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Teamsters president takes Apple to task for outsourcing jobs

updated 12:35 pm EDT, Wed September 7, 2011

Asks Obama to challenge 'patriotism' of companies

The president of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Union, Jim Hoffa, recently singled out Apple as an example of American companies abusing outsourcing, reports note. Speaking in a CNN interview, Hoffa asked President Barack Obama to "challenge the patriotism" of US companies in a speech on jobs, also suggesting a tax plan that might get corporations to "start spending some of that money here in America and put Americans back to work."

"Look at Apple, they have $76 billion dollars in their checking account, and they're not spending it," says Hoffa in one part of the interview, referring to the company's unusually massive cash reserves. "Instead of investing here, everything they do is in China, or in Asia somewhere...There's something wrong with that."

Apple relies heavily on cheap labor in China and Taiwan to maximize profits. The company's main manufacturing partner, Foxconn, has been accused of underpaying workers even relative to Chinese standards, while still forcing employees to work punishing hours to meet deadlines. It has also been accused of violence and abuse in some instances; guards at the company's Shenzhen campus are known to carry machineguns.

Apple is one of several US corporations that has been pushing for a special "tax holiday" on repatriated overseas profits. While a tax exemption could spark an influx of cash, critics have charged that it would also allow companies to dodge tax burdens at a time when the US is suffering from severe budget constraints. Apple might not necessarily invest its cash in new jobs or projects.

by MacNN Staff



  1. slboett

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Hypocritical sack of ****

    He supports Obama (Dem's) who have supported illegal immigration and outsourcing. The unions have backed measures to legalize illegals, yet he wants jobs? Yeah, he's the guy that wants to have members paid $45 an hour to put lug-nuts on Chevy's. And he's just a fat slob who sits back, lives the good life, and rakes in the union dues from members getting sold down the river. This thug needs to visit the last spot of his father.

  1. guzzi

    Joined: Dec 1969


    How about asking "Mr." Hoffa

    Why does a union own a golf course? Union dues buying golf courses, that's so he and the other thugs can enjoy themselves on the union member's wages. If iPad's were made by the UAW or other union workers here in the USA what would it cost? Why doesn't he try to unionize the workers in China? He'd be under the other goal post in the Meddowlands.

  1. The Vicar

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Yeah, how dare he?!

    Yeah, those evil unions, trying to make jobs better! How dare they criticize offshoring, which has destroyed jobs, after they tried to reduce competition from illegal immigrants for native jobs! Clearly, we should abolish unions, because I'm totally sure big corporations which are explicitly ruled by greed will give everyone a raise and a bonus and shorter hours and free healthcare if we would just get out of their way!

    Seriously, idiots like slboett should be forced to work 80 hour weeks digging in unsafe coal mines for a while, so that they might figure out why corporations can't be trusted.

  1. facebook_Samuel

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Sep 2011


    I come from a union family

    And, unions do have their place. Many of the work rules that you enjoy were put in place by unions when early 20th century companies were exploiting workers mercilessly.

    My problem is guys like Hoffa (who got there because of his father's name) stir the pot for their own ends. He could give a rat's a## about the workers. He sees his empire crumbling and would rather start a civil insurrection before losing power.

    I am really afraid that companies are going back to their earlier ways of worker exploitation here and overseas. I don't want unions to die, I just want them to act responsibly (which will never happen as long as fat cats like Hoffa is in charge).

  1. AlenShapiro

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Apple didn't outsource Jobs...

    ...he resigned!

    (sorry - could not resist)

  1. prl99

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Apple's money

    A lot of Apple's cash was from sales outside the US and they can't bring it back to the US without paying a lot of taxes, which, when you think of it should be spent in the countries where they sold their products. As for Hoffa and his FUD, bringing jobs back to the US isn't a sign of patriotism when 95% of products used in the US are made outside the US by US companies. Look no further than the granddaddy of all of them WalMart. Hoffa needs to talk to them first.

  1. Tralthamidor

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Good idea

    Yes, we should have them made here and hire american union workers. Like all of the unemployed postal workers we will have when the USPS defaults on their next $5.5bn payment. The USPS is bankrupt and not because of inefficiency or lack of mail but because the unions forced contracts with no layoff and no pay reduction clauses. Over 40% of expenses are to pay retiree and health benefits 75 years out. It's not possibly sustainable. I am not against unions but they need to back down a little.

    I am sure more companies would do business here if they weren't afraid of being bullied by the unions.

  1. JuanGuapo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    One thing...

    ...I would share with Mr. Hoffa: Silicon Valley does not run like Detroit. This is more an argument of specialized labor vs. skilled/unskilled labor.

    I absolutely refuse to get into a "Pro or Anti" Union debate--it has nothing to do with Apple, or with this discussion.

    Let the employees decide what they want to do, whether they feel a union fits their needs and values, and (most importantly) let the employees speak for themselves.

  1. mytdave

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Jimbo, you're part of the problem. It's you and your ilk that have driven labor costs so high, that companies cannot afford to keep all the jobs in the States. You b**** about Apple, but they've gone to great lengths to design and build as much as they can here.

    It's not just about desire or costs however, and apparently you are too dense to understand that it's no longer possible to run some industries in the US because the core competencies have moved overseas. For example, we can't build LCD panels here because the support infrastructure for components and raw materials is no longer present. Don't even get me started on price points that are now expected by the cheap American consumer.

    There are countless more items that are involved with this issue, but there is not enough space or time to present them here. You knuckle-heads need to put real effort toward real solutions (start by reforming your own unions), or just STFU.

  1. jfelbab

    Joined: Dec 1969


    comment title

    Jimmy, you must be getting worried about your job. First you go calling all Tea Party people SOB's and you want to take them out. Isn't that what happened to your daddy, BTW? You want to try to take me out? Come and get some A$$hat.

    Mr Hoffa, I'm an independent voter who was a union member. I'm retired now, and I support the Tea Party principles and FYI, my mother was not a b***h. After your comments, I now find that I will no longer consider any democratic candidates. You just turned me into a Republican you pathetic loudmouth.

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