Chris Miller

As Americans our loyalties do not seem to be with our fellow citizens, but rather with our pocketbooks. Free Trade Agreements, cheap foreign labor, combined with unscrupulous business practices by companies like WalMart result in cheaper prices, which the American consumer clearly responds to. Given all of the statistics about jobs lost to offshore outsourcing, unemployment, and layoffs of American workers, how is it possible to turn these numbers into a visual depiction of the results of the greater forces of globalization and the loss of American manufacturing jobs? In my opinion the Standard Foundry, in Worcester, MA is just such a visual bellwether.

In September, of 1992, the Standard Foundry closed its gates to its employees and began the process of divesting itself of any equipment that was worth selling off. According to the management, the local/regional market for gray iron and steel foundry work had dried up to the point that it was economically unfeasible to remain in business. The workers had a different take on the company's downfall. In their opinion management had run the company into the ground. The management cut too many corners to save a buck, which resulted in poorer quality products compounded by reduced customer service. Despite the differences in opinion, at the end of the day the business, after almost a century of operation, ceased to be successful and went the way of many like it in Main South.


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