Tag Archives: Labor Unions

If Walmart is going to halt labor unrest with punitive “plumbing problems” its workers could plumb the same depths

CementWalmart has reportedly closed a smattering of its stores across the country citing “plumbing problems”. The mega-retailer’s media cohorts are reporting the mystery but won’t say that the closures coincide with stores which have been hardest hit by labor unrest. It turns out, Walmart has opted to close its doors where employees have most successfully organized “Fight For Fifteen” actions. By suddenly closing the stores Walmart preempted further organizing and punished the upstarts by laying off all the store’s employees with only a few hours notice. Walmart claims the plumbing problems will take a half year to fix. I think what remains of Walmart’s workforce has been given a wonderful opportunity to retaliate in kind. What of these plumbing problems? Are Walmart’s other stores showing signs of plumbing problems too? Might a larger wave of plumbing problems be induced? I think Walmart’s union-busting advisors have loosed a weapon that will prove more consequential for Walmart than its wage-slave victims. Foisted on their own petard, I believe is the expression. Petard in this case is substituted by toilette. Walmart customers can even get in on the act, err, investigation, for free. Come to Walmart empty handed, find a bag of cement in the hardware aisle, proceed to the public bathroom, flush it presto plumbing problem. Citizen plumbers can turn this plumbing mystery into a plumbing thriller.

Goddamnit! 100 years on, KRCC plays soldier to butcher Ludlow miners again

Ludlow
COLORADO SPRINGS, CO- This is what happen when apolitical wits want to dribble their sardonic apathy on a subject of historic import. Or as they see it, unimport. The 100-year anniversary of the Ludlow Massacre passed in April, with considerable media attention and unfortunately the requisit controversy that comes of celebrants numbering equal parts decendents of the perps and not the miners. You’d think KRCC might have heard the dissonance in April, the attempt of National Guard to rewrite the history in accordance to today’s culture of military-worship and the ensuing protestations, but no. Tonight a locally produced radio show called “Wish We Were Here” aired a one-hour episode about “Ludlow” on public radio franchise KRCC. Noel Black, Jake Burnell and Andrea Chalfin put the program together and relied on the same revisionists which dogged the official commemorations.

Pueblo museum excises Mine Workers Union from Ludlow Massacre exhibit!


PUEBLO, COLORADO- 2014 marks one hundred years since the Ludlow Massacre of 1914. A variety of commemorations are planned before the formal anniversary on April 20. I attended one such event on Wednesday, a lecture by a CSU professor to footnote the “Children of Ludlow” exhibit at El Pueblo History Museum. I’m always excitied when attention is paid to Ludlow, a subject regularly left out of American schoolbooks, but I was disappointed to find key elements of labor history excised from the museum’s narrative. Literally. The United Mine Workers of America, the organization central to the strike, which supplied the tent city, and which even today maintains the memorial site, was mentioned only once, IN FINE PRINT! The Ludlow miners voted to strike because the mining companies refused to recognize the UMWA. Unmentioned. The horrors of the atrocity were not tempered, in their explicitness perhaps we think them enough, but there was also the apologist suggestion that some culpability belonged to the miners. I questioned one curator who admitted they were at pains to keep the story “balanced” and that the squeakiest wheel thus far has been the National Guard. Apparently the Guard is offended that its role will be misconstrued. What balance do they want, I wondered. Had they lost children in the “battlezone” too?

Children are at the heart of commemorating Ludlow and at the heart of this preversion of the massacre’s memory. Were they recklessly endangered by their parents and union organizers? Were they dragged into a battlezone? The museum seems to suggest as much, highlighting the beligerence of the miners, mischaracterizing the soldiers, and leaving the union actions largely unexplained.

First I’d like to declare how I tire of the objective irrelevance which results when academics seek the approval of government technocrats. I am also disturbed by educators who pretend blindness to subtle inferences which shape a political takeaway. To them, “remembering” Ludlow seems sufficient in itself. I can hardly see the point to remembering Ludlow unless we have discerned its lessons. Until we are remembering the LESSONS OF LUDLOW, our educators’ self-proclaimed raison d’etre will be self-fulfilling: “history will repeat itself.” This Pueblo exhibit suggests no lesson other than the exploitation of tragedy, and leaves me fearful about the Ludlow commemorations to follow. The anti-union, pro-military climate which prevails these hundred years since the massacre will make for a travesty of a remembrance unless someone with a worker’s perspective speaks up.

NOT BROUGHT TO YOU BY…
Let’s start with this exhibit, which alas has already escaped critique since September. Its full title, as evidenced in the photo above: “Black Hills Energy presents: Children of Ludlow, Life in a Battlezone, 1913-1914.”

I’ll bet curators thought it a measure of truth and reconciliation that the Ludlow presentation was sponsored by a local extraction industry business. Black Hills Energy trades not in coal but natural gas. In fact they’re among the frackers tearing up Southeastern Colorado. I think the irony more likely suggests how the UMWA’s starring role was left on the cutting room floor. There are generic mentions of “the union”, as at right, keeping a ledger of which families were assigned tents, but only in the fine print is the UMWA named as owning the ledger.

BATTLEZONES
More troubling is the skewed framing of the museum’s narrative. It begins with the subtitle, “life in a battlezone.” That’s taking a rather curious liberty don’t you think? The event we accept now as “Ludlow” became a battlezone on April 20, and the regional Coal Field War which followed was a battlezone to which both revenge-seekers and militia thronged, but the tent colonies in which 12,000 lived, 9,000 of whom were the children of the title role, were camps full of families. That they were straffed regularly by the guards makes them shooting galleries not battlegrounds.

Calling Ludlow a battlezone is like calling Sand Creek a “collision” or calling the Middle East a “conflict”. All of these mask the role of the aggressor.

