Did Local Leaders Try to Prevent Covidien Closing?
Letter to the Editor regarding recently announcement that Covidien will be closing its Seneca plant
Last week Covidien, a major employer in Oconee County, announced that they were closing their plant in Seneca and taking all 600 jobs to Costa Rica, where minimum wage for these jobs is between $1.85 and $2.45 per hour (American Dollars).
This announcement, coming on the heels of a major layoff at Itron, is a severe blow to the Oconee County economy.
In July, a bill went before the US Senate that would stop companies that ship jobs overseas from getting tax breaks here in the US.
Only three Senate Republicans voted for the bill - Olympia Snowe, Susan Collins and Scott Brown.
Under existing law, employers may take tax deductions for the costs associated with moving OUR jobs out of the country. The proposed legislation would have stopped this practice, and used the new revenue to fund a 20% tax credit for the costs companies have bringing labor back into the U.S.
I wondered if a similar bill had gone before the House of Representatives, and if so, how Jeff Duncan had voted.
I did a little research and found that, while this bill had not gone before the House, another bill introduced last year that would stop call centers from outsourcing jobs overseas had.
It was no surprise to find that Mr. Duncan voted against that bill, against stemming the flow of good paying call center jobs with companies already making a profit out of this country to places where an hour's wage wouldn't even buy you a bag of groceries.
What I would like to know is, what did Mr. Duncan and our local leaders do to try to stop this loss of much-needed jobs in this poor county that they represent?
Did they meet with company officials to try to work out a compromise? Did Duncan pull together county leaders and work with them to find a way to keep Covidien in Oconee County? Did any of them do ANYTHING to keep these jobs here where we need them? Was Mr. Duncan even aware that these jobs were leaving?
This county is heavily in Republican hands, and I have seen no effort by them to try to either keep the companies we have, like Itron and Covidien, from leaving, or to attract new companies with good paying jobs to this area. New businesses have opened and relocated to the counties around us, but it never seems to reach here.
It is time to hold our local government responsible for what is wrong in this county. Obama didn't cause this, those in power in Oconee County let this happen. It is time that we put people in place that will work FOR Oconee County, not against it. Think about your vote in November.