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August 25, 2004

Courts Slam Bush DOL on TAA Benefits

This gets monotonous. Once again, the U.S. Court of International Trade has condemned the Bush Department of Labor for failing to fairly investigate claims by workers that trade had cost them their jobs, and they therefore qualified for special unemployment benefits under our trade agreements:

Texas garment workers who allege they lost their jobs because their work was moved to Mexico should have their claims for trade adjustment assistance more thoroughly investigated by the Labor Department, the U.S. Court of International Trade ruled Aug. 20 (Former Employees of Sun Apparel v. Secretary of Labor, Ct. Intl. Trade, No. 04-106, 8/20/04).
Criticizing the Labor Department's failure to initially investigate the Sun Apparel workers' claims, the trade court said DOL should reinvestigate the claims and expand its work beyond the incomplete evidence provided by Sun Apparel's human resources director.

The court explained that although workers filed claims in Spanish and sent them to DOL for consideration, the claims were not investigated. Rather, the department focused on a certification request made by the employer, and DOL never considered the allegations made by the workers.

"Due to Labor's disregard for its statutory duty, the displaced workers' claims were ignored for over three months while the agency completed its investigation into Sun Apparel's petition and issued its negative determination," Judge Jane A. Restani wrote. "The entire investigation consisted of two communications with only one individual."

See this past post where the same court complained about the Bush DOL's repeated failure to respect the law.

Why should anyone take this administration seriously when they say they will take care of workers displaced by trade or outsourcing?

Posted by Nathan at August 25, 2004 07:43 AM