deal For Wisconsin Taxpayers -and a Goldmine For Foxconn CEO Terry Gou

It has become evident that Governor Scott Walker has miserably failed in his promise to bring 250,000 jobs to Wisconsin and thus desperation has set in – as a failed Governor and the Wisconsin GOP mindlessly grasp at anything to show forward progress – and thus the Foxconn deal was hastily put together and numbers thrown about – but as of this moment – the basket of eggs that Scott Walker is counting on is not only empty – it is in negative territory.

The raw numbers being thrown around are $3 billion in tax credits, for 13,000 jobs, over 10 years.   So let’s do the math – and see what the taxpayer subsidy for Foxconn CEO Terry Gou will be:

$3 Billion Dollars divided by 13,000 jobs = a taxpayer subsidy of $230,769 per job.

$230,769 per job divided by 10 years = $23,077 taxpayer subsidy per year, per job.

With a projected annual pay of  $30,000 – required by law to be eligible for the tax credits, this means that Terry Gou’s cost per employee is $30,000 minus the Wisconsin taxpayer subsidy of $23,077 = $6,923 per employee.

With a required 2,080 hours to be considered a full time employee – $6,923 divided by 2,080 hours = Foxconn’s CEO Terry Gou cost of labor at $3.33 per hour.

The numbers used in the above were obtained from the draft agreement between WEDC and Foxconn – available by clicking on Foxconn Deal

MarketWatch  does an even better analysis of the numbers and why Foxconn Terry Gou has outfoxxed mathematically illiterate and reactionary Wisconsin Politicians:

Opinion: This 1 number sums up why that Foxconn deal is over-the-top bad for Wisconsin

Subsidies equal $66,600 a year for each of the 3,000 initial workers

Foxconn’s announcement of plans for a $10 billion factory in southwestern Wisconsin is big news for those of us who care deeply about the manufacturing economy in the Midwest.

Still, the numbers on this economic development deal, touted as the largest in state history, don’t seem to add up on many counts. In fact, by one measure, the subsidy from Wisconsin taxpayers could more than cover the salaries Foxconn will pay its workers.

Here are three reasons that Wisconsin taxpayers should question this deal.

1. Worldwide, Foxconn 2354, -0.90%  sold about $136 billion in goods last year while employing 1.3 million workers. That translates into labor productivity of about $105,000 per worker. That is pretty good given that most of the Foxconn factories are in developing counties.

But by American standards that is lousy. By comparison, on a per-worker basis, Wal-Mart Stores WMT, +0.69%  sells about twice that value of goods each year. Moreover, Wisconsin-based Harley-Davidson HOG, -0.10%   reported sales of $970,309 per worker in the most recent report.

That begs the question of just how will Foxconn, which has a profit rate at nearly double Wal-Mart’s, going to remain profitable paying workers close to three times the typical wage for a Wal-Mart worker, but who produce only half as much?

That is where the economic development math becomes worrisome.

2. Foxconn claims it is going to create 3,000 jobs, paying on average a little over $53,000 a year. That is about 50 cents an hour higher than the average wage in Wisconsin. However, that figure almost certainly includes all forms of compensation, including health-care plans. So in reality, these workers, who will make liquid-crystal-display screens for TVs and other products, likely will be paid less than the state average, in a state that boasts a 3.2% unemployment rate.

From the outset, then, there must be concerns about how this plant can find and keep its workers, without even considering the dubious claim that it can grow to 13,000 workers in just a few years.

But that isn’t even the biggest problem.

Foxconn bears no meaningful risk in this deal.

3. The state of Wisconsin, which has had a series of high-profile budget battles over the past few years, is promising a $3 billion incentive package for the plant. That is three billion dollars, paid to Foxconn over a 15-year period.

To put that into perspective, Wisconsin is promising to pay Foxconn the equivalent of $66,600 per employee, based on having 3,000 workers in the plant, for each of the next 15 years, while Foxconn is promising pay of less than $54,000 a year. By comparison, the much-touted deal last November to save 800 jobs at a Carrier factory in Indianapolis is costing Indiana $7 million over 10 years — or $875 a year.

