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GEORGINE OF BUILDING TRADES ASKS U.S. HOUSE, SENATE LABOR COMMITTEES TO INVESTIGATE BMW, HOLD PUBLIC HEARINGS

 WASHINGTON, March 30 /PRNewswire/ -- The leader of America's construction workers announced today that he is asking two key committees of Congress to investigate the circumstances surrounding BMW of Germany's insistence on a non-union environment for construction of its proposed automobile assembly plant near Spartanburg, S.C.
 Robert A. Georgine, president of the Building and Construction Trades Department, AFL-CIO, said he has contacted the chairmen of the House and Senate Labor Committees and has received "expressions of interest and encouragement" from the committees.
 "It is clear that BMW's intent is to treat the United States and American workers as if we were a third-world country," Georgine said.
 "We have anti-dumping laws on the books that forbid a foreign company from selling below-cost goods and commodities here. We need to look at whether a foreign entity's requirements for substandard wages constitutes the same type of ethical, moral or legal violation."
 Georgine's request for congressional inquiries on BMW followed two other actions he took last week. First, he announced plans for a major rally of construction workers on Thursday, April 1, at the BMW U.S. headquarters at Woodcliff Lake, N.J. A crowd of 4,000 to 5,000 construction workers, including unemployed, is expected.
 Next, attorneys for the Building and Construction Trades Department headed by Georgine wrote Gov. Carroll Campbell (R-S.C.) and asked that he make available all records concerning "incentives offered or granted by any public body" to BMW in exchange for a commitment to build the plant in South Carolina. Georgine said he acted under South Carolina's Freedom of Information Act but has not yet received any response.
 In addition to Campbell, an identical request for records was made to the South Carolina Port Authority, the South Carolina Council for Economic Development and the South Carolina State Development Board.
 "We are not against BMW coming to the United States and building a plant here," Georgine said. "We are very well aware of the interests of the new global era of business, and we support investment in the United States.
 "What we oppose is allowing any business, foreign or domestic, to insist on an environment that is non-union, even anti-union, and act to harm the working and living standards of all American workers everywhere."
 Georgine said BMW's plans are to use construction workers who in many instances will be paid minimum wage or only slightly above that level. Such workers would receive few if any benefits, he said.
 "If we sit back and allow a foreign entity such as BMW to come here, insist on its own demands, have the local political leadership cooperate, then what's to stop every company from doing the same thing?" Georgine asked. "The result would be that companies all over America could feel compelled to seek that same low standard, or even move to South Carolina, too," he said.
 Not only working and living standards for construction workers would be affected, Georgine said, but the entire nation's economic structure could be threatened.
 "The working men and women of this country have shed blood, sweat and tears for more than 200 years to achieve the living standards we in America have today," Georgine said. "We're not going to look on idly while our political, economic and social system is threatened with destruction."
 -0- 3/30/93
 /CONTACT: Dean Reed, Harris Haynie or Lisa Szarkowski, all of the Building and Construction Trades Department, 202-347-1461/


CO: Building and Construction Trades Department ST: District of Columbia IN: CST AUT SU: LEG

IH-MH -- DC007 -- 0896 03/30/93 09:18 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Mar 30, 1993
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