I will credit the curators for offering a candid detail of horrific import. In a description of the day before the massacre, when the Greeks among the immigrants were celebrating Greek Easter, mention is made of the mounted National Guards offered this taunt: “You enjoy your roast today; we will have ours tomorrow.” No one should deny today that the events of April 20, which culminated in the torching of the tents and asphyxiation of women and children, was a premeditated act.

THE CHILDREN
Should the miners have put their children in harm’s way by defying the mining companies? How could they not? As immigrants they didn’t have nearby relatives to foster their children away from the random bullets. Also left unsaid by the display: many of the children had already been working in the mines and counted among those on strike. This was before child labor reforms.

Curiously, the exhibit did include a famous photograph of the notorious activist Mother Jones leading a childrens’ march through Trinidad. The caption explained that Jones wasn’t above using real children to advance the cause of Colorado’s coal miners.” Emphasis mine. While technically true in a modern context, it’s probably disingenuous to imply someone is using the children when a key issue of the demonstration is CHILD LABOR.

No really. Mother Jones was leading a march of children, many of them workers of the mines, for the reform of labor practices which abused children. This and subsequent campaigns eventually led to child labor laws. Is saying “Mother Jones wasn’t above using children” in any way an accurate characterization?

Compounding the inference that the Children of Ludlow were jeopardized for the cause, was the implication that the miners were combatants who contributed to the battlezone. As the displays progressed in chronological order, the first weapon on display was a rifle used by the miners. Immediately behind it was an enlarged photograph vividly depicting miners posed with two identical specimens.

Moving along the exhibit chronologically, anticipating the rising violence, the museum goers is apparently supposed to register that the strikers were firing too, if not first. Recent historical accounts have deliberated about who fired first. I think the motive is suspiciously revisionist in view of today’s dogma of nonviolence absolutism: if your protest devolves into violence, you deserve every bit of the beating you get.

Whenever it was that the miners began firing, the single militia and three guard casualties were not recorded until after the massacre took place, belying the narrative that the miners invited the massacre. Witnesses conflict about when the three union leaders were executed. I’ll give the museum credit for defying the National Guard in summarizing that among the casualties, three of the miners were “executed”.

PARITY OF WEAPONS
Students of the Ludlow accounts know that many of the miners were better riflemen than the soldiers. Many were immigrants who’d served in Bulkan wars and outmatched Colorado’s green guardsmen. That is not to suggest that the miners and their harrassers were equally armed, yet…

The only other weapon on display is a rifle of vintage used by the national guard. It shares a case with a uniform and sabre, lending it official authority. Also, the rifle is not presented as having been used at Ludlow, so it doesn’t project an aura of culpability. Missing is the machine gun depicted in the photograph of the machine gun nest which fired down upon the camp. It’s depicted with a caption about the Guard being a welcome presence. Missing too is the armored car dubbed the “Death Special”. Obviously the armor protected its operators from being hit by striking-miner bullets as it drove through the canvas encampment, straffing the tents with its mounted machine gun.

HUMANIZING THE PERP
Right after the photo of armed miners was the display at right, with a very contrived bit of spin catering to today’s military families. Although the photo shows soldiers actively aiming their gun at the camp, the caption assures us that the “Ludlow families feel relief with the arrival of National Guard”. This supposition is based on the fact that when the soldiers first arrived they were serenaded with the “Battle Cry of Freedom” and greeted with American flags. Most of the miners being immigrants, they were eager to show their patriotism, but the conclusion drawn here is a terrible mendacity. The miners and union organizers knew full well the purpose of the National Guard. They knew the strikebreaking role it played in famous strikes of the past. The miners feted the soldiers hoping to sway them from their eventual task. Protesters of all eras hold out this hope every time they face riot police.

A following paragraph suggested that by the time the massacre was committed, most of the soldiers had been mustered out and replaced with militia members and company guards. This is slight of hand. After the official inquiry, which was prompted by the public outcry, twenty National Guard soldiers were court martialed. All were acquitted. Is the Guard wanting us to believe they were acquitted because they weren’t there?

This attempt to put a friendly face on the National Guard, coupled with an abdication of effort to give the union its due, seems engineered to appeal to the average Pueblan of today, many probably related to an active-duty soldier and long since indoctrinated against evil unions. When I asked the lecturer about the omission of the UMWA, she prefaced her answer for the audience, explaining that unions of old were not like those despised today. I told her I thought failing to describe the hows and whys of the strike was a real teaching opportunity missed.

HISTORY COLORADO
It’s probably important to point out that the Ludlow presentation at the History Museum was developed with the assistance of History Colorado, which finally shuttered a contested display: a Sand Creek Massacre exhibit with a similar flavor of whitewash. Like labeling Ludlow a battlezone, History Colorado tried to typify Sand Creek as a “collision.”

Also typical of History Colorado is the propensity to address their exhibits to children. Programming for school bus visits invariably dumbs down what can be presented and I hardly think the compromise is worth it. If children ran the world, maybe Disney versions of history would suffice.

I’d like to have seen it highlighted that the Ludlow miners were mainly immigrants who were looked down upon by the residents of Colorado. If the museum audience were the “Children of Ludlow” in the extended sense, as a few descendants probably were, more of us were the children of the soldiers of Ludlow, or the citizens who cheered them on, or joined the militia or built the armored car at Rockefeller’s Pueblo factory. If we’re going to remember Ludlow, we ought to remember our role in it so we don’t do that again. It’s easy to pretend we were the martyrs. In all probability that’s who we will be if the lessons of Ludlow are discarded.

We all hate bad teachers, and so do teachers. Chicago Teachers Strike is about improving education

No one hates bad teachers more than fellow teachers. What a vile media construct to assert the Chicago Teachers Strike wants to force bad teachers on the public school system. The strike is a bid to strengthen the union and public education. Who better to fight privatization, standardized testing and the deliberate mis-education of common students than teachers?

