The economic crisis manifests itself in virtually every facet of working class living conditions in the US. New state budgets include devastating cuts to basic social programs, even as the job and housing markets continue to worsen and need grows.
17,000 apply for 1,800 jobs in Louisville, Kentucky.
In the span of a few days, 16,837 people lined up at the Kentucky Office of Employment & Training last week to apply for 1,800 openings at Ford’s Louisville Assembly Plant. The company will select applications to review through a lottery process.
The positions, many nightshift line jobs assembling the Escape SUV beginning in the fall, will pay only $15.51 per hour—half that previously earned by autoworkers in the US. Benefits will not begin for new hires until after eight months on the job. Steven Stone, the United Auto Workers chairman at the Louisville plant, defended the wages. He commented to the Louisville Courier-Journal, “Those are good jobs even though they are ‘two tier.’ ” The Louisville plant is among the first in the country to implement the two-tier system.
The line-up is similar to a 2009 run on job openings at General Electric’s Louisville plant, when 10,000 applicants vied for 90 positions. Kentucky is attractive to corporations concentrated in the Midwest because of its “business friendly” tax structure and low wages. Louisville has higher than 10 percent unemployment and widespread poverty.
-Notes on the US social crisis