There are many questions about this deal, but one thing is certain. This incentive package surely offsets any labor-cost issues they might face, since Wisconsin taxpayers are essentially paying their wages.

The Foxconn Deal is just another cover for a mathematically illiterate and reactionary Governor Scott Walker to continue his coverup of nearly 8 years of failure, and another bad deal for beleaguered Wisconsin Taxpayers.

See the ever growing list of Scott Walker failures at: The Scott Walker Failure Files

Foxconn Working Conditions Violate Labor Protection Laws and Contribute to Worker Suicides, While Foxconn Replaces Humans With Robots

Concerned Residents of Mount Pleasant need to be aware that Foxconn has proven itself to be an irresponsible Corporation which actively exploits it’s workers, pays substandard wages, demands excessive overtime, often breaks it’s promises, and seeks to replace  Human workers with Robots. It is NOT a good fit for Mount Pleasant, WI and should look elsewhere for the slave wage labor it demands.

From The Guardian:

Foxconn’s $10bn move to the US is not a reason to celebrate

The company doesn’t have a great track record of keeping its job-creation promises, for one. Then there’s the issue of worker conditions in China

The announcement by the Taiwanese giant Foxconn that it will build an LCD-manufacturing facility in Wisconsin worth an estimated $10bn was met with considerable fanfare.

But the state has a troubled history in matters of economic development, and the company, a supplier to Apple, Google, Amazon and other tech giants, has a lackluster record when it comes to fulfilling its promises. The news should raise red flags.

The deal, backers say, will create 13,000 jobs in six years – in return for a reported $3bn in state subsidies. Only 3,000 of those jobs will come immediately. Furthermore, the Washington Post has reported that Foxconn has a track record of breaking such job-creation promises. In 2013, the company announced plans to hire 500 people and invest $30m in Pennsylvania. The plan fizzled out.

Cautionary tales

Foxconn investment agreements in Indonesia, India, Vietnam and Brazil failed to deliver completely. In India, for example, the company promised made in 2014 to invest $5bn over five years, creating 50,000 jobs. According to the Washington Post, reality has fallen far short. Workplace safety concerns will also dog the Wisconsin project; recent “right to work” legislation will affect worker-company relations.

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) is a participant in the Foxconn deal. During Walker’s brief presidential run, it was dogged by questions over failed loans. Businessman and Republican donor Ron Van Den Heuvel was indicted for fraudulently borrowing $700,000 from a local bank. Months after WEDC was created in 2011 the agency, then led by Walker, lent him more than $1.2m, without performing a background check.

Likewise, the state’s manufacturing and agriculture tax credit has been widely criticized as a simple refund for millionaires, according to the Wisconsin Budget Project (WBP) nearly “wiping out income taxes for manufacturers and agricultural producers”.

Six states were reportedly negotiating with Foxconn. Pointing to property tax breaks and job-training costs, Joe Peacock of the Wisconsin Budget Project warned that the total cost of winning the race could exceed $3bn. Similar deals, he said, often end up as a “zero-sum game” for states.

Also from The Guardian:

Life and death in Apple’s forbidden city

In an extract from his new book, Brian Merchant reveals how he gained access to Longhua, the vast complex where iPhones are made and where, in 2010, unhappy workers started killing themselves.

Today, the iPhone is made at a number of different factories around China, but for years, as it became the bestselling product in the world, it was largely assembled at Foxconn’s 1.4 square-mile flagship plant, just outside Shenzhen. The sprawling factory was once home to an estimated 450,000 workers. Today, that number is believed to be smaller, but it remains one of the biggest such operations in the world. If you know of Foxconn, there’s a good chance it’s because you’ve heard of the suicides. In 2010, Longhua assembly-line workers began killing themselves. Worker after worker threw themselves off the towering dorm buildings, sometimes in broad daylight, in tragic displays of desperation – and in protest at the work conditions inside. There were 18 reported suicide attempts that year alone and 14 confirmed deaths. Twenty more workers were talked down by Foxconn officials.

