Posts tagged unions
Posts tagged unions
occupy wall street
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Oh hi mostly my entire blog.
Well, except cat pictures. I post those often.
If you have been reading some of my posts or keeping up on the current news, most of you by now know about the breaking news story that Hostess is going out of business.
Quite frankly, I think the news coverage of this is bullshit. There are more important things going on in the world, such as: the missile strikes on Gaza, IKEA using prisoners for forced labor, another oil rig off the U.S. coast blowing up, The E.U. halting judicial aid over corruption, JP Morgan Chase and Credit Suisse paying $417 million due to them fucking over the housing market, air-borne Ebola, and the U.K. threatening companies to release personal data.
Instead, we’re hoarding them as though the world is going to end and that last Twinkie or fruit pie might be our last. Considering the rate of Diabetes in the U.S., that actually might not be far from the truth.
I personally can’t stand the things made by Hostess; they always leave my mouth feeling gritty. Still, the miniature Donettes were probably my favorite, but I would not go as far as to hoard them. I stopped eating them due to them using animal shortening (FYI-vegetarian), as well as them being, well, unhealthy. Considering that each Twinkie is almost half sugar/corn syrup (19g out of 42g total, or almost 5 teaspoons of sugar), I can actually see why the diabetes has gone up as high as it has.
Even so, there are healthier alternatives than entertaining a corporate giant’s death throes without all the preservative-based crap that is in their products. They may last shorter than store-bought, but let’s face it, if you’re going through the effort of hoarding and/or making your own Twinkies, I really doubt they need to last the 3-4 weeks (after all, when was the last time you bought food that you didn’t immediately eat?).
That being said, with all the people going around mourning that they won’t be able to get one item out of their junk food-based diet, moping around and saying that life won’t be worth living (some of which people are greatly exaggerating, while I’m sure a few people out there are dead serious), I offer the following bit of advice: This is not the end of Hostess food products. Other companies will pick up where they left off (assuming the company, while dissolved, doesn’t sic any Patent Trolls onto said companies making replacements). At the very worst, someone will come along and mass-market them ten or twenty years down the line, such as what they did with Moon Pies. If you’re sitting on your ass bitching about it, all I can say it, it’s probably for the best. Now go eat some broccoli, you fat fuck.
I know I’m generalizing with the fat comment, but damn people, if this is the most earth-shattering news that is going on in your life, you need to get some other hobbies. Hey, I know! Why don’t you make your own and sell them to the masses, sort of what I suggested would happen above? That way you encompass the best of both worlds: you (and others) can have your Twinkies and eat them, too! And even have some scratch to boot! It beats bitching and moaning about it. After all, I feel the only people that are actually entitled to complain about Hostess going under are the 18,500 people being unemployed right around the holiday season.
Seriously. Grow the fuck up, you Emo Hipsters.
The bolded part. Nailed it.
Rep. Joe Walsh of Illinois, screaming at a constituent during his “Cup of Joe with Joe” in Gurnee, Illinois this Sunday.
Walsh also falsely claimed that unions somehow have more power and influence than corporations in America. The constituent had asked a very reasonable question regarding the influence of bank lobbyists and the revolving door of former senators becoming lobbyists or heads of corporations, or vice versa.
Mike Huckabee, encouraging voter suppression this Friday in Mason, Ohio.
He was speaking in support of Issue 2. Issue 2 is the ballot referendum on Senate Bill 5, the bill in Ohio that stripped collective bargaining rights. Enough signatures were gathered to put SB 5 on the ballot as Issue 2.
A ‘yes’ vote means the voter supports SB 5 and Issue 2. A ‘no’ vote means the voter does not support SB 5 and Issue 2. So if you don’t support it, and you’re the relative of someone who does, Mike Huckabee thinks said relative should keep you from voting.
Thought experiment: What if a Democrat said this? What if Howard Dean said this at a fundraiser? Fox News would have a collective aneurysm. Instead, Huckabee’s comments are defended as “just a joke” online. Gotcha.
Occupy Wall Street is getting a shot in the arm, as some of America’s largest unions have announced that they’re now supporting the movement. The gain in momentum comes as off-shoots of the original Manhattan group plan marches and protests around the nation.
