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UAW Official Demoted After Saying Locals That Voted Against Ford Agreement Should Lose Jobs

Magazine Stories - Wed, 2019-11-20 16:55

As voting on the Auto Workers’ agreement with Ford came to a close last week, a union official publicly expressed his contempt for locals that had voted against the pact.

Management should move production to locals that voted yes, wrote Michael Robison, an assistant director in the union’s National Ford Department.

“Everyone of them Locals should lose there product now and in the future. $1 Billion dollar investment in KTP [Kentucky Truck Plant] really. Ship Lima Engine to Dearborn Engine. Ship Chicago Assy’s work to Flat Rock,” Robison wrote Friday on Facebook.

Categories: Labor Notes

Awesome Tie-In: Thousands Of Dock Workers Across America Have Been Driving Forklifts As An Apparent Shadow Promotion For ‘Shenmue 3’

The Onion - Wed, 2019-11-20 16:34

It’s been an agonizing wait for Shenmue fans awaiting the continuation of Yu Suzuki’s revolutionary Dreamcast classic. But thanks to thousands of Kickstarter backers, we’re finally getting the sequel we deserve, and it looks like Ys Net is rolling out all the stops to promote it with an awesome tie-in: Thousands of…

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Categories: The Onion

Cory Booker Taken Aback To Find Dozens Of Pictures Of Himself On Buttigieg Campaign Flyers

The Onion - Wed, 2019-11-20 12:57

WASHINGTON—Expressing surprise that he was featured so prominently in a rival’s literature, presidential candidate Cory Booker was reportedly taken aback Wednesday after discovering his picture dozens of times on official Pete Buttigieg campaign materials. “It would have been nice if someone from the Buttigieg team…

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Categories: The Onion

Bengals Assure Injury Prone Tua Tagovailoa He Can Have Any Of Andy Dalton's Organs

The Onion - Wed, 2019-11-20 12:46

CINCINNATI—Promising the Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback that nothing would stop them from drafting him, the Bengals assured injury-prone Tua Tagovailoa Wednesday that he could have any of Andy Dalton’s organs. “We consider Tua to be an elite prospect, but if he has any concerns about the NFL next year, he needs to…

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Categories: The Onion

Colombian Workers Launch General Strike

AFL-CIO Weblog - Wed, 2019-11-20 12:23
Colombian Workers Launch General Strike AFL-CIO

Colombia's workers, students, and rural, indigenous and Afro-descendant communities will join together in a national general strike tomorrow, Nov. 21. Unlike the strikes many of America's workers have participated in increasingly in the past five years, Colombians are not striking against any single employer or industry.

Since the Colombian labor movement convened the strike some seven weeks ago, this broad alliance of social justice organizations have come together to express their belief that the government of President Iván Duque is taking the country in the wrong direction: suggesting reforms that would reduce even further workers' access to decent work, labor rights and social security, increasing repression and violence against the most vulnerable Colombians and refusing to move forward with the peace process negotiated three years ago. Along with other human rights and social justice organizations based in the United States, the AFL-CIO and some affiliates are sharing with Congress a joint letter of support for this strike and the right to strike and protest as fundamental to building and sustaining democracy. 

Unfortunately, some elected leaders, right-wing parties and Colombia's former president Álvaro Uribe and his supporters have described the strike as illegal and unpatriotic. Even worse, the government has conducted raids into the homes and offices of groups organizing the strike and militarized many likely sites of citizen mobilization. Given Colombia's history of violent repression of legal and peaceful protest, the international community has expressed deep concern about Colombia's capacity and will to protect and respect the rights of its citizens exercising those rights and commitment to the peace process.

We stand with Colombian workers, their unions and their communities in demanding respect for fundamental human rights before, during and after the national strike.

Kenneth Quinnell Wed, 11/20/2019 - 11:23

Tags: Colombia

Chick-Fil-A Ending Donations To Anti-LGBTQ Organizations

The Onion - Wed, 2019-11-20 09:30

Fast-food chain Chick-fil-A announced that it will end donations to organizations with an anti-LGBTQ mission, such as the Salvation Army and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, although advocacy groups stress that more transparency will be needed before confirming this change has taken place. What do you think?