Unions are regularly maligned as parasites bent on destroying their host, but it’s an obvious falsehood which ironically depends on an audience being unschooled in critical thinking, or being unemployed. If you have a job, you know that wishing against the interest of your communal enterprise is not human nature, and also that your job is made more difficult and unpleasant by workers who don’t pull their weight.

A strong union fights for the interests of its members, and what do teachers, the most altruist among us, want? Not just a better work environment, a better education system.

Colorado police brutality retrospective: the 1934 Relief Strike Battle, UP story “Girl Radical Leads Mob in Denver Riot”


If one image captures the “Relief Strike Riot” of October 30, 1934, it’s of Patrolman CV Satt who continues to fire his service revolver after he’s felled by a bottle thrown by a striking picketer. Although Colorado newspapers were anti-union, their accounts vary enough to reveal the escalation of violence for which the DPD was responsible and for which they and the newspapers I’ll bet have never apologized. This article will be the first of a series to unearth the newspaper accounts which documented the events of Oct. 29 through Nov. 3, 1934, mostly because the police tactics and media defamation are remarkably similar today.

(Caption on above photograph: “This remarkable photograph was taken when the rioting between Denver police and “relief strike” picketers was at its height at W. Jewell ave. and the Platte River yesterday. Patrolman C. V. Satt is shown rising after he had been struck over the head with bricks and a shovel. He has his service pistol in his hand, ready to fire at his assailants, but Sergt. Henry Durkop is restraining him.”)

INTRODUCTION: THE BATTLE
As with many “riots”, the confrontation of Oct. 30, 1934 was instigated by the abrupt arrest and detention of a union organizer. What follows is an entertaining eyewitness account which attempts to defame the picketers and laud the police officers for their restraint, although the other reports and photographic record suggested otherwise.


Colorado Springs Evening Telegraph, October 31, 1934, page 1, column 8: GIRL RADICAL LEADS MOB IN DENVER RIOT — FERA Project Pickets Spurred Into Battle by Woman Believed Imported Agitator By DAVIS CAMPBELL, United Press Staff Correspondent

DENVER, Colo, Oct 30 (UP)– A dark haired, attractive girl led demonstrators into hand to hand battle with police here today, as the picketers, under alleged communist leadership, sought to force a strike of Denver FERA workers.

The girl, who was believed by police to have been an imported communist sympathizer, was the spearhead of the rush of demonstrators who attempted to rescue their arrested leader, Gene Corish, 35, of Denver, from the hands of police.

I followed the demonstrators from the time they gathered with the intention of picketing the FERA projects. Police believed they planned to descend on a project at Alameda avenue and Cherry creek. Instead they headed for another at Evans street and the Platte river.

FERA Workers Fight Reds.

There they rushed into a group of FERA workers and sought to take away their tools. The relief workers fought back. But, by the force of superior numbers the demonstrators were winning the spirited battle when police rushed up.

Several picks and shovels had been thrown into the stream.

The police leaped into the midst of the hand to hand fighting. They seized Corish, who appeared to be the leader of the rioters, and dragged him to a patrol wagon.

Instantly the girl leader of the rioters set up a cry of “Don’t let the (here she used an unprintable epithet) have him” and she started toward the patrol wagon swinging a shovel someone had wrenched from a worker.

Others joined the rush. Bricks and clods flew thru the air toward the little band of a dozen husky policemen, outnumbered about 50 to 1 by the rioters.

The patrolmen formed a cordon around the patrol wagon, and retreated slowly toward it, fighting every step of the way, but using only their clubs and fists. They very apparently were seeking to avoid serious injury to anyone.

Officer Felled by Bottle.

Suddenly a beer bottle flew thru the air and struck one of the patrolmen (I learned later he was Carl V. Satt), squarely on the head. Satt dropped like a log.

A rioter stood over him with a shovel in his hands, apparently ready to swing another blow at the unconscious man.

Driven to desperation by this development, police drew their pistols and fired what sounded to me like more than 30 shots.

A rioter dropped, wounded thru the hip. He was Henry Brown, later found to be superficially wounded.

I think Patrolman Marshall Stanton shot him. Stanton told me later he believed this was the case.

I was certain, as I watched from some distance away, that I saw two other rioters drop, but, if others were wounded, they were carried along by their fellows and were not taken to hospitals.

Rapidly the ranks of the demonstrators broke, giving ground before the police fire. Several paused long enough to hurl bricks and rocks such as those which had already injured Sergt. James Pitt and Sergt. Henry Duerkop.

The police made 10 arrests in all.

Thru all the violence, FERA workers sided with police. They appeared determined not to give up their jobs.

INTRO 2: PHOTOGRAPHS
From the Rocky Mountain News, October 31, 1934, page 4


Caption reads: “A group of the “strikers” parading near the Cherry Creek relief project. Only 21 bona fide relief workers in Denver left their jobs yesterday to strike.”


Caption reads: “This view was taken just before police and so-called relief striker started their bloody battle at the Platte River near W. Jewell ave. yesterday. The arrow points to Patrolman C. V. Satt, who was struck in the head by a missile and critically injured. Other patrolmen are shown on duty around the patrol wagon, as one of the picket leaders is being placed inside.”


Caption reads: “During the heat of the battle. This view shows the action in the encounter between police and strike picketers on the Platte River yesterday. Two of the picketers, knocked down by policemen, are shown lying on the ground.”


Caption reads: “After the smoke of battle. This shows the battleground where strikers and police met yesterday just after all the action had ceased. Two strikers are shown down on the ground and beyond them is Patrolman C. V. Satt, who was perhaps fatally injured when struck by missiles of the strikers. He is prone on the ground but has pulled out his revolver.”


Caption reads: “R. W. Rankin, a relief supervisor, shown waiting for the ambulance after he had been struck over the head by a patrolman following a private fight at the strike demonstration held yesterday at Civic Center. He suffered a severe scalp wound.”


