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August 17, 2011

PRESS CONTACT: Steven Chlapecka - schlapecka@ppionline.org, T: 202.525.3931


Says Labor-Business Partnership Will Help Lead U.S. Economic Rebound;

Encourages Collaboration with Businesses that Innovate, Invest and Create Jobs in U.S.

WASHINGTON, D.C.Progressive Policy Institute (PPI) President Will Marshall today urged a new partnership between labor and business aimed at reversing America’s economic decline by expanding its productive might.

“The U.S. economy seems to have arrived at an inflection point,” Marshall said in a new PPI policy brief, Labor and the Producer Society. “As the Obama administration puzzles over how to rekindle growth, one thing should be clear: There can be no going back to the old economic model of debt-fueled consumption, where U.S. households borrowed to maintain their living standards, aided and abetted by government deficits.”

“America needs a new economic strategy that stimulates production rather than consumption; saving rather than borrowing; and exports rather than imports,” Marshall contended, adding, “The shift from a consumer-oriented to a producer-centered society won’t happen without a new partnership between labor and business.”

In summary, Marshall’s policy brief proposes an economic strategy that will stimulate production, reward job-creating investment and give top priority to raising U.S. wages and living standards. He called on America’s organized labor leaders to forge new bonds with private companies that are investing, innovating and creating good jobs in America.

PPI has previously identified telecommunications firms including AT&T, Comcast and Verizon, along with energy companies, as "Investment Heroes" that are making major capital investments in the United States. Similarly, Marshall singled out the United Auto Workers (UAW) and the Communications Workers of America (CWA) as two unions that have moved in the direction of greater collaboration with major employers to boost U.S. competitiveness.

Marshall praised new UAW President Bob King for re-inventing the union as a partner of the auto companies rather than an adversary. He noted that the UAW is experimenting with profit-sharing plans that give workers a direct stake in the companies’ success and also has expressed interest in eliminating counterproductive work rules that hinder their employers’ competitiveness.

He also said CWA was “breaking the mold” with its strong support of AT&T’s proposed acquisition of T-Mobile, which the union says will generate substantial investment and create as many as 96,000 new jobs in the United States.

Marshall challenged policy makers to realign the government's role toward promoting new investment and job creation. "Instead of acting as a neutral arbiter in the age-old struggle between capital and labor," he wrote, "government should reinforce the kinds of strategic partnerships the CWA and UAW are forging with employers."

To access the full memo, visit: http://bit.ly/qWUCL8

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The Progressive Policy Institute is an independent research institution founded in 1989 that seeks to define and promote a new progressive politics in the 21st century. Through policy analysis and dialogue, PPI challenges the status quo and advocates for radical policy solutions.

For further questions, please contact Steven Chlapecka at schlapecka@ppionline.org, 202.525.3931 (office), 202.556.1752 (cell).

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