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Categories: The Onion

Health Department Gives Tyson Plant ‘D’ Grade After Discovering Raw Chicken Contaminating Nearly Every Surface

The Onion - Wed, 2019-11-20 09:00

SEDALIA, MO—Condemning the processed poultry giant’s blatant disregard for well-established food safety practices, inspectors from the office of the Pettis County Health Board rated Tyson’s Sedalia Center processing plant this week at a borderline ‘D’ upon discovering vast amounts of raw chicken contaminating nearly…

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Categories: The Onion

Biggest Revelations From The Anonymous Trump Official’s New Book

The Onion - Wed, 2019-11-20 08:30

A Warning, the new book by an anonymous writer identified as “a senior Trump administration official” that purports to be a critical look at the Donald Trump presidency, was published November 19. The Onion takes a look at the biggest revelations from the anonymous official’s new book.

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Categories: The Onion

Ornithologists Awarded $10 Million Grant To Research Whether That Big Bird Up There A Hawk

The Onion - Wed, 2019-11-20 08:00

SOUTH KINGSTOWN, RI—Hoping the financial incentive will help classify that thing circling around in the sky, ornithologists at the University of Rhode Island were awarded a $10 million grant this week to research whether that big bird way up there is a hawk. “It was pretty far away when we first saw it, but it looked…

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Categories: The Onion

Sanders and Warren: What’s the difference?

Eric Lee's Blog - Wed, 2019-11-20 06:42

This article appears in the current issue of Solidarity.

American politics has made a sharp turn to the left in recent years – a turn that few anticipated, but that underpins much of what is going on in the Democratic primary now underway.

The two leading progressive candidates, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, together represent a clear majority of Democratic voters. The party’s “moderate” wing thought it had a winner in Joe Biden, but the implosion of his campaign has led to a search for viable alternatives to the two Democratic senators from New England. Mayor Pete Buttigieg is emerging as the hope of that wing of the party as all the other candidates struggle to show any support in recent polls.

Any of the Democratic candidates would be huge improvements over Trump, obviously. And of them all, Elizabeth Warren is far and away the most progressive – except for Bernie Sanders.

So where do they differ? Warren proudly calls herself a capitalist, and was a Republican party supporter until the mid-1990s. Sanders calls himself a democratic socialist, and has been active on the American left since the early 1960’s when he was a member of the Young People’s Socialist League. Unlike Warren, Sanders speaks the language of the socialist left. Speaking to trade unionists in Iowa recently, he said that “if there’s going to be class warfare in this country, it’s about time the working class won that war.”

That difference also expresses itself in policies, where Sanders is consistently somewhat to the left of Warren. This is even true with a proposal like Medicare for All, where the two candidates seem to be reading from the same page.

But the main difference between them is how they see social change happening in America. Warren has detailed plans to fix social problems one by one. Sanders sees a grassroots movement, and in particular a revitalised trade union movement, as central to turning his vision into reality.

Sanders says that if elected, he’ll play the role of “organiser-in-chief” and is counting on mass popular support to pass his radical program of change. Warren says nothing of the sort.

He models himself somewhat on President Franklin Roosevelt, whose New Deal reforms were made possible by the rise of a radicalised labour movement in the 1930s. And he grew up at a time of radical social change in 1960’s, underpinned by the growth of increasingly left-wing civil rights and student movements.

Sanders is especially focussed on strengthening America’s greatly weakened trade union movement. He has pledged to double the membership of unions during his first term in office. While other Democratic candidates have made similar pledges in the past – especially to reform labour law to allow unions to organise and grow – they have not followed through once elected. Sanders understands that there will be no real change in the country without massively stronger trade unions.

It would be best for American workers if Sanders is the Democratic nominee in 2020. But right now, he’s in a tough fight to win that nomination. In most polls, Warren is ahead of him. If she wins the nomination, Sanders has already pledged to support her (or any other Democrat running against Trump).

Not all Sanders’ supporters share his view. Three months ago, Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) voted at its national convention in Atlanta for a “Bernie or Bust” resolution – saying that if Sanders was not the party’s nominee in 2020, they would not officially support anyone, not even Elizabeth Warren. Others, socialists among them, disagree.

Whether Sanders is the nominee or Warren, the Democrats will likely embrace the most radical platform any American political party has proposed since the 1930s. But of those two candidates, it is Sanders who best understands what it takes to turn such a platform into reality.