Caption reads: Henry W. Brown, who was shot in the hip during the encounter between the demonstrators and police on the Platte River yesterday. He is shown here as he lay on a cot in county jail after his wound had been treated in Colorado General Hospital.”

INTRO 3: NEWS HEADLINES

CS Gazette, (AP) Oct 29, 1934:
Relief Strikers March on Capitol – Governor Refuses to Talk to Crowd When One ‘Red’ Won’t Keep Still

Rocky Mountain News, Oct 30
‘Relief Strikers’ March On Capitol, make Demands – Threaten Violence at Projects Today If Officials Do Not Grant All They Seek
Will Rogers – Says Bread Line Is Encouraged by Deficit of New York Stock Exchange
Young Folk Lambast Older Generation For Getting World Into Present Mess – No Punches Pulled as Boys and Girls Have Their Say

CS Evening Telegraph, Oct 30,
RELIEF RIOTERS BATTLE DENVER POLICE
Agitators Shot and Four Officers Injured as Mob Tries to Foment Strike – Blazing Guns Disperse Communist Led Crowd, Radio Car and Gas Station Burned, Score of Attackers Hurt, FERA Workers Refuse to Walk Out
Girl Radical Leads Mob in Denver Riot – FERA Project Pickets Spurred Into Battle by Woman Believed Imported Agitator

RMN, Oct 31
POLICE ARMY WITH MACHINE GUNS WILL GUARD FERA WORKERS TODAY
Force of 300 Officers Will Use Bullets and Tear Gas If Necessary to Protect Relief Workers From Molestation – Agitators Threaten Violence After Yesterday’s Bloody Clash
Witness Says Police Fired When Driven Back to Car – Gives Graphic Account of Rush by Screaming Men and Women Who Volleyed Rocks at Officers

CS Gazette, Oct 31,
RESUMPTION OF VIOLENCE IN DENVER STRIKE FEARED
City Tense After Bloody Riot on South Platte – Barricade Erected at Table Mountain, to Be Visited Today by Agitators

CS Evening Telegraph, Oct 31,
DENVER QUIET BUT TENSE AFTER RIOTING
Mob Gathers But Fails to Carry Out Threat to March on projects – Police Precautions Against Further Outbreaks Nip New Demonstrations; Report Agitators on Way to Foment Trouble in El Paso County – Mob Gathers in Englewood but Fails to Carry Out Threat to March Against FERA Projects
Don’t Expect Any Agitator Trouble on C. S. Relief Jobs p1, c7
Mountain at Golden Resembles Fortified Castle as Workers Prepare to Resist Strike Mob p1, c7

New York Times, Oct 31
‘Hunger Marchers’ Routed at Albany; Rioting in Denver – Many Injured in Denver – Relief Strikers Attempt to halt Federal Project–One Shot Fighting Police, p1, c1

RMN, Nov 1
Relief Strike Riots Subside as Police Act – Agitators Fail to Start Anything at Various FERA Projects
Pretty Girl From Illinois Finds Denver Police Nice p4, c1

CSET, Nov 1
Roundup Ends Denver Relief Strike Threat – With Agitators Arrested, Leaderless Mob’s Spirit Broken; Plot to Spread Disorder in State Fails
U.C.L.A. Branded Communist Hotbed

RMN, Nov 2
File Charges Today Naming 15 as Rioters – Two of Group Face Fine of $1,000 and Year in Jail If Acts Are Proved, p14
College Students Battle Radicalism – Form Vigilante Committee at Coast School

Reformist US labor unions plan to suck life from Occupy movement this spring

Here it is, the big push this spring by ‘Labor’ to try to suck the life out of the US Occupy Movement and push us all back into the Democratic Party behind Barack O’bomber man and a second term of Republican Lite NOTHINGNESS. The 99% Spring , a big blob of empty rhetoric by the usual Vote Lesser of Two Evils suspects. Americans deserve much better than this and deserve something better than the Democratic Party Right Centrism we always get from this disintegrating Labor crowd.

In India- a general strike called by a Right Wing party paralyzes the country

India has two major parties, one of which is much like the Far Right Republican Party here in the US, and the other much like the Right Centrist Democratic Party we here in the US are currently burdened with having administering the White House on behalf of the corporate super rich. And just like the two corporate parties of the US have no solution to any problems at all, the same is true of the big two corporate parties of India, the now governing so-called ‘United Progressive Party’ and the The Bharatiya Janata Party of the Far Right grouping for the Indian ruling class and its cronies. Info about the general strike can be found here National Strike Brings India to a Grinding Halt and the current discontent is fueled mainly by rising energy costs which has led to a situation of general inflation of consumer prices.

Say goodbye to 2011 and bad bad Walmart


OCCUPIED COLORADO SPRINGS- Occupy Walmart continues today at Platte and Chelton. JOIN US. Why Walmart — where have you been?! If the 99% can come together on anything, it’s against capitalism’s most despotic retailer. Judging by the support from traffic passing on Platte Avenue, 99% agree, this new year will not sustain such a greedy business model. Here are photos from Friday’s protest.


Friday’s action attracted four CSPD cruisers right from the start, followed by periodic drive-bys, videotaping and parking nearby.


When the popo try to intimidate us, we occupy them.

SATURDAY UPDATE:

High winds were a challenge for everything but Jack’s snare drum.

Why I Occupy Walmart

MY ENDGAME in occupying Walmart is to rally union members to the Occupy Movement. Union members, not unions. Taking the fight straight to Walmart, one of the most despicable, exploitative despoilers of the world’s people and economy is something the big unions should have been doing thirty years ago. Maybe their members will finally see that they’ve been sold up the river by their supposed representatives. That neither local nor national unions are expressing solidarity with us on the sidewalks of these super centers is proof that the only wages and working conditions they’ve been protecting are their own.

