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Layoff veteran aims to put outsourcing ban on Nov. ballot (Colorado)

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UpInArms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 08:17 AM
Original message
Layoff veteran aims to put outsourcing ban on Nov. ballot (Colorado),1413,36~33~2280397,...

Until this year, Richard Armstrong never involved himself in politics.

"I voted. That's it," said the 40- year-old software engineer - the force behind a possible November ballot initiative that would prevent Colorado government from hiring workers overseas and temporary foreign workers in the United States.


A flag flies year-round in front of Armstrong's Parker home. He's pro-business. He voted for George W. Bush.

"At the same time, I'm very pro-worker," and, he said, "I won't vote for him again."


So Armstrong wants to take the message to voters. He says he and his group are 70 percent of the way toward collecting the roughly 68,000 signatures needed to get Proposal 139, "Protection of American Workers," onto this year's ballot. They have two weeks left.


Anyone in Colorado that can help this guy get his signatures?
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Scooter24 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 08:34 AM
Response to Original message
1. I hate to say this..
but this proposal is unconstitutional. His proposal wants to restrict the Colorado government from hiring legal foreigners with visas from obtaining CO government jobs. It would also restrict state contracts to companies that hire these individuals.

This would violate the Due Process rights afforded to those individuals (illegal and legal) under the Fifth Amendment who seek government employment. The Supreme Court ruled in Zadvydas v. Davis that the due process clause applies to all persons within the United States, including foreigners, whether their presence here is lawful, unlawful, temporary, or permanent.

The government can't legally restrict employment, even in federal institutions, just because someone is a foreigner.
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AndyTiedye Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 11:24 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. Separate Issues
In hiring legal foreigners residing in the USA, the employer is still
subject to US labor laws.
He must pay at least minimum wage, OSHA applies, they can join unions.
It is a level playing-field.
A state cannot restrict this, if your interpretation of the court case is correct.
The legal way to limit the number of foreign workers is to limit the
number of visas that permit the holders to work.

Offshoring is sending the jobs themselves overseas, where workers have
no protection by US labor laws and are likely paid far less, and where
Americans could not compete for those jobs even if they wanted to.
That portion of the initiative should not be affected by the court case

A state may have many good reasons to not want its contracts outsourced
out of the country. Security is an obvious one. State governments and
their contractors are often working with a great deal of information that
is either confidential or has a high potential for misuse, or both.

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Scooter24 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 11:46 AM
Response to Reply #2
5. Limiting
Edited on Mon Jul-19-04 11:48 AM by Scooter24
visas could work but it would be a logistical nightmare.

For the state argument to hold that it wants to restrict all state employees from being foreigners, they would have to provide a compelling interest. Telling someone they can't be a truck driver, janitor, or computer programmer for the Colorado government just because they are a foreigner and without a compelling reason wouldn't stand up in court.

I'm all for a law to keep jobs in the country -- I just think this approach is not the way to go about it.
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Spangle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 11:56 AM
Response to Reply #5
7. It's a Start
It's easy to find the problems. The hard part if someing up with a workable solution. The few people willing to do this may not have the backgound to come up with all the "in's and out's" of the solution.

Everyone keeps setting back and expecting our government, with their ablity to make committees, etc... to come up with the ideas. They are NOT going to do this. To much money being lobbied to NOT do this. This leaves the only option open for "Regular" people to do it. Those who are NOT being paid to do the research, etc. To gather the kind of people knowledgeable in laws, etc. Hence, it's not going to be as well thought out as it should be. THAT alone makes it unpassable. People who see the flaws will speak out.. but we need people with that kind of knowledge to jump on board and help re-write the idea. NOW this is getting ready for a vote. Hmmm... Kinda late. After it has been up for a vote, it will be hard to get the general idea back up for a vote. On the general ballot, on the state level or in DC. It will be used as an excuse that "the people don't want it."

"Catch 22"
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progressivebydesign Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 11:35 AM
Response to Reply #1
4. I think what he's trying to fight, in addition to outsourcing..
.. is the practice of issuing work visas to workers of other countries who are specifically brought into the US to work at half of what US citizens are currently paid. Ask people in the IT biz how they feel about that... I DO think it's wrong for our government to engage in that practice. Did you know that over 40 states currently outsource work to other countries? OUR tax dollars are paying people in other countries, so that we don't have to provide benefits and a fair wage. His heart is in the right place. I hope that the initiative legally addresses everything.. I say vote for it, and see what happens. The illegal parts would be challenged, and at the very least.. he would be garnering publicity for the bullshit policies of our government..
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Mr_Spock Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 11:30 AM
Response to Original message
3. I'd vote for it - we are mis-managing this outsourcing issue in this
country. Desperate times require desperate measures - work's both ways!
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Spangle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 11:51 AM
Response to Original message
6. Government Outsourcing Kicker
Outsourcing jobs to other countrys is suppose to lower cost.

However, what ever cost is saved.... has to be used for welfare benifits to those who lost their jobs due to outsourcing. Hmmmm....

For republicans who believe that we should pay people to work, rather then give them money for not working.. they should be paying attention to this.

Government jobs shouldn't be "outsourced" to other countrys. Even contract jobs shouldn't be allowed to be "outsourced" in such a manor. There is no cost savings involved for our government to do so. Making a joke out of the whole reason of outsourcing.

Visa's to come here and work is a different story. The persons are required to be paid based upon our laws. Pay our taxes, etc.

And it could be included in our laws that ALL contractor bids have to abide by our child labor laws and standard of living wage. Such wage wouldn't have to be exactly ours. But a decent wage from where the work is being preformed. The company could later loose the contract for these reasons, our government would fail to pay. Not worth the chance, I would think, for a overseas company to take such a gamble. This isn't for "outsourcing" contracts. But for contracts for supplies, etc. that are manufactored in other countrys. We do take such bids....
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