The group has attracted some mockery, largely for its members’ proclivity for dressing up like zombies. But a new Rasmussen poll finds that the group enjoys a higher approval rating (33 percent) than does Congress (14 percent).
Perhaps sensing a groundswell of opinion, several key Democrats have endorsed the group, including former Sen. Russ Feingold and Rep. John Larson, who called it a sign of a coming "American autumn" — a reference to the Arab Spring protests that have reshaped parts of the Middle East.
I’ve seen this quote from Gandhi used in reference to Occupy Wall Street:
"First they ignore you. Then they laugh at you. Then they fight you. Then you win."
However, I think this summary of social change from César Chávez, founder of the United Farm Workers of America, is also apropos to the movement:
"Once social change begins, it cannot be reversed. You cannot uneducate the person who has learned to read. You cannot humiliate the person who feels pride. You cannot oppress the people who are not afraid anymore. We have seen the future, and the future is ours."
It’s only because they’re not corporations, and corporations are people. When corporations love each other very much, they can bundle their money and make SuperPACs of DOOM!
Of course, when the people band together to fight corporate influence and exploitation, that’s wrong. When their organization chooses to donate to a political cause or candidate, that’s corrupt. Yeah, totally makes sense.
People organizing = unpatriotic, corrupt union
Businesses organizing = US Chamber of Commerce.
Happy Labor Day weekend to my fellow union folks as it comes to a close! I hope everyone had the chance to rest and reflect on the contributions of organized labor - and labor in general - over the past few days.
As a new member of the National Writers Union, here’s why you won’t see content from Huff Post on Cognitive Dissonance. I ask my fellow labor-supporting Tumblr folk to honor the virtual picket line.
Janet Reasoner, NWU, May 25, 2011:
There has been a strike and boycott against the Huffington Post since last March, called by Visual Art Source and the Huffington Post Union of Bloggers and Writers (HPUB), and supported by the National Writers Union (NWU) and the Newspaper Guild (TNG). Please honor the electronic picket line; don’t post and don’t share articles on the Huffington Post until this is resolved.
In February, Arianna Huffington sold Huffington Post (the website and brand) to AOL for $315 million. This was possible in large part because of the work of thousands of unpaid writers and bloggers who made the site/brand what it is.
NWU’s goals in this dispute are:
- Get AOL/HuffPo to settle with writers/bloggers we represent for a share of the $315 million sales price;
- Set a standard that we can take to other online content providers to get writers paid;
- Build a bigger and more powerful NWU;
- Win a livable minimum wage for online content creators.
So what’s the big deal?
HuffPo was built on the hugely popular, yet unpaid, bloggers that populated the site with interesting and fresh content every single day. Arianna Huffington says that writers should be glad to write for free in exchange for all the free exposure they get. They can showcase their work and gain a following. That argument held water until Arianna got filthy rich[er] off of the web site and brand that all of these unpaid writers helped her build. Organized labor is about workers being treated fairly. Management/owners should not be able to get rich while treating their employees poorly or not paying them at all
A brief history:
In March of this year, Virtual Art Source (http://visualartsource.com) announced that the 50 writers they represent would no longer be providing free content to HuffPo. According to their site, they are striking for two demands:
- A pay schedule must be proposed and steps initiated to implement it for all contributing writers and bloggers.
- Paid promotional material must no longer be posted alongside editorial content; a press release or exhibition catalogue essay is fundamentally different from editorial content and must be either segregated and indicated as such, or not published at all.
Ms. Huffington was quoted as saying “The idea of going on strike when no one really notices… Go ahead, go on strike.” (http://www.thewrap.com/media/column-post/arianna-huffington-go-ahead-go-…)
On March 16, the Newspaper Guild posted a piece on their web site (http://www.newsguild.org/index.php?ID=10712) asking all writers to stop supplying content to HuffPo and for everyone to honor the electronic picket line. On March 21, NWU joined the battle (http://nwu.org/support-huffpo-strikers) stating, “We urge our members and everyone reading this, not to write for HuffPo until they are brought to the bargaining table.”
On April 12, former HuffPo blogger and former NWU President Jonathan Tasini (still a current NWU member) filed a class action lawsuit against Ms. Huffington, Huffington Post, AOL, and Kenneth Lerer in U.S. District Court. The complaint, on behalf of a putative class of over 9,000 writers, asks for at least $105 million in damages for uncompensated writers and bloggers for HuffPo.