Ikea factory workers organized by IAM, who will unionize the retail employees?

Ikea factory workers in Danville, Virginia, voted to unionize. Did they do it alone? No, they joined the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (Upside for Ikea, its customers can pretend their prefab furniture is tooled by rocket scientists). If Ikea retail employees follow suit, maybe there’s hope for organizing the poverty-wage employees of America’s largest private retailers: Walmart, Target, Home Depot, Lowe’s, so what current retail unions are recruiting their membership to flier offending locations, circulate among the workers and initiate organizing campaigns?

Morons at AFL-CIO say AT&T/T-Mobile merger will benefit union workers

That’s the problem with unions. Collective bargaining is key to making capitalists heed the people, but the big unions are co-opted by back- peddling idiots. Aka, counter-revolutionaries. The AFL-CIO praised this merger because the unionized AT&T will absorb the non-union T-Mobile workforce? Yeah, what’s left of the jobs. Increased monopolization means streamlined payrolls, more pressure to force concessions, and less leverage. In offering this endorsement of a proposed antitrust offense, the AFL-CIO takes its members for chumps. Remember the UFCW betraying the P-9 meatpackers, or the SEIU taking out the nurses’ union? Of course the Democratic Party is chiming in, claiming a merger will help gays, by the same tortured moron math. Americans need their unions, their own political party, and advocacy groups, but they have to start with taking a guillotine to the top. Finding his pro-corporate support uncharacteristic GLAAD members unmasked their leader. This can be a one-strike litmus test. Favor AT&T, mistaken or not, you’re out.

Scott Walker, Koch-Licker Supreme, strikes again

In a measure not just skirting state constitution, but directly contravening it, the Anti-Workers Rights law was published Friday. Not even bothering anymore to hide their vicious agenda to deprive workers of freedom.
The only “right” workers will have is to work. At whatever wage the Big Pig Parasite Class decides is enough for them to survive on, even if it’s far less than what it costs US to produce our labor.
The Greedy-ass Rich Bitch corporate overlords would refuse to make less than a 20% annual profit, yet WE, the workers who put the money in THEIR pockets to begin with, are not allowed to decide what a fair profit for OUR labor, OUR product, would be.
Nor even to decide for ourselves what “breaking even” would be, THEIR thieving Corporate Accountants and Corporate Attorneys will tell us and if we object, what?
The traditional method for them to punish workers for being so “uppity” as to think of ourselves as Human Beings with rights, is to order THEIR Pigs to arrest us and THEIR so-called “justice” system to Imprison us, forcing US to work for THEIR corporations without any pay. If we object any further, they have THEIR Torture-freak “corrections” officers murder us behind walls, conveniently where the only witnesses will be Their Fellow Pigs.
Just a coincidence, then, that the PIG governor of Wisconsin exempted cops and “corrections” Slaves from bargaining limitations? Until he can figure a way to screw them as well.
Eat the Rich. We’ve fed the porky bastards long enough, it’s time for them to start feeding US.

A union worker, a citizen and a CEO …

Via UNAC’s Ward Reilly: A unionized public employee, an ill-informed citizen, and a CEO are sitting at a table. In the middle of the table is a plate with a dozen cookies on it. The CEO reaches across and takes 11 cookies, looks at the ill-informed citizen and says, “Watch out for that union guy. He wants a piece of your cookie.”

“Invest in America” speak-out at Lame-Bone’s Office Tomorrow

Instead of his lame-ass “town halls” like the Tea-Party ones he held for health care, remember those? The one at a Country Club on the far edge of town that started after the bus stopped running on a Friday evening, no more bus service till Monday morning? Working Class need not apply?
Then they filled the hall with a Republican Party strategy session before the “open to everyone” Town Hall? And the Republicans stayed for the “open” Town Hall, making sure nobody else could come in? Yeah… THAT old Pig tactic.
This Speak-out is outside his Luxury Office Suite, where anybody with a million-dollar annual income and a campaign contribution check has easy access. Again, Poor people, workers… need not apply.
Unless the Punk can prove that he actually does own one square inch more of the streets and sidewalks than any other citizen, there ain’t Jack they can do about it.
Bring stereo equipment, something with microphones and amps. Make sure every TeaBag sellout who works for him can hear what the REAL people have to say.
10:30 tomorrow morning, Thursday 24 Feb 2011, at Doug Lamborns congressional district office in Colorado Springs.
MoveOn.org is sponsoring, and this is an info blurb:

In dozens of state legislatures and in Congress, Republicans are proposing massive cuts to education, police, emergency responders, and vital human services—instead of asking big corporations and millionaires to pay their fair share. This is a moment for national action, so we’re holding Invest in America speak-outs tomorrow (Thursday) and will follow them up with rallies in all 50 state capitals on Saturday.

Celebrity Leaders of the Anti-Peasant Crusade

Why is Lou Dobbs considered an “expert” on Immigration, but not Colbert? Now they’re barking because Colbert testified in Congress as an “expert witness”. And say that his only expertise was that he’s a “Celebrity” Say whut? The problem they’re having with his expertise isn’t the shock to the senses that your first day of Field Labor is to ANYBODY. (It’s why the Founding Fathers “hired” slaves to do it for them, because let’s face it, if George Washington or Madison or Jefferson had to go out and cut their own damn tobacco and sugar cane (cotton wasn’t a cash crop until later) they would have starved. Labor built the fortunes of the “Founding Fathers” the same way Labor builds the fortunes of the Capitalists today.) But they’re claiming that his “expert” status was somehow due to his status as a Celebrity. So, what now, do they stop listening to that stupid John Wayne Record about how honorable it is to join the Army, travel to exotic places, meet interesting people, and Kill Them?

