Prisoners earning 23 cents an hour in U.S. federal prisons are manufacturing high-tech electronic components for Patriot Advanced Capability 3 missiles, launchers for TOW (Tube-launched, Optically tracked, Wire-guided) anti-tank missiles, and other guided missile systems. The expanding use of prison industries, which pay slave wages, as a way to increase profits for giant military corporations, is a frontal attack on the rights of all workers. Prison labor with no union protection, overtime pay, vacation days, pensions, benefits, health and safety protection, or Social Security withholding also makes complex components for McDonnell Douglas/Boeings F-15 fighter aircraft, the General Dynamics/Lockheed Martin F-16, and Bell/Textrons Cobra helicopter. Prison labor produces night-vision goggles, body armor, camouflage uniforms, radio and communication devices, and lighting systems and components for 30-mm to 300-mm battleship anti-aircraft guns, along with land mine sweepers and electro-optical equipment for the BAE Systems Bradley Fighting Vehicles laser rangefinder. Prisoners recycle toxic electronic equipment and overhaul military vehicles. Labor in federal prisons is contracted out by UNICOR, previously known as Federal Prison Industries, a quasi-public, for-profit corporation run by the Bureau of Prisons. In 14 prison factories, more than 3,000 prisoners manufacture electronic equipment for land, sea and airborne communication. UNICOR is now the U.S. governments 39th largest contractor, with 110 factories at 79 federal penitentiaries. The majority of UNICORs products and services are on contract to orders from the Department of Defense. Giant multinational corporations purchase parts assembled at some of the lowest labor rates in the world, then resell the finished weapons components at the highest rates of profit. For example, Lockheed Martin and Raytheon Corporation subcontract components, then assemble and sell advanced weapons systems to the Pentagon. Increased profits, unhealthy workplaces However, the Pentagon is not the only buyer. U.S. corporations are the worlds largest arms dealers, while weapons and aircraft are the largest U.S. export. The U.S. State Department, Department of Defense and diplomats pressure NATO members and dependent countries around the world into multibillion-dollar weapons purchases that generate further corporate profits, often leaving many countries mired in enormous debt. The Pentagon and Slave Labor in U.S. Prisons But the fact that the capitalist state has found yet another way to drastically undercut union workers wages and ensure still higher profits to military corporations whose weapons wreak such havoc around the world is an ominous development.