View From Lodi, CA: The U.S. Chamber of Commerce: Traitors!
The Lodi Chamber of Commerce`s September monthly
newsletter written by CEO Pat Patrick with its thinly
veiled attack on
Lodi Mayor Susan Hitchcock should awaken citizens to
the fact that the Chamber does not—its insistence to
the contrary—necessarily represent what is best for
Chamber is a special interest group whose main
thrust is growth and business development.
But Lodi is made up of more than just business owners
developers. I never have to travel far before a
concerned citizen stops me to say how he worried is
about sprawl and urban over-development.
The anti-Hitchcock stance taken by Patrick`s newsletter
is an alarming diatribe that focuses exclusively on why
the sitting mayor is, in his opinion, anti-growth and
bad for business. The Chamber`s endorsement of three
other City Council candidates came conveniently after it
had raked Hitchcock over the coals
close look at the
Chamber of Commerce`s national headquarters` agenda
shows that while it purports that more development leads
to new jobs and better opportunity for locals, in
reality the Chamber is anti-American worker
According to the Chamber`s
website, it endorses amnesty for illegal aliens as
well as guest worker programs that create an endless
flow of cheap labor into the U.S. thereby undercutting
the American worker`s wage structure.
Guest workers who work on the cheap are “good”
businesses that hire them but “bad” for U.S.
workers trying to find a decent job.
Here, taken from its website, is the Chamber`s 2006
The Chamber promises to work to:
- Provide an
earned pathway to legalization for undocumented
workers already contributing to our economy, with
the condition that they are law-abiding and prepared
to embrace the obligations and values of our
- Create a carefully monitored
guest worker program to fill the growing gaps in
America`s workforce recognizing that, in some cases,
permanent immigrants will be needed to fill these
- Refrain from unduly burdening employers with
worker verification systems that are
under-funded or unworkable.
- Ensure the continuity and expansion of
L-1 visas for
highly valued workers.
The Chamber also makes a passing, and in my opinion
insincere, reference to enhancing
Note that the Chamber ignores the social consequences of
millions of illegal workers already in the U.S.,
promotes rewarding them with amnesty, and favors the
issuance of millions of more
so-called temporary visas like the H-1B and
SKIL visas that will add to the rolls of 10 million
The Chamber suggests, incorrectly, that workplace
enforcement of immigration laws would represent a
hardship for employers.
Through its alliance with the
Essential Worker Immigration Coalition, the Chamber
lobbies hard for its anti-American worker programs.
The EWIC membership includes corporations like
Tyson Foods that blatantly violate immigration law
and organizations that profit from a large presence of
illegal aliens such as the
First Data Corporation.
In another move certain to further undermine the already
weak job market for younger workers, the Chamber
promises to lobby for an extension of the foreign
temporary worker visa, the
H-2B, through 2008.
The H-2B visa is a great thing if you want to hire
foreign workers on the
cheap. But if you are a kid hoping to land a summer
job to save for your college tuition, the H-2B visa
makes your odds for employment long.
Finally, the Chamber actively promotes
trade talks that it hopes will result in what it
calls the free movement of people across borders. Such
“movement” translates into a low cost work force for
employers but fewer decent jobs for Americans.
Look closely at the
U.S. Chamber of Commerce and you`ll see that it
isn`t a benign organization. The Chamber may be
committed to advancing business causes. But those
advancements come at the American worker`s expense.