The epidemic caused a media sensation – suicides and sweatshop conditions in the House of iPhone. Suicide notes and survivors told of immense stress, long workdays and harsh managers who were prone to humiliate workers for mistakes, of unfair fines and unkept promises of benefits.

The corporate response spurred further unease: Foxconn CEO, Terry Gou, had large nets installed outside many of the buildings to catch falling bodies. The company hired counsellors and workers were made to sign pledges stating they would not attempt to kill themselves.

“It’s not a good place for human beings,” says one of the young men, who goes by the name Xu. He’d worked in Longhua for about a year, until a couple of months ago, and he says the conditions inside are as bad as ever. “There is no improvement since the media coverage,” Xu says. The work is very high pressure and he and his colleagues regularly logged 12-hour shifts. Management is both aggressive and duplicitous, publicly scolding workers for being too slow and making them promises they don’t keep, he says. His friend, who worked at the factory for two years and chooses to stay anonymous, says he was promised double pay for overtime hours but got only regular pay. They paint a bleak picture of a high-pressure working environment where exploitation is routine and where depression and suicide have become normalised.

“It wouldn’t be Foxconn without people dying,” Xu says. “Every year people kill themselves. They take it as a normal thing.”

“They call Foxconn a fox trap,” he says. “Because it tricks a lot of people.” He says Foxconn promised them free housing but then forced them to pay exorbitantly high bills for electricity and water. The current dorms sleep eight to a room and he says they used to be 12 to a room. But Foxconn would shirk social insurance and be late or fail to pay bonuses. And many workers sign contracts that subtract a hefty penalty from their pay if they quit before a three-month introductory period.

On top of that, the work is gruelling. “You have to have mental management,” says Xu, otherwise you can get scolded by bosses in front of your peers. Instead of discussing performance privately or face to face on the line, managers would stockpile complaints until later. “When the boss comes down to inspect the work,” Xu’s friend says, “if they find any problems, they won’t scold you then. They will scold you in front of everyone in a meeting later.”

“It’s insulting and humiliating to people all the time,” his friend says. “Punish someone to make an example for everyone else. It’s systematic,” he adds. In certain cases, if a manager decides that a worker has made an especially costly mistake, the worker has to prepare a formal apology. “They must read a promise letter aloud – ‘I won’t make this mistake again’– to everyone.”

 

 

While Forbes reports on just WHY Foxconn is moving out of China –

Latest Foxconn Worker Deaths Build Case For Apple To Move Operations From China

As Dou reports, a Foxconn worker was struck and hit by a train on his way to work on August 19. Why was he struck?

 Well…
These deaths once again shine a light on Foxconn’s harsh working conditions, in which poor factory workers are paid measly wages and forced to work overtime — sometimes 14 hours a day, seven days a week — to build Apple products.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

While Facing Finance, which calls on investors not to invest in companies profiting from violations of human rights, environmental pollution, corruption or the production of controversial weapons, describes the horrors of actual Foxconn working conditions:

Foxconn: Working Conditions in Chinese Factories

The Taiwan-based Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., (also known by its trading name, Foxconn), has been accused of violating labour rights for many years.They keep their employees in overcrowded dormitories run by military-like security forces. People work excessive hours, often with no compensation for overtime, which the company claims is done voluntarily. Management controls every aspect of workers’ lives, interfering with their privacy. The concept of privacy is even an illusion, as up to 24 people share a room in huge blockhouses.

Foxconn employs about 1.2 million workers in China. In Shenzhen and Chengdu, a combined Foxconn workforce of 500,000 provides labour for Apple Inc. Violations against workers have already been widely reported over the last decade. However, in recent years these issues have drawn more attention from international media and human rights organisations as there have been a number of suicides and frequent riots in Chinese Foxconn factories.[1]

Meanwhile, technologically illiterate Wisconsin Politicians don’t realize that Foxconn is already replacing taxpaying Humans with tax-free Robots.