Since John Wayne’s only expertise on war and military was that he portrayed Soldiers in some of his movies. Same with Ronald Reagan, George W, Romney, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Ted Nugent, Ann Coulter, Michelle Malkin, Tom Tancredo, Bill O’Reilly, Rudi Giuliani, Lou Dobbs…

The only experiences they had as “warriors” is that they dodged the draft and sent other people to kill and die in their stead. And they have an equivalent level of expertise in Immigration, Constitutional Law, Religion, Terrorism, or any of the other “Celebrity Expertise” they tout, and yes, even instruct the Right Wing Lunatic members of Congress on those subjects.

Ted Nugent boasted that he “beat the draft” by shitting on himself then not bathing for a month before his Draft Board examination. Convinced the doctors he was crazy. Instead of just being a chickenshit. Now he supports all Wars and dares people to disagree with him.

Kind of the same way Sarah Palin told people not to sit down or shut up, unless they “heckled” her, then she had Government police paid by Tax Money to enforce for her and violently remove anybody who dared to speak against her.

Ted Nugent would do that same thing if you tried to take up his challenge at one of HIS hate rallies. Even though he’s prancing around the stage, like the silly bitch he truly is, with an allegedly fully loaded machine gun. He’d still have somebody else do his fighting for him.

But not a whimper from the Right Wing Noise Factory about HIS use of a “celebrity status” to tout their bullshit for them.

Rudi Giuliani is a typical Pig, former prosecutor, like local Celebrities Ken Buck and Doug Bruce, meaning they stood in court, hiding behind their PIG comrades to make sure nobody gets “uppity” with them, and talk like they’re “Tough Guys”. Chickenshits and Pigs, Chickenhawks all.

Giuliani is touted as an “Expert” in Terrorism because he got skunked, allegedly by the same group, twice… in exactly the same place.
That and he led a Fearless Campaign against the poorest of the poor in New York City. Real “heroic expert” there.

Not a single one of the Right Wing Lunatic Fringe ever objects when Il Rudi testifies before Congress.

Lou Dobbs is touted as an “Expert” in immigration HOW?

His family immigrated much earlier and they most certainly didn’t have the permission of (at the time) Most Americans. Most Americans at the time being Non-White and definitely opposed to the Heavily Armed European Illegal Immigrant Wave. Called the police to his house and said “Mexicans” had shot at his house while he wasn’t there. When asked WHICH “mexicans” and how did he know they actually were “mexicans” since NOBODY SAW IT HAPPEN and there are No Suspects he’ll get all huffy and call you a Commie Pinko Nigger Loving Fag
Jewboy Liberal. Nice deflect there, Mr Dobbs! Get caught in a lie and sling racist rhetoric as a shield as you back away from the question!

No objections from the Far Right Zombie Squad about HIS expertise either.

But I guess being a “celebrity” isn’t so much a handicap in being declared an “expert”… as long as you’re a Right Wing Parrot, and read your script exactly as it’s written.

The hypocrisy smells worse than last week’s tuna salad.

“What would taxing the predatory oil, gas and coal companies mean to YOU?”

If they had asked the question honestly…. But they didn’t and don’t. By the way, that means the aforementioned Predatory Oil, Gas and Coal companies are still fighting, with the full blessings of Washington Insiders, any regulation on their practices or repayment of the debts they owe.
 
In a laughable smear against anybody who stands in the way of their Rape of the ecology and economy of the entire world, they have one Highly Trained Goof-Ball barking like a good little slave-doggy about the “Washington insiders” who are allegedly not deep in Oil Company pockets. I guess, you know, that buying the air time for these commercials over the past 5 years or so of this particularly sleazy campaign, was less expensive than actually reforming their industries. It paid off big for Exxon, which didn’t pay a dime of income tax last year on BILLIONS of dollars of mostly Taxpayer Subsidized profits.

Oh, who am I kidding, they owe ALL their profits to government intervention and deliberate stifling, at the Government level, of any kind of Sane, Reasonable and technologically sound alternatives to their slash-and-burn economic model.

Not giving the Rich Pigs even MORE welfare and special advantages would be “Socialism” and “Marxist-Leninist Bolshevik Redistribution of Wealth”

Meanwhile, the Working Class, hammered by bills on the wars that benefit only the Rich, hammered by an economy so broken by the economic model of Predatory Capitalism that they can’t afford to keep their homes, lose any job security they thought they had, including the all-important Health Care benefits, Hammered by anti-Union Anti-Worker use of Government Force, paid by those Americans who actually PAY taxes, unlike, say, Halliburton KBR or Exxon Mobil, literally being forced to work at Slave Wages which don’t even cover the cost for us to Produce Our Labor…

And then hounded by the new class of Vagrancy Laws that make debt by individuals a Crime, make homelessness a Crime, make joblessness a Crime…

The TeaBags and other Loyal Lap-dog types aren’t going to bark one squeak of protest over such an arrangement. They sure do scream like they’re being eviscerated, slowly, with a broken pair of nail clippers, if any restrictions on Corporate Predation or any payment demanded by the People from the Corporate Predators of the monstrous debt THEY owe is even quietly proposed.

“Get Government off our (Corporate Masters’) backs!” they whine.

Even though their Corporate Masters are on OUR backs, literally supported by OUR labor…

But you’ll never hear a TeaBag saying something like “Get the Corporate Welfare Government and Heavily Bribed Police, Judicial, and Legislative Government Enforcers off the backs of the Workers!”

King Soopers v Unions, just a thought.

I’ve noticed lately they’ve got signs up all around the stores saying “Our People Make The Difference” and similar themes, to the effect that they value the workers, really they (say they) do.
So why the continual Big Scary Hassle regarding any contract negotiations? I saw something on TV the other day about “How It’s Made — Awards” and the deal was about those plastic Award trophies that large corporations give out at the end of the year… instead of, you know, cash bonuses. I always prefer artwork, like small wallet sized engravings of Dead Presidents, just a personal note.