Kanye West Debuting Opera

The Onion - Tue, 2019-11-19 16:57

Kanye West announced Nebuchadnezzar, an opera about the titular Biblical figure, will premiere at the Hollywood Bowl on November 24, adding to the rapper and producer’s foray into Judeo-Christian themes on the heels of his gospel-inspired work Jesus is King. What do you think?

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Categories: The Onion

Report Confirms That Being Unable To Keep Track Of Mass Shootings Technically Counts As Not Giving Attention To Shooters

The Onion - Tue, 2019-11-19 16:16

CAMBRIDGE, MA—Stressing that it was by no means an ideal solution to the issue, a report released Tuesday by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology concluded that an inability to keep track of all the nation’s mass shootings still counts as denying shooters the attention they crave. “With the sheer…

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Categories: The Onion

Literary Historians Discover Hemingway’s Dad Bulk Purchased 70,000 Copies Of ‘The Sun Also Rises’ To Get Son On Bestseller List

The Onion - Tue, 2019-11-19 15:35

GAINESVILLE, FL—Shedding new light on the life of the celebrated author, literary historians from the University of Florida announced Tuesday that they had discovered evidence that Ernest Hemingway’s father had bulk purchased 70,000 copies of The Sun Also Rises to get his son on the bestseller list. “These findings…

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Categories: The Onion

FBI Solving 80% More Cases After Getting Great Big Magnifying Glass

The Onion - Tue, 2019-11-19 14:31

WASHINGTON—Describing the new piece of equipment as indispensable to the agency’s successful reduction of backlogged cases, the FBI reported Tuesday it had solved 80% more crimes since investing in a great big magnifying glass. “Not since the implementation of DNA profiling in the 1980s have we equipped our…

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Categories: The Onion

Review: Which Side Were You On? The American Communist Party During the Second World War, by Maurice Isserman

Eric Lee's Blog - Tue, 2019-11-19 12:27

“The history of communism in America is bitterly contested terrain,” writes Maurice Isserman on the first page of his 1982 book. Nearly four decades later, it remains bitterly contested. Isserman falls into the category, I think, of historians who were open to re-examining the history of the American Communists, rejecting the overly-simplistic anti-Communist narratives that had been prevalent during the long decades of the Cold War (which was still raging in 1982).

But subsequent research, and in particular the opening of the Soviet archives following the collapse of the USSR, showed that the Cold Warriors had not in fact got it all wrong. The American Communists were, for many years, effectively a tool of Soviet foreign policy. The party was controlled by Moscow, was funded by it, took orders from it, and followed its lead even where it led the party into oblivion.

This should have been clear to Isserman even without access to those archives, as he devotes a considerable part of the book to the party’s darkest period – the nearly two years of the Hitler-Stalin Pact when Communists around the world were forced to focus their attacks on British imperialism, to turn down the volume when attacking Nazi Germany, and to make convoluted defences of Stalin’s decision to partner with Hitler in the division of Poland and much else.

One cannot help but read the story of the decline of the American Communists with sensing a certain sense of justice playing out. The party’s uber-leader, Earl Browder, whose portrait would hang side-by-side with those of Marx, Lenin and Stalin, was unceremoniously kicked out of the Party following yet another Moscow-ordered change on line after 1945. Browder’s rival, William Z. Foster (his enemies said the “Z” stood for “zig-zag”), then inheriting a party facing terminal decline.

A pity that Isserman has nothing to say about Marxist rivals to the Communist Party, not least of all the Trotskyists, particularly those who followed the leadership of Max Shachtman. He treats them with the same disdain as the Communists did, ignoring them completely. He doesn’t even mention what may have been Browder’s final appearance on a public stage, when in 1950 he finally agreed — now powerless and no longer with a Party to lead — to debate Shachtman in front of an audience of over 1,000 people.

At the end of Shachtman’s presentation he turned the face the former unchallenged leader of the American Stalinists and uttered these unforgettable words:

“When I saw him standing there at the podium, I said to myself: Rajk was the general secretary of the Hungarian Communist Party, and was shot, or hanged, or garrotted. Kostov was the general secretary of the Bulgarian Communist Party. And when I thought of what happened to them, I thought of the former secretary of the American Communist Party, and I said to myself: There – there but for an accident of geography, stands a corpse!

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