OCTOBER 19, 2011
With a record number of Americans out of work, the government agency responsible for advancing employment in the United States just doled out $1.5 million to promote collective bargaining and improve labor relations in Vietnam.
The senseless allocation comes after a series of equally questionable moves by the Department of Labor (DOL) on behalf of illegal immigrants, juvenile delinquents and “high-risk” adults. Last year the agency launched a nationwide initiative to protect illegal immigrant workers in the U.S. and a few months ago it entered formal agreements with Guatemala and Nicaragua vowing to preserve the rights of their migrants.
In two separate allocations this year, the agency dedicated more than $90 million to help low-income juvenile delinquents find jobs and “underserved young adults” join the workforce. Though a chunk of the money went to leftwing nonprofits that will assist individuals in “high-poverty, high-crime communities,” at least the recipients live in the U.S. The idea is to help entire families and communities, according to Obama Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, the former California congresswoman with close ties to the influential open borders movement.
But how do you justify dedicating taxpayer dollars to labor issues in a country located several time zones away when unemployment is at 9.1% in the U.S.? The DOL says the money will extend an existing program, called Vietnam Industrial Relations Promotion Project, by an additional two years which likely isn’t a priority for most Americans. The first phase of the project was also funded by Uncle Sam, though the cash went through a different government entity, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).
It’s a worthy investment, according to the DOL, because it’s designed to improve Vietnam’s labor relations policies and initiatives by strengthening labor law enforcement and labor inspection and increasing the capacity for a more effective dispute resolution system for workers and employers. Here is the kicker; it will also improve “worker organizations’ (can you say unions?) ability to represent employees and engage in collective bargaining and other methods of dispute resolution.”
Solis says “experience shows” that it’s important for the U.S. to forge these sorts of partnerships between countries to “promote sound industrial relations policies and programs worldwide.”
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