I mean seriously, you bust your balls to make money for The Corporation, and put thousands (or more) in extra profits, above and beyond your stated quota, into the pockets of the Shareholders and they give you a plastic globe with “You Go!” laser inscribed on it that cost The Corporation maybe $20. If you’re lucky they don’t misspell your name.

WalMart puts your picture on the wall. Oh My. That’s really an expensive memorial to your service. If you notice the Portrait Studio at the front of the store near the McDumbass “restaurant” where they sell portrait grade photographs for about a buck apiece for the big ones and maybe a nickel apiece for the wallet size… the ones they put on the wall… It could be downright depressing. Scott Adams had his Anti-Hero “Dilbert” lampoon the practice, his boss with the pointy hair put a piece of pocket lint on his shirt and called it a Warm Fuzzy, in recognition of his contributions to The Company.

The most telling and realistic memorial to how The Company feels about the Workforce is the maybe 8 open checkout lanes, out of 34 or so, at Wally World, no matter how many customers there are the number of closed lanes relative to open ones is like 2 to one at least.

And half the open lanes will be Self Checkout.

That and your job interview involves typing your information into a computer.

Obama breaks truth to widows: Miners died as Corporate Slaves, get used to it

Not really. He said they died in pursuit of a better life. But since the Coal Companies and other Corporate owners of West Virginia aren’t going to actually invest anything in developing some other way for the people who live there to survive, and the people have not nearly enough opportunity to build their own enterprises, it IS a cycle of corporate slavery.

The Horatio Alger and Ragged Dick rags-to-riches stories were Bullshit when they were first published, and still are today. The Mine Workers union song popularized by “Tennessee” Ernie Ford, 16 Tons, says it more realistically.

“you load 16 tons
what do ya get?
Another day older
and deeper in debt
St Peter don’cha call me
cause I can’t go
I owe my soul
to the Company Store.”

The same people who lobby hard against Unions and fair wages, lobby for “Tort Reform” meaning a Landlord’s Lien not only on your possessions, should you default on your lease, but a period of bond-service, debt slavery, should you default.

The Mining corporations, in particular, used this as a way of keeping the workers docile.

The Company Store, just that, the only way you could get groceries or clothing or any other necessities of life was to purchase them from a commissary owned by the Company. Your lodgings were also owned by the Company. A rigged system where you always owed the Boss for the privilege of working for him.

Paid less than you’re forced to spend to survive. Try to leave and you get a warrant for your arrest under the Fugitive Laws, have the equivalent of Dog the Bounty Hunter chasing you down, putting you into the County Prison to work out your debt. In a county that’s owned by, you guessed it, your Loving Employer.

America is sliding backward into that quagmire of Corporate Dictatorship. The saddest part, many of the miners and their families actually eat that crap up with a spoon, the Corporate Lies that they’re working for a better future and for their freedom, and that of their children.

It’s a shameful thing for ONE political party to pay homage to that Blatant Lie. For ALL of the three largest political parties in America, Democratic, Republican, and Tea Parties, to pander to that meaningless CRAP is beyond shameful.

Maybe he simply misspoke, and was off by one letter, they were working for a bItter life.

Massey orphan, suddenly fatherless, says Coal equals Freedom

AFTER the Massey Company took her daddy’s life with their Union-Busting activities, AFTER they got rich off her Daddy’s work and her Daddy didn’t… (edit: the comment following was sloppy editing on the part of the “news” service, she blurts out that Fascist Anti-Earth Propaganda about working in the coal mine being the key to economic recovery and compared her Daddy dying to “fighting for freedom.” The rest of it is Gospel.)

The Massey company, their only concern is that the mine is out of production for a while so they don’t get Richer off the sweat and blood and toil and deaths of “their” workers. They continuously refused to provide safety upgrades, “Too expensive.” Miners are cheaper than safety equipment.

The Massey Energy Corporation is already angling to use this tragedy as propaganda for the Open-Pit, or Mountaintop Removal, or Strip-mine method. Saying they’re only concerned about worker safety, of course.
This one, for instance, is what used to be southern Deciduous forest, sprinkled with a few pines, see anything growing anywhere near there? The parts downstream from the mine, a Massey project, look nearly as bad, from the toxic runoff.

The usually rich forest environment locally suddenly ends up looking like the mountains of the Desert Southwest. Worse, actually.

Downstream, the fish are changing sex.

Male small-mouth bass are being genetically/hormonally changed into female smallmouth bass.

Massey also operates strip mines on land coerced from Indian Nations, like the Northern Cheyenne, and the Navajo and Hopi tribes… and the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Nation, one of our sacred mountains near Chattanooga Tennessee is scheduled to be eco-murdered by Massey. And after they get done killing the mountain they’re going to give the toxic waste-dump to the State of Tennessee as a park and low-income housing sites. Aren’t they wondrously generous?

The state of Tennessee offices which decided to sell Property Which Is Not Theirs, say they can’t find any heirs of the original owners, Excusez-Vous?
There are tribal offices of the Eastern Band right down the street from them. If they can’t find the Cherokee Nation they just ain’t looking.

They can’t find their collective arse with both hands. So they gave… ooops “Leased” land to Massey.

Now, if I leased a room and promised the landlord that I would trash it, and put poison all over it, the landlord would rightly be suspicious of my intentions. If I were to promise faithfully to clean it up afterward, even with a record (like Massey’s) of destroying properties and never repairing them, and always with the prior promise to fix the damage, the landlord would have to be an utter fool to rent to me.

Let’s take another look at the CEO, shall we?

This porky, pasty son-of-a-pig for instance.

You can’t even trust Goobers anymore

By “goobers” I mean Goober Peas. That staple of American Diet in more ways than you can possibly imagine unless you’re allergic to them, Once Again being recalled due to bacteria that exist naturally in the digestive tracts of Carnivores. In this case, like the LAST recall, which was only last year, about this time, it’s Salmonella.

