Monthly Archives: August 2011

Jobs is gone but poisoned Chinese workers seek justice from Apple and Tim Cook

The poisoned workers at Wintek, an Apple supplier in Suzhou, China, have been awaiting a response from Steve Jobs, the former CEO of Apple. Regrettably, he had not responded before his resignation. The poisoned workers hope the new Apple CEO, Tim Cook, will live up to its claim of corporate social responsibility and provide them remedies.

via Poisoned Chinese Workers Demand Action from Apple CEO Successor « Talking Union.

Disney has a problem with its Chinese manufacturer of its Cars toys and here’s another story of Wintek an Apple supplier poisoning its workers. Let’s not forget the history at Foxconn another supplier of Apple and other technology firms. Again, I can’t help but mentioning in the global race to the bottom this is what happens.

Disney and the Chinese Sweatshop

Disneys best-selling Cars toys are being made in a factory in China that uses child labor and forces staff to do three times the amount of overtime allowed by law, according to an investigation.

One worker reportedly killed herself after being repeatedly shouted at by bosses. Others cited worries over poisonous chemicals. Disney has now launched its own investigation.

via Disney Factory Faces Probe into Sweatshop Suicide Claims | Common Dreams.

So now they’re launching their own investigation. That’s great and all but somehow you can’t tell me that this isn’t what we’ve come to expect in the global race to the bottom.


Rahm Emanuel’s no friend to labor

First, Emanuel pledged to make $75 million in cuts to close a current year budget deficit. Emanuel threatened to lay off 625 city workers unless they agreed to rule changes to save the city $50 million.

The Chicago Federation of Labor leadership subsequently released a report, which contains thoughtful proposals that would instead save the city $242 million.

So far the administration has turned a deaf ear and some observers wonder if the bullying is an effort to intimidate labor and turn city residents against public workers instead of demanding sacrifices from big business. Needless to say, relations with the labor movement have been strained.

via Rahm Emanuel’s first 100 days: new style, same substance » peoplesworld.

This is the reason why the AFL-CIO is not as warm to Democrats as they’ve been in the past. For all the tough talk Emmanuel is known for he’s more of a bully than a leader. He can’t stand up to business interests so he takes it out on organized labor. That truthfully sounds cowardly to me. At least you know where governors like Scott Walker et al. stand. They’re anti-union no doubt. But Rahm Emmanuel is a Democrat and what makes him difficult is the fact that while he obviously doesn’t like labor he will still try and placate them when he needs something.

Eric Cantor to Mineral, VA – Drop Dead

We saw this earlier in the summer, following a devastating tornado hit Joplin, Missouri. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor R-Va. said he was willing to provide relief aid, just as soon as Democrats agreed to pay for it by cutting funding for a clean-energy program. His party agreed.

via Political Animal – Cantor’s callousness continues.

He’s trying to starve the beast. Conservatives don’t even want to provide basic government services without cutting from a program they don’t like.

Kicking Schneiderman off panel makes him more credible

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman on Tuesday was kicked off the committee leading the 50-state task force charged with probing foreclosure abuses and negotiating a possible settlement agreement with the nations five largest mortgage firms, according to an email reviewed by The Huffington Post.

Schneiderman was one of roughly a dozen state attorneys general leading the talks with the five companies, alongside representatives of the U.S. Department of Justice, the Department of Housing and Urban Development and other federal agencies. The government launched the negotiations in the spring after widespread reports of foreclosure irregularities, such as so-called “robo-signing” and illegal home seizures, emerged.

via New York Attorney General Kicked Off Government Group Leading Foreclosure Probe.

It seems to me that the New York Attorney General’s office is one of the few offices doing the people’s work. The Obama administration and all of its allies in this matter are flatly not.

The earthquake happened because Strauss-Kahn was freed

Back in New York, a noted Harlem activist, Queen Mother Dr. Delois Blakely, had come downtown to protest Tuesdays  freeing of Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the former head of the International Monetary Fund. At first, she wondered if the shaking had been prompted by her prayers for Strauss-Kahns victim. “I was praying really hard.” Meanwhile, her friend Veronica Phillips said she thought the vibrations and the sound were “like the subway so I thought it was normal.”

via What?! An earthquake? East Coast reacts with shock –

The earth shook because a huge injustice occurred. That’s what I’ll go with.

Former Duane Reade CEO sentenced to jail

The former chief executive of Duane Reade, the New York City drugstore chain, was sentenced on Monday to three years in prison for exaggerating the company’s income.Anthony J. Cuti, 65, of Saddle River, N.J., was also ordered to pay a $5 million fine by Federal District Court Judge Deborah A. Batts, who called him a “gifted, arrogant, driven and entitled individual who betrayed his position as C.E.O.” He must report to prison in January to begin serving his sentence.

via Cuti, Former Duane Reade Chief, Sentenced in Fraud Case –

I guess these executives haven’t learned the lesson from Enron.

A lesson from Wisconsin on organizing

Madison revived the concept of street protests, strikes, and solidarity actions that had seemed to be all but extinct, replaced by the passive point and click activism of the Internet age and cautious top-down, D.C.-centric labor leadership. As labor fought for its life in Madison, I worked feverishly to document the revival of the in-your-face direct action, civil disobedience, and organizing that had built the labor movement in the 1930s.

via What Wisconsin Means — In These Times.

Yes, activism has suffered from it becoming point and click passiveness for many. But I’ve always felt that the purpose was to organize online for the action that happens offline. That is what the Dean for America campaign along with MoveOn started. So in that sense Wisconsin has righted online organizing as a tool that you combine with the offline effort.

One cannot deny that the Internet did play a huge part in mobilizing people. Twitter feeds helped spread news and I’m sure Facebook played a part. Then you have all the bloggers contributing to the narrative. I’m sure I saw a number of Youtube videos and live streaming videos from Ustream during the height of the protests in Wisconsin.

Bitter Chocolate: Hershey’s student workers walk out

They found themselves packing chocolates and loading boxes at wages from $7.85 to $8.35 per hour. After automatic weekly deductions for rent and other expenses, most were only netting between $40 and $140 per week after 40 hours of work. They have also been forced to live in company housing, for which they are being charged twice the market rates paid by American tenants living in the same housing complexes. They say the situation leaves them with little to no chance to even earn back the thousands of dollars they paid to be here.

via Chocolate shakeup: Student guest workers walk out at Hershey’s plant » peoplesworld.

In the race to the bottom it took some foreign students to stand up for themselves.

In good conscience could we really repeal Roe? We cannot.

We dont know what Keenans abortion experience was like. She could, like many women who ended up injured or dead from abortions in that era, have tried to self-induce. Douching with soap or bleach was a “common and frequently fatal method,” though there were many others, according to Leslie Reagans book “When Abortion Was a Crime.” Big city hospitals treated thousands of women each year for often brutal injuries related to illegal abortions. By the early 1960s, as childbirth became safer, abortion-related deaths made up nearly half of the entire maternal mortality rate in New York City, according to one study.

via The abortion that Mitt doesnt talk about anymore – War Room –

This is absolutely terrifying and horrible. We cannot allow this country to return to the day’s of Mitt Romney’s youth! This is barbaric. It must have been like living under the Taliban for a woman back then.