What’s happening now?
AFL-CIO President Rich Trumka, United Steelworkers (USW) President Leo Gerard, and UAW International President Bob King are honoring the boycott and support is growing.
There are three Facebook pages devoted to the strike against HuffPo — Union of Huffington Post Writers and Bloggers, Huffington Post Justice Campaign, and “Hey Arianna, Can You Spare a Dime?” On the first page, the Huffington Post Union of Bloggers and Writers (HPUB) have a link to the NWU website urging their members to join NWU. They will be speaking at the DA in Detroit, June 23-26.
Many labor and progressive/liberal folks are still getting the message about the strike and virtual picket line. Just last week, there was a link from a large union’s Facebook page to a HuffPo posting (since taken down after several of us pointed out the problem). Many of you are still likely to see your Facebook friends posting links to HuffPo articles. If you do, please send them the link to this article.
You can also send them the link to the Daily Kos posting, Why I’m Boycotting The Huffington Post, And I Hope You Will Too, from April 2. (http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/04/02/962560/-Why-Im-Boycotting-The-H…).
"Union Song" by Tom Morello, live in Madison, WI on Feb. 21, 2011.
For voter and volunteer information (whether you’re on the ground in Wisconsin, or halfway across the globe), click here.
In this election, Provisional Ballots should NOT be given out for people without ID - there is NO requirement for photo ID in this election. If you see someone receiving a provisional ballot for any reason, Wisconsin Election Protection wants to know! Encourage that person to contact Wisconsin Election Protection at 1-866-OUR-VOTE or @EPWisco on twitter (or they can post on this page).
The polls will open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. ANYONE in line at 8 p.m. can still vote. If that right is denied, call the number above.
Stand up for the workers of Wisconsin! Get out the vote and protect the rights of your fellow Wisconsinites. Here’s information on voting restrictions and requirements. Here’s info on the recalls and volunteering.
"There is Power in a Union" performed by the Barley Brothers (Brian O’Donnell, Jeff Burkhart, Colin Bazsali) at the Wisconsin Wave rally on the State Capitol, April 9, 2011.
Firefighters march through Wisconsin’s capital building in solidarity with protesters on February 18th, 2011.
Here’s what one YouTube genius had to say:
Don’t let people like him win. GET OUT THE VOTE! Click here for more info on what you can do, whether you live in Wisconsin, across the US, or across the globe.
45,000 Verizon workers are on strike Sunday after contract negotiations failed.
Two unions representing the employees - the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and the Communications Workers of America - say they are calling for a strike because Verizon wants large concessions on items such as health care and pensions. Verizon argues the concessions are necessary due to a “long-term drop” in revenue from competition and the company’s land-line business.
The strike affects Verizon’s wire line division, not their wireless division.
The Communications Workers of America released a statement on the strike early this morning:
Since bargaining began on June 22, Verizon has refused to move from a long list of concession demands. Even at the 11th hour, as contracts were set to expire, Verizon continued to seek to strip away 50 years of collective bargaining gains for middle class workers and their families.
Verizon released a statement saying they have a “contingency plan” in place to prevent customers from experiencing disruptions in service.
I stand with Verizon’s workers and the rights of every American to organize.
It was already approaching 100° at 8 a.m. when I arrived at the Park Hyatt where, after 22 months of stalled negotiations, hotel workers were staging a one-day picket to protest the hotel chain’s intolerable treatment of their housekeeping staff.
In case you didn’t know, Hyatt is owned by the Pritzker family. Heiress Penny Sue Pritzker chairs Obama’s national campaign finance committee. She is also big player in Democratic Party politics as well as in the world of anti-union, corporate school reform and was recently appointed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel to a seat on the Chicago school board.
Pritzker’s response to the Park Hyatt strikers was to turn on the hotel’s powerful heating lamps to try and bake the workers into submission on this brutally hot day. But this seemingly inhuman and probably illegal response seemed to have had just the opposite effect. Picketers began chanting, “Hyatt can’t take the heat, but we can!” The lamps were left on until word got out and media began to show up.
This is completely wrong, and I would think constitutes reckless endangerment. I will never stay at a Hyatt again.