Hoffa: Companies should hire U.S. workers

Sept. 4, 2011 at 2:04 PM
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WASHINGTON, Sept. 4 (UPI) -- Teamsters President Jim Hoffa Sunday criticized as "unpatriotic" American companies not spending their money in this country to create jobs.

"So many companies like Mr. Coffee and all of these other companies that have closed and moved to Mexico, they are wrong, they are unpatriotic," Hoffa said on CNN's "State of the Union."

"We have got to turn this around and say, 'Hey, 'We are an American company, we owe an obligation to America. Let's put America back to work.'"

With unemployment at 9.1 percent, Hoffa called on President Barack Obama to "challenge the patriotism of these American corporations that are sitting on the sidelines saying, 'Why do we have high unemployment? But I am not going to hire anybody.'"

Hoffa, whose union has about 1.4 million members, urged a tax incentive to get companies to create jobs in America.

"We have all got to get into the game. And I don't see that happening. So the trillions and billions of dollars that they have on the sidelines -- they have money, Pfizer and General Electric -- they have trillions of dollars overseas. Let's start repatriating that money. Let's start a program to get America going again."

Hoffa pointed to Apple, saying, "Instead of investing here, everything they do is in China or is in Asia somewhere."

High U.S. costs of labor, healthcare and environmental regulations do not preclude companies' success when they hire in the country, he said.

"You can do it here, but the answer is you have to have the incentive," Hoffa said.

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