DHL deal gone sour haunts McCain in Ohio

Discussion in 'Politics' started by ZZZzzzzzzz, Aug 8, 2008.

  1. In southwestern Ohio, working families are nervous about the likely loss of 8,000 jobs if a major shipping company stops using the Wilmington airport as a hub.

    The pattern is familiar, but the pain isn’t abstract for Ohio families. The potential job loss is the result of a chain of events driven by corporate greed—and back-room lobbying deals supported by Sen. John McCain.

    DHL was purchased by the German company Deutsche Post in 2002, and within a year the company merged with Airborne Express, a delivery company based in Wilmington. Now, DHL has announced plans to stop using the airport and outsource all deliveries elsewhere. This would devastate the economy of the small town of Wilmington, leaving more than 8,000 people out of work.

    McCain, an adherent of Bush-style economic and trade policies, is closely tied to this potential disaster, as is McCain’s campaign manager, Rick Davis.

    In 2003, Davis was a high-priced lobbyist who pushed the Senate to approve the DHL-Airborne Express merger. McCain was one of his strongest allies on Capitol Hill in pursuing the merger and, as chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee at the time, had a key role in blocking legislation that could have prevented the merger. Davis, meanwhile, has raked in hundreds of thousands of dollars from Deutsche Post, both before and after the merger.

    Joe Rugola, president of the Ohio AFL-CIO, says McCain’s actions demonstrate he is part of the problem when it comes to protecting America’s jobs.

    Those jobs are on the chopping block because Sen. McCain and his campaign were involved in a deal that resulted in control of those positions being shifted to a foreign corporation, and there’s no getting around that.

    Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) is urging McCain to work in the Senate to prevent DHL from taking these jobs away from southwestern Ohio.

    It is unconscionable to have access to help for these families but not explore every possible solution to save these jobs. John McCain should act as aggressively to save Wilmington jobs as he did to expedite the sale of Airborne to Deutsche Post. Instead of action, he’s taken a path of indifference. Ohioans need a president who will fight for them.

    Sen. Barack Obama is getting involved in the potential crisis. Obama has written a letter to the White House demanding further investigation into the merger proposal, including its impact on jobs and whether it violates anti-trust law. Last month, Obama met with Wilmington Mayor David Raizk and DHL workers to discuss the situation.

    Few people, though, have the access and leverage that McCain and Davis have over DHL. McCain claimed, in a campaign visit to southwest Ohio, that there’s nothing he could do to help the situation. Of course, his campaign also is claiming that no one could have anticipated job losses resulting from the merger.

    McCain can’t escape it: He’s part of the old Washington culture of lobbyists and corporate interests that has left working families behind.