From Fortune:

iPhone Maker Foxconn Has Replaced 60,000 Human Jobs with Robots

The biggest manufacturer of Apple (aapl) products is going to replace human workers with robots.

Foxconn (fxcny) has cut 60,000 jobs historically reserved for humans and is in the process of replacing them with robots, according to the BBC and the South China Morning Post.

The factory has “reduced employee strength from 110,000 to 50,000 thanks to the introduction of robots,” according to Xu Yulian, head of publicity for the Kunshan region, in an interview with the Post. He added, “More companies are likely to follow suit.”

The news comes days after Foxconn’s founder Terry Gou said there be layoffs at Japanese company Sharp, which makes displays for electronics, to turn it around.

Foxconn added in a statement to the BBC that it is automating numerous jobs that have historically been filled by human workers.

 

The Danger is Real as the Potentially Unconstitutional FOXCONN “Corporate Person” is Granted Superior Rights to the Natural Person by Legislative Decree

h/t JT Irregulars

“Fallone: Foxconn deal tips scales of justice in Wisconsin”

“Our system of justice rests upon two pillars: equal treatment and independent judgment.  Every person who appears before our state courts expects to be treated equally to every other litigant.  In addition, all parties to a lawsuit expect to have their cases heard by judges who are free to exercise their own independent judgment.  Recently, the state Legislature and Gov. Scott Walker approved legislation — a $3 billion package luring Foxconn Technology Group to build a flat-screen TV factory in Racine County — that seriously undermines these two fundamental principles.

“The principle of equal treatment commands that the same rules should apply to all parties appearing before the court.  No one should receive special status.  It is true that the two sides in a case might not be evenly matched, and that one might have more financial resources or a more skilled legal team.  But, even then, both parties in the case should be subject to the same set of laws and procedures and have the same opportunity to argue that the law supports their claim.

“The Foxconn legislation creates special treatment for Foxconn whenever the corporation is sued in Wisconsin courts.  The law forces the Wisconsin Supreme Court to directly take appeals involving ‘Electronics and Information Technology Manufacturing Zones’ (EITM) from the circuit courts. By law there is only one such zone, and that zone is soon to be home to Foxconn. Typically, the high court would hear appeals at its discretion, and then only after the case was heard by an intermediate court.

“The reason for placing cases involving Foxconn on a ‘fast-track’ to the Wisconsin Supreme Court should be obvious.  That Court has a majority of Justices who were elected with the financial support of Wisconsin’s largest trade and manufacturing lobbyists.  The drafters of the legislation expect these justices to be sympathetic to the concerns of manufacturers such as Foxconn.

Read more: http://www.jsonline.com/story/opinion/contributors/2017/11/06/foxconn-deal-tips-scales-justice-wisconsin/838140001/

MADISON – GOP lawmakers and Gov. Scott Walker may have gone too far in dictating how courts should handle any potential litigation over a massive flat-screen factory planned for Racine County, the Legislature’s nonpartisan attorneys have found.

The memo from the Wisconsin Legislative Council didn’t come to definite conclusions but found several provisions of the legislation for Foxconn Technology Group of Taiwan and its plant may be unconstitutional.

The provisions could give opponents of the Foxconn deal more lines of attack in litigation — and potentially drive up the cost to taxpayers for defending the state in court.

The law signed by Walker on Monday changes how environmental challenges and other potential legal cases over the factory would be handled, including automatically suspending any lower court orders until a higher court has weighed in.

The eight-page analysis highlights this provision among the areas of concern, saying the decision on whether to suspend rulings could be seen as a core power of the court system.

“A court could hold that the provision is unconstitutional if it finds that this provision violates the judiciary’s independence in the fulfillment of its constitutional responsibilities,” the memo reads.

The text of the entire Memo from the Wisconsin Legislative Council may be accessed by clicking on the link below:

foxconn_legcouncil

Below is a screen shot taken from page 1 (of 8) from the above referenced Memo.

