Home > Uncategorized > Corporate Prison Labor Is Forcing Small Businesses To Close Factories – Business Insider

Corporate Prison Labor Is Forcing Small Businesses To Close Factories – Business Insider

September 7, 2012 Leave a comment Go to comments

FPI, also known as UNICOR, operates inside 83 federal prisons and made more than $900 million in revenue last year.

In March Tennier Industries, which also makes military clothing, fired more than 100 employees after losing out to FPI on a new $45 million contract from the Defense Department.

In May American Apparel put 175 people out of work when closed an Alabama plant for the same reason. Owner Kurt Wilson expressed his frustration that he pays workers $9 an hour with full benefits and yet “we’re competing against a federal program that doesn’t pay any of that,” according to CNN.

American Power Source will shed about 260 jobs when they close plants in Alabama and Mississippi on Nov. 1 because of competition from FPI, the AP reports.

“There’s a federal program tanking our industry,” Kurt Courtney, director of government relations at the American Apparel and Footwear Association, told CNN. “The only way for workers to get jobs back is to go to prison. There’s got to be a better way.”

Last month Kentucky apparel factory Ashland Sales and Service, Co. had to reach out to state Sen. Mitch McConnell to prevent FPI from winning an Air Force contract he needed to keep his Olive Hill factory—the town’s biggest largest employer—from being forced to shut down.

Founded in 1934, FPI’s operations are patterned after a “mass-production, low-skilled labor economy of the 1930s,” according to a report last year from the Congressional Research Service. Dianne Cardwell of the New York Times called the company “inefficient by design” because it employs as many inmates as possible, “which diminishes the advantage of its low wages.”

Despite a Small Business Administration ruling in 2005 that FPI cannot win service contracts set aside for small businesses, FPI wins federal contracts over private companies as long as its bid is comparable in price, quantity and delivery.

via Corporate Prison Labor Is Forcing Small Businesses To Close Factories – Business Insider.

  1. No comments yet.
  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: