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Understanding the War Against NAFTA

And you have to wonder why people are pissed?

Souring Chicago’s sweet treat: Corporate greed, American unions, and moving the Oreo to Mexico

Corporate executives saved $47 million by moving Oreo production to Mexico, but cost 600 in Chicago their jobs

For generations, kids from age 3 to 100 have loved munching on chocolaty Oreo cookies dipped in a glass of milk. But just over a year, ago, the tasty treat suddenly went sour.

In May 2015, bakery workers in Nabisco’s monumental 10-story plant in Chicago’s Marquette Park neighborhood had been expecting some sweet news from their corporate headquarters. Rumor had it that their renowned facility  after more than half a century and millions of Oreos — was about to receive a $130-million modernization investment to upgrade equipment and to add new production lines. So, the future looked bright and spirits were high on May 15 of last year when management convened members of Local 300 of the Bakery Workers Union to announce that the investment was indeed going to be made.

In Salinas, Mexico.

For decades, the Marquette Park community has been proud that the delectable smell of “milk’s favorite cookie” wafts through their neighborhood. But the noses of Nabisco’s corporate brass are clogged with greed, incapable of sniffing out anything but ever-fatter profits for themselves and other rich shareholders. Taking the NAFTA low road, they intend to move the iconic Oreo brand — and the jobs of 600 top-quality bakery workers — from Chicago to Mexico, where the minimum wage is a bit more than $4. Not per hour, but per day.

This is the tyranny of corporate globalization in action. In 2012 Kraft Foods split off its grocery business, which retained the Kraft name, and rebranded its remaining snack-food empire as Mondelez International, which includes Nabisco and its many brands including Triscuit, Planters nuts, Ritz crackers, Chips Ahoy and Oreos.

Such corporate empires now reign over millions of working families, arrogantly and even lawlessly making self-serving decisions from within the shrouded confines of faraway executive suites — wreaking havoc on workers, local economies, democratic values, and our sense of community. People affected are given no input or warning (much less any real say-so) in the profiteering that now routinely strikes us, like a lightning bolt from hell.

Worse, the so-called humans who’ve enthroned themselves with this autocratic power find it amusing to toy with those they rule over. Mondelez executives did exactly that after their sneak attack on Chicago’s bakery workers. In a crude ploy to shift blame for the loss of jobs to the union, the plutocratic powerhouse claimed it had made an offer to Local 300 to keep producing Oreos in Chicago, but that recalcitrant union officials refused.

Of course they did, for Mondelez essentially proposed that the workers commit mass financial suicide. Here’s the “offer”: Since the move to Mexico is expected to save $46 million a year, the conglomerate would graciously let the 600 ransom their jobs by paying that $46 million themselves. Just slash your annual pay and benefits (as well as your throats) by that amount, the executives told the union, and you can keep making Oreos for us.

This act was an astonishing, unprecedented insulting slap in the face of every middle-class worker in the U.S. Mondelez sapsuckers were effectively demanding that longtime, dedicated, productive employees subsidize the conglomerate and ransom their livelihoods by reducing their income to poverty. Note that Mondelez banked $7 billion in profit last year.

If its executives are so inept that they can’t find an honest way to fill a $46-million hole, they should dock the pay of their top three executives by that amount. They can damn sure afford it, for they totaled $37 million in compensation last year. CEO Irene Rosenfeld alone took a $20 million paycheck in 2015, bringing her eight-year total pay and benefits to almost $200 million.

 
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Posted by on June 23, 2016 in American Greed

 

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What ‘s Open and Closed in a Government Shutdown

The following is a list of what will shut down tomorrow if and agreement is not reached on the debt ceiling… Something between 1.5 and 2 million people will be laid off.Only about 800,000 of that is Federal workers. The bulk of the layoffs will be in the 3 million or so federal contract workers, affecting small, medium and large companies. Estimated costs to taxpayers will be in the $50 million to $100 million a day range, not counting what happens in financial markets.

U.S. Postal Service – OPEN

Mail will continue to be delivered, as the U.S. Postal Service is an independent agency.MORE INFO

National parks – CLOSED

“Effective immediately upon a lapse in appropriations, the National Park Service will take all necessary steps to close and secure national park facilities and grounds.”MORE INFO

Passport offices – PROBABLY OPEN

“Consular operations domestically and overseas will remain 100% operational as long as there are sufficient fees to support operations. However, if a passport agency is located in a government building affected by a lapse in appropriations, the facility may become unsupported.”MORE INFO

National zoo, all Federal Facilities (National Aquarium, National Arboretum, National Archives, Smithsonian, National Gallery of Art    etc) – CLOSED

The Smithsonian-run National Zoo will close, and none of its live animal cameras will be broadcast, including the popular baby panda feed.MORE INFO

Social Security,  Medicare and Medicaid – OPEN

Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, and unemployment insurance — benefits considered mandatory spending — would be paid. But new applicants might not have their applications processed until the government reopened.MORE INFO

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission      – CLOSED

Export-Import Bank of the United States – CLOSED

Federal Communications Commission – CLOSED

FDIC Office of Inspector General – CLOSED

Federal Election Commission- CLOSED

Federal Labor Relations Authority – CLOSED

Federal Trade Commission – CLOSED

Millennium Challenge Corporation – CLOSED

National Science Foundation – CLOSED

U.S. courts – Open for 10 Days

Civilian military workers (Department of Defense) – CLOSED (About 800,000 will be furloughed)

