Many Progressives are excited about the upcoming prospective “Green New Deal” which is already taking shape, even before formal Green New Deal legislation. Multi-billion dollar manufacturing plants for electrical vehicle batteries, providing 2000 jobs per plant, are already rising in Michigan and Georgia. Fossil fuel pipelines, already partly built like KXL, are being cancelled, at enormous cost.
But Trump’s former Georgia allies, couldn’t resist piling expenses onto Georgia tax payers. They deprived Georgians of millions on wages from this construction boom.
Part of this drama played out in Hartsfield Airport in Greater Atlanta, one of the busiest airports in the world. The busy Customs agents took notice of the flood of Korean laborers who stated they were going to work at the new SK Battery Plant in Northeast Georgia.
Customs busted 33 of the construction workers for phony visas in one sweep of Airport arrivals from Korea. A traffic stop of a cargo van yielded another 13 Korean laborers who were expelled for 10 years.
In contrast to President Biden’s pledge of American workers for American jobs, Trump’s minions had arranged for thousands of Korean construction workers to take $35/hour jobs in the United States from skilled US construction workers.
Georgia politicians attended the groundbreaking of the SK plant, to throw a few shovelfuls onto the grave of living wages in Georgia.
The owner and contractor kept the workers like slaves in shared housing, right when Covid-19 peaked in early 2020, with no protective gear provided.
The construction unions infiltrated (“salted”) the job site with pro union workers, and obtained interesting amounts of information. They witnessed copious examples of life threatening construction practices.
As always, my redneck Georgian unionist friends, Bubba and company, tried to puzzle through the paperwork and help out the Koreans. They asked me to look it over too. All we could figure out is they were violating the daylights out of the Visa regulations, and covid travel rules. Neither I, or Bubba knew much Korean, unfortunately. The Koreans didn’t know much American labor law. But their bosses knew how to fire potential whistleblowers. We knew, and dreaded, what would eventually happen on a job site with all of the safety information written in English and where the workers spoke mostly Korean.
On November 4. 2020, horror struck. A worker fell 50 feet through a hole in the under-construction roof. He landed on a woman worker. He died. She’s on life support. Other workers have fallen through holes in the roof
Now the Korean Company, SK, wants to issue a $1 billion “Green” bond to finance their next battery plant.