Sunday, October 22, 2006

Robin Hayes, NC-08: Massive Job Losses with No Plan for Change

In the recent debate between Robin Hayes and Larry Kissell held by the League of Women Voters in Charlotte and aired on WTVI, both men claimed that improving the job market for the 8th District workers was a top priority. Larry Kissell said it was the number one priority.

Robin Hayes claimed that he had worked hard to bring jobs to the district. From WWAY we have this:
Hayes said he's worked hard to promote economic development and efforts to bring good jobs to the parts of the district that are struggling.
The great thing about a claim like this is there is proof readily available about just how effective Robin Hayes has been at bringing jobs to the 8th District. Unemployment numbers are readily available through the North Carolina Employment Security Commission. Not only can we find out what the unemployment rate is today, we can look back at 1999 when Robin Hayes took office.

The 8th Congressional District in North Carolina was once the home of a booming textile industry. Free trade agreements have closed the doors on many of the district's textile mills and many workers face tenuous futures. The jobs that are coming in offer lower pay and fewer benefits.

The counties Hayes represents are parts of Cumberland, Mecklenburg and Union and all of Cabarrus, Hoke, Scotland, Richmond, Stanly and Montgomery.

In 1999 when Robin Hayes took office the unemployment figures were very low. While there has been extreme fluctuation in many of the counties as industries come and go, the unemployment rate in almost all counties is higher today than when Hayes first took office. In some, the rate has almost doubled. Because unemployment has normal seasonal fluctuations the comparison is more fair if we compare August 1999, which is a few months after Hayes was elected, to August 2006. In that comparison we see this:


August 1999

August 2006































Eight of ten counties have seen an increase in their unemployment. Six counties now have unemployment rates that are higher than the national average and one that is tied with the national average. All in all, Robin Hayes has done very little to help the overwhelming majority of counties in his district. Most folks are much worse off than they were before he took office.

Most recently, a hosiery mill in Hayes' home county of Cabarrus announced its intention to move its operation to an undisclosed foreign country to take advantage of the lower wages they are able to pay foreign workers. Shogren Industries will be closing its Cabarrus location. The story is from the Charlotte Observer.
Mark Zerona, Shogren's president and chief executive officer, said in a statement that it has become increasingly more challenging to compete in a global environment.

"While it is a sad day for all of us at Shogren Hosiery, it is unfortunately a necessary step for the future of the company as we strive to bring the best products and services to our customers," he stated.

The company could not compete on price and type of product offered while manufacturing in Concord compared to products from overseas, Glanville said. Shogren declined to say the international site where it is producing hosiery.

Robin Hayes lied to his constituents about his intentions to vote against giving President Bush Fast-Track trade authority and he lied to his constituents about his intentions to vote against CAFTA. These were two extremely important issues to North Carolina's 8th Congressional District and the constant closing of textile and other manufacturing businesses and the resulting high unemployment figures are a direct result of Hayes' broken promises.

Fortunately for 8th District voters they have an opportunity to send Larry Kissell to Washington. Larry worked in the textile industry for 27 years and left to become a teacher when the company he worked for made the move to Mexico. Kissell is an 8th District Democrat with 8th District values. He understands that participating in the new global economy is important, but he also understands it isn't more important than protecting 8th District jobs.

In the debate sponsored by Charlotte's League of Women Voters and shown on WTVI, Kissell clearly stated there should be no more free trade agreements until we've brought good jobs back into the 8th District. Larry Kissell understands honesty. When Larry says he will put the needs and concerns of 8th District residents first, you can count on it.

To most of us there is a clear choice for the 8th Congressional District. For those who need a little more help seeing this clear choice, the race is between:

Larry Kissell, a man of his word or Robin Hayes, a man who doesn't keep his word.

Larry Kissell, a man with 8th District values or Robin Hayes, a man with values determined by special interest groups, Dennis Hastert and George W. Bush.

Larry Kissell, a man who wants to bring good jobs to the 8th District and Robin Hayes, a man who has voted to send those jobs to foreign countries.

Vote Larry Kissell on November 7th.


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