Commodity Futures Trading Commission – CLOSED

Consumer Product Safety Commission – CLOSED

Department of Education – CLOSED

Department of Interior – CLOSED

Department of Justice – Partially CLOSED

Department of Labor – Partially CLOSED

Department of Commerce Partially CLOSED

Department of Energy – Partially CLOSED

Department of Transportation – Partially CLOSE

Department of Homeland Security – Partially CLOSED

Environmental Protection Agency – Partially CLOSED

Executive Office of the President – Partially CLOSED

General Services Administration – Partially CLOSED

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development – Partially CLOSED

Treasury – Partially CLOSED

Small Business Administration – Partially CLOSED

Public schools – OPEN

While public schools will remain open, the U.S. Education Department will stop most of its operations. Among other things, payment of Pell Grants and Direct Student Loans could be delayed.MORE INFO

Government Contractors – Many Closed

Anyone with a T&M type contract will not be able to do work for the gvernment, Whether the companies decide to furlough workers is up to them. Even if a contract is fully funded, contractor employees might be in a jam if they work in a federal building that is closed or with federal workers who are furloughed because of the shutdown.MORE INFO

U.S. Capitol – CLOSED

Public tours of the U.S. Capitol will be suspended in the event of a government shutdown.MORE INFO

Federal courts – OPEN

According to Judge John D. Bates, director of the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, federal courts could continue to operate for approximately two weeks with reserve funds.MORE INFO

Immigration procedures – PROBABLY OPEN

The Department of Homeland Security will no longer operate its E-Verify program, which means that businesses will not be able to check on the legal immigration status of prospective employees during the shutdown. Other fee-based immigration services should continue.MORE INFO

WIC program – CLOSED

The WIC program, which provides food to 8.9 million low-income women and children, would be out of money, its supporters say.MORE INFO

VA disability claims – CLOSED

All VA medical facilities would remain open for inpatient and outpatient care, but benefits programs overseen by the VA would probably be affected by a shutdown.MORE INFO

Federal prisons – OPEN

Federal prisons would be staffed. MORE INFO

SNAP – OPEN for 30 days

USDA said funding for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits — formerly known as food stamps — will continue in October under authority granted by the 2009 stimulus bill.MORE INFO

Airports – OPEN

Air traffic controllers and baggage screeners are considered essential, so planes will fly.MORE INFO

IRS – PROBABLY CLOSED

Tax filers facing an Oct. 15 deadline would find the phone lines at the Internal Revenue Service dead.MORE INFO

Food inspectors – OPEN

Meat and poultry inspectors will keep working.MORE INFO

Patent and Trademark Office – OPEN

The Department of Commerce will maintain patent and trademark application processing during the shutdown.MORE INFO

Amtrak – OPEN

Amtrak officials have said trains will continue to run.MORE INFO

Congressional Budget Office – CLOSED

Merit Systems Protection Board – CLOSED

 

 
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Posted by on September 30, 2013 in Stupid Tea Bagger Tricks

 

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Gov David Paterson – And the New York Budget Axe

Most dangerous politician in the world is one with nothing to lose. Faced with a totally currupt and dysfunctional legislature, some rather questionable judges, and a complete refusal by the State’s Labor Unions to negotiate any solution which might ward off disaster…

Governor David Paterson dropped the axe. And it’s just the beginning of what needs to be done to get the state back on it’s financial feet. Since Paterson doesn’t have any expectation of an elected political future – he may be just the guy to clean up the mess in NY.

The Axeman Cometh

Gov. David Paterson orders layoffs of 8,900 New York state employees amid economic downturn

Gov. Paterson ordered 8,900 state jobs slashed Tuesday to help close a budget deficit that has ballooned by another $2.2 billion.While some jobs will be lost through attrition, the bulk will be through layoffs that would begin in July, Paterson budget spokesman Jeffrey Gordon said.

Paterson aides say the cuts – the first large-scale layoffs since Gov. George Pataki laid off 2,500 workers in 1995-96 – would save the state $481 million.

Gordon said the governor was forced to make the move after the state’s major unions refused to agree to concessions – or come up with a savings plan.

“The governor believes this is a truly unfortunate situation,” Gordon said. “It is not where he wanted to end up. He worked very hard to avoid this outcome.”

Gordon said the administration has been talking with the unions about concessions since October.

“We tried numerous times to modify proposals to minimize the potential impact on state employees,” he said. “All offers were rejected.” Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on June 6, 2010 in News, The Post-Racial Life

 

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Jobless Rates Keep Rising

Tis country is in deep deep doo doo…

And as of yet, I don’t see any of the SOBs who screwed the country doing time with the regular run of the mill burglars, thieves, and thugs.

One of my hopes for the Obama Presidency after 8 years of lawless corruption, special justice for special people, and thuggery, is that the Nation through the crucible of recovery from the disastrious policies and corruption of the last 8 years would emerge, at long last to creating a system of real justice serving the people – and not just special interests.

One needs to ask – How hard does the country have to hit the wall, before accountability becomes habit?

Seems to me you have to take out the trash before you can solve the rat problem…

Jobless Rates US States

Jobless Rates US States

 
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Posted by on July 19, 2009 in News

 

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