To former factory workers, ‘talk is cheap’

Jul 9, 2012, 8:52 PM | Updated: Jul 10, 2012, 5:36 am
Former Kimberly-Clark factory workers gathered outside the plant in Everett, Wash., Monday for a jobs rally. One worker said he is tired of "lip service" from politicians. (AP Photos/File)
(AP Photos/File)

“Talk is cheap.” “Actions speak louder than words.” “The proof is in the pudding.”

Call it cliché, but Darrell Moffatt is tired of all the “lip service.”

“I want to believe that they’re really going to do something,” said the former Kimberly-Clark factory worker, who lost his job when the company closed its Everett, Wash., site earlier this year. Workers gathered outside the plant Monday in support of the Bring Jobs Home Act, which would offer tax incentives for companies who bring jobs back to the United States.

Moffat, 58, has been unemployed for more than two months and has decided to go back to school rather than wait for politicians to help create jobs.

And he isn’t the only one.

Marilynn Monroe, 43, worked at the factory for almost 10 years and said she would rather return to school to study health care than settle for a minimum wage job.

“The president is saying right now that he’s created all these jobs, well I want to know where they are and how much they’re paying,” said Monroe, who made $26.77 an hour at Kimberly-Clark. “I made more money here than I’ve ever made in my life. I wasn’t rich by any means, but I was comfortable.”

Last week, during a two-day bus tour through Pennsylvania and Ohio, President Barack Obama called the past 28 months a “step in the right direction,” claiming that businesses created 4.4 million jobs during that period, including 500,000 manufacturing jobs.

But Dr. Stephen Lerch, Washington state’s interim chief economist, said economic data is “complicated,” and it is important to be “careful” when interpreting figures given during political campaigns.

According to the most recent jobs report, the economy added just 80,000 jobs in June and the national unemployment rate remained at 8.2 percent.

“Whether you’re talking about the U.S. or you’re talking about Washington, this is not much of a recovery,” Lerch said. “It’s disappointing.”

During a speech in New Hampshire, Mitt Romney was quick to blame the president for the latest job figures, saying Mr. Obama has “clearly not been successful” in turning around the economy.

He called the jobs report a “kick in the gut” for middle-class families.

Obama, however, downplayed the report and reiterated his message that the economy would not be a quick fix.

But, as Moffatt said, “talk is cheap.”

“It’s just words,” he said. “It’s just words to get elected.”

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To former factory workers, ‘talk is cheap’