How DOES a bacterium that would ordinarily be found in Dog Poo and in the contaminated meat from improperly slaughtered and mass-production butchered animals (chickens mostly) and from SlaughterFactory companies where the same machines and the same Almost-machine-people employed at the processing plants have to handle the pieces of dead chickens also have to handle the pieces of dead cows, pigs, (who are, like chickens, omnivorous) etc….
How would it get into VEGETABLE Kingdom products like spinach, tomatoes, peppers, Peanut Butter, peanut flour (that last is used in a ghastly huge list of products, I wouldn’t be much surprised to find it in Toothpaste next)?

Droppings from “Illegal Alien” migrant farm workers, as suggested in the spinach and tomato mayhem? Perhaps the droppings from Tent City but that’s another over-hyped non-story…

How about this, (which is far and away the most common scenario): Contaminated bins and contaminated machines and processing tables at the Mega Corporate Food Processing Centers?

And their delivery vehicles. And places like WalMart and McDonalds and those who follow their corporate model (more than half the Corporations is America) regarding people who have the misfortune of being employed by those Jerkoffs, and not getting paid or even in some cases Unpaid sick leave when they have infectious diseases.

The “Migrant Workers shitting in the fields” is easy to believe, (except it wasn’t the root cause or even a secondary, nor yet again a Tertiary cause) because it’s a backward admission from the Corporations that they still use the old Slave Plantation Model of “how to treat farm laborers”.

They treat ALL their workers like that. What’s distressing is that they treat the PEOPLE who handle food the exact same way. Like to eat at Mickey Dee, drink your favorite cup o’ joe at Starbucks? Remember that they FIRE employees who take more than 5 consecutive sick days. That their workweek is all seven days with shortened hours so the company doesn’t have to pay overtime.

Where you can get fired for actually working overtime, because the “experts” at Corporate Headquarters determined that you could have completed your Underpaid Tasks in the allotted time.
If you don’t take bathroom breaks or stuff like that.

Where if you catch something like Influenza, and you’re still contagious 6 days after the symptoms disappear.

Where they make boastful commercials like the Halls “Drill Sergeant” commercial, which they’ve re-introduced, where a Food Worker is encouraged to keep working despite having Respiratory Problems…
They’ve got one like that where a Rambo-Lookalike pops in to a different store.

Because “only a wussy wimp liberal would refrain from working around PEOPLE and/or their FOOD while packing a contagious ailment that might spread to the PEOPLE who buy the products at the stores and restaurants”.

Look for
the Union Label
when you are buying
Food for your Table…

Scabs have been getting welfare since Spring

Technically, it’s legal. And not any more or less Morally Repugnant than stealing the bread from the mouths of our Fellow Workers and their kids, and selling their future, their childrens’ futures, the futures of their fellow workers and the children thereof into Perpetual Wage Slavery.

?It’s not like they would be above a little bit of State Subsidies for their sorry worthless asses.?

This from an A.N.D. and Food Stamps application. Strikers aren’t eligible. If your brother is on strike, for instance, and you invite him over for a meal, you could lose your food stamps. But, that’s the beginning.

Conditional Employees, like the Scabs that Safeway and Kroger hired last spring to basically be ready to go to work breaking a strike, have been eligible for Food Stamps, LEAP, AFDC, rent assistance and any other State Aid that would ordinarily entail actually looking for a job. Because technically they HAVE a job, just, you know, not a paying job.

Kroger and Safeway have boasted they have 3700 temporary workers on a waiting list. So, if they’re not getting public assistance, and not getting paid by the Corporations, they would have to be working Somewhere Else, thus, not ready to drop a REAL Job and go to work helping the corporation enslave their fellow workers.

Of the three scenarios, a) They’re getting public assistance while sitting on their worthless rumps?, b) they’re being paid by the corporations, c) they’re working REAL jobs but are prepared to leave those jobs for a temporary position that might not even happen, OR d) they’ve been living rent-free and getting their groceries and other bills mysteriously, or starving, homeless and broke.

I’d say Option a) must be the correct answer. Which means the State is subsidizing two mega-big Corporations in their efforts to break the Union.

King Sooper UFCW members hang tough

King Sooper grocery workers
COLORADO SPRINGS- King Sooper UFCW Local 7 members vote this week. Local activists are ready to join their brethren at the picket line. If the supermarket giants persist in their efforts to deny workers benefits and living wages, they might be surprised to see how far customers will be willing to go to support their friends in the business.

Managers Lie, Benefits DieThis letter just in from the United Food and Commercial Workers:

Dear Friend,

You might be surprised to learn that despite the economic downturn, the national grocery chains in Colorado continue to rake in large profits as more and more people choose not to dine out.

What’s really shocking (or…frankly…not so shocking) is that the profitable national grocery chains are pushing cuts on our friends and neighbors who are working harder than ever at these stores. When profitable grocery chains ask their 17,000 workers in Colorado to make financial sacrifices, it doesn’t just hurt those workers, it hurts all of us, and hamstrings Colorado’s economic recovery.

So what can you do about it?

Your neighborhood grocery workers are in the midst of negotiations that could very well lead to a strike or a lockout. It’s not something anyone wants to happen. There are a lot of tough kitchen table conversations going on right now about what might happen if a family member has to give up a paycheck to take a stand for a fair deal.

Grocery Worker Without Benefits, Please HelpThese workers need to know that they have friends –that there are people out there who will respect a picket line.

Take the pledge today to support workers, and respect the picket line should a strike or lockout happen.

Please join us in support of Colorado’s grocery workers as they negotiate to get a fair deal and pledge to not cross the picket line if a strike becomes their only option.

Please sign the petition and share your comments.

We might add, let them know you will JOIN THE WORKERS ON THE PICKET LINE! The grocery worker’s resources may be thin, but yours and mine are not. WE will not stand for businesses who seek to impoverish our friends and neighbors.