Foxconn represents a Corporate special interest which will be granted, via legislative decree, special rights superior to those of the natural person and is not a good fit for Mount Pleasant Residents, the environment, taxpayers, or Wisconsin.

Just say NO to Foxconn  along with heavy metals water pollution, slave labor wages, excessive taxpayer funded subsidies, loss of Farm Land & Green Space, Corporate Greed, Special Rights, and Politician Overreach!

Don’t let this happen to MTP!

I went back to Ohio
But my pretty countryside
Had been paved down the middle
By a government that had no pride
The farms of Ohio
Had been replaced by shopping malls
And Muzak filled the air
From Seneca to Cuyahoga falls
Said, a, o, oh way to go Ohio

The Foxconn Scam!

Is Foxconn and 13,000 jobs truly coming to Mount Pleasant? Well, the Politicians and politically connected Pundits say YES – but Foxconn has a way of scamming politicians and communities. Remember that the promised construction jobs are only temporary – and lead to high unemployment after the work is done.

NO Foxconn in Racine County

From Racine County Eye:

Foxconn, WEDC agreement expected this week

Foxconn Technology Group will bring up to 13,000 new jobs — 10,000 construction jobs and 3,000 permanent jobs.

There you have it – MAYBE 3,000 permanent jobs – yet not one has been created – no employees have been hired – no wages or taxes have been paid – and even the land acquisition for the manufacturing facility has not been purchased. The 10,000 construction jobs are only temporary and will lead to high unemployment afterwards; something which Southeast Wisconsin has become accustomed to.  In other words – it is still all a great big ZERO. Actually it is LESS THAN ZERO, as the Politicians have promised $3B in incentives, tax increases, Tax shifting via TIF’s, a possible new County Sales Tax,  and the creation of a new unelected new taxing authority,  – a RTA! (Regional Transit Authority)

In addition, there are still hurdles to overcome with the land acquisition – while Foxconn also has a habit of backing out of deals, meaning that the likelihood of the manufacturing facility ever being built continues to diminish. It may all be a part of a Donald Trump plan to assist a failed Governor – Scott Walker – in getting re-elected – along with Paul Ryan, Robin Vos and David DeGroot.

From: Talking Racine discusses Fox-conn. The relocation of over 100 residents of Mt Pleasant to the environmental impact it will have on our area to the official contract that will not be available to the public until after it’s signed.We bring the perspective down to the local level to discuss issues that affect our own city of Racine, WI.

Remember that Governor Scott Walker promised to bring 250,000 new jobs to Wisconsin – a failed promise – now he promises 13,000 – yet 10,000 are deemed “temporary” by the Employer, Foxconn – while the other 3,000 which have not yet appeared are promised to start in 2020 – 3 years away.

WHERE ARE THE JOBS GOVERNOR WALKER? (They are MISSING!)

From: Politifact Wisconsin:

Gov. Scott Walker fell short when it came to his top 2010 campaign promise — that the state would add 250,000 private-sector jobs in his first term.

But he would have finished much closer had there been four years with the jobs growth seen in 2014 — especially the final four months of the year.

State employers added an estimated 53,400 jobs in 2014, pushing the total for his four-year term to 146,795. That’s about 59 percent of the total Walker promised as a candidate.

For our tally, we use the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages, which surveys nearly all state businesses, to get the most accurate picture for Walker’s first three full years in office. We combine that with monthly survey data — which comes from reports gathered from a small percentage of state businesses — to provide the most up-to-date picture for where things stand.

We declared the jobs Promise Broken in September 2014, when it became clear that it would be mathematically impossible to achieve the promise.

Governor Scott Walker, House Speaker Paul Ryan, Wisconsin State Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, and Mount Pleasant Village President David DeGroot are all depending on the smoke and mirrors of a moribund promise of future jobs to maintain their elected status; a tainted promise which will never materialize.

Talk is…. cheap!