I want introduce you to Sybil Mikell. Sybil is blind. She has worked in a warehouse in New Orleans near the Mississippi River since 1980. She is one of dozens of line workers at the Lighthouse for the Blind in New Orleans. That’s the name of her employer. The employer has a contract with the government to make metal trays that are sent to the US military overseas for meals. This is a program called Ability One. It’s been a force in the federal government since 1938. It was reinforced in the 1990s so that common, everyday things that the military needs are, by law, required to buy in the United States from companies that are employing disabled people.
Sybil she says she has raised four kids working. She’s about to be fired. René Vitrine is the president of Lighthouse for the Blind and says there’s been a change, another unilateral wand waving change by the Obama administration. New executive ordered federal procurement rules encourage military forces in Afghanistan to buy from manufacturers and brokers in central Asia and not from companies in the United States. This president, which in large part was reelected in 2012, by labeling his opponent, Mitt Romney as a guy who off shored jobs, is off shoring the jobs of blind people.
Scoggin is vice president of a program support for a company called TWI. TWI has been contracted by the General Services Administration (GSA) to come up with private companies that are providing the metal trays now that have been contracted for in central Asia. He has declined to provide the name of any of the companies. We don’t even know who the companies are or where the jobs have been outsourced to so that these blind Americans have been put on unemployment. Scoggin said this decision is a GSA one and not for me to answer. The GSA came back and said, well, it is unfortunate and we are going to try to find other jobs for them.
Ability One had a commission set up of civilians to oversee the program, to make sure the military was procuring these, common ordinary, everyday items such as toilet paper, towels and all kinds of stuff from American companies that had disabled people working for them and if they couldn’t, than they y could find a source somewhere else. But they had to make American jobs and primarily for the disabled.
George Selby is the commission spokesman and he told the Washington Times that he supports the Obama administration’s decision to offshore jobs for the blind, because the directive has been determined to be in our national interest. Which national interest is it, to take a job from Sybil, who has raised four kids with that job and give it to somebody in central Asia. Which national interest can this policy possibly be serving?
I bless you, Sybil Mikell you are an American, unlike this administration which is outsourcing blind people’s jobs to Central Asian. Done by Obama Executive order in violation of two laws and an active ongoing review commission. That is UNAMERICAN!!!