1. image: Download

    anarcho-queer:

Hostess Workers’ Pension Money Diverted For Other Uses: Report

Hostess Brands acknowledged for the first time in a news report Monday that the company diverted workers’ pension money for other company uses.
The bankrupt baker told The Wall Street Journal that money taken out of workers’ paychecks, intended for their retirement funds, was used for company operations instead. Hostess, which was under different management at the time the diversions began in August 2011, said it does not know how much money it took.
“It’s not a good situation to have,” Hostess CEO Gregory Rayburn told the WSJ.
“Whatever the circumstances were, whatever those decisions were, I wasn’t there,” Rayburn added. As the founder and owner of Kobi Partners, a restructuring advisory firm, Rayburn was appointed acting CEO in March 2012.
Hostess Brands, which filed for bankruptcy for a second time in January, started liquidating its operations in November after the bakers’ union refused to take another pay cut and went on strike. The liquidation will leave about 18,000 workers without jobs.
In November, a judge approved Hostess’ plan to pay $1.8 million in bonuses to 19 executives, according to CNBC. Rayburn declined to take a bonus but also avoided a company-wide pay cut that he imposed, Hostess told HuffPost.
Twinkies are unlikely to go extinct, since Hostess is in talks with 110 buyers about its brands. But the snack cake genre may need a revamp, as Americans have become increasingly health- and quality-conscious.


Incompetence, greed, theft…or business as usual for corporate America

    anarcho-queer:

    Hostess Workers’ Pension Money Diverted For Other Uses: Report

    Hostess Brands acknowledged for the first time in a news report Monday that the company diverted workers’ pension money for other company uses.

    The bankrupt baker told The Wall Street Journal that money taken out of workers’ paychecks, intended for their retirement funds, was used for company operations instead. Hostess, which was under different management at the time the diversions began in August 2011, said it does not know how much money it took.

    It’s not a good situation to have,” Hostess CEO Gregory Rayburn told the WSJ.

    Whatever the circumstances were, whatever those decisions were, I wasn’t there,” Rayburn added. As the founder and owner of Kobi Partners, a restructuring advisory firm, Rayburn was appointed acting CEO in March 2012.

    Hostess Brands, which filed for bankruptcy for a second time in January, started liquidating its operations in November after the bakers’ union refused to take another pay cut and went on strike. The liquidation will leave about 18,000 workers without jobs.

    In Novembera judge approved Hostess’ plan to pay $1.8 million in bonuses to 19 executives, according to CNBC. Rayburn declined to take a bonus but also avoided a company-wide pay cut that he imposed, Hostess told HuffPost.

    Twinkies are unlikely to go extinct, since Hostess is in talks with 110 buyers about its brands. But the snack cake genre may need a revamp, as Americans have become increasingly health- and quality-conscious.

    Incompetence, greed, theft…or business as usual for corporate America

     
  2. image: Download

    think-progress:

Martin Luther King, Jr. on so-called “right to work” laws. But all hope isn’t lost for voters to reverse the Michigan GOP’s power grab.

    think-progress:

    Martin Luther King, Jr. on so-called “right to work” laws. 

    But all hope isn’t lost for voters to reverse the Michigan GOP’s power grab.

     
  3. After making a big deal of publicly supporting the Affordable Care Act, Walmart—the nation’s largest private sector employer—is joining the ranks of companies seeking to avoid their obligation to provide employees with health insurance as required by Obamacare.

    It was not all that many years ago that Walmart announced, in response to harsh criticism over the low pay provided to Walmart ‘associates’, that the company would provide a healthcare benefit to its part-time, low earning employees. The uncharacteristically generous nod to worker needs was short lived as the company partially pulled back on the commitment in 2011, citing premium rate increases that Walmart deemed beyond their capacity to pay.

    Now, Huffington Post is reporting that the party is over for many more existing Walmart employees, along with all employees hired after February 1, 2012 that the company can classify as “part-time.”

    According to the 2013 Walmart “Associate’s Benefit Book”— the manual for low-level Walmart employees—part-time workers who got their jobs during or after 2011 will now be subject to an “Annual Benefits Eligibility Check” each August.

    Employees hired after Feb. 1, 2012, who fail to average the magic 30-hours per week requiring a company to provide a healthcare benefit, will lose their healthcare benefits on the following January. Part-time workers hired after Jan. 15, 2011, but before Feb. 1, 2012, will be able to hang onto their Walmart health care benefit if they work at least 24 hours a week.

    Anyone hired before 2011 will not be cut off from the company provided health insurance.

    Of course, Walmart carefully controls employee work schedules and will have the opportunity to design worker hours in a manner that will keep employees at a level below the threshold required to accomplish company healthcare benefits pursuant to the law.

    While there have been increasing reports of American employers reacting to the requirements of the Affordable Care Act by making plans to cut employee work hours so that these companies may deny health insurance as a benefit of employment—particularly in the restaurant and fast food industries—it appears that Walmart has been planning this move all along.

    If they can get away with it, companies like Walmart will always cut hours in order to get around changes in the law. Unfortuantely, I don’t know of any way to prevent them from doing this.

    (Source: sarahlee310)

     
  4. image: Download

    (Source: beytwerk)

     
  5. image: Download

    fuckyeahmarxismleninism:

Solidarity with Michigan workers - Overpass Light Brigade

    fuckyeahmarxismleninism:

    Solidarity with Michigan workers - Overpass Light Brigade

     
  6. I don’t know how much of the devaluation of labor either technology or monopoly explains, in part because there has been so little discussion of what’s going on. I think it’s fair to say that the shift of income from labor to capital has not yet made it into our national discourse. Yet that shift is happening — and it has major implications. For example, there is a big, lavishly financed push to reduce corporate tax rates; is this really what we want to be doing at a time when profits are surging at workers’ expense? Or what about the push to reduce or eliminate inheritance taxes; if we’re moving back to a world in which financial capital, not skill or education, determines income, do we really want to make it even easier to inherit wealth? As I said, this is a discussion that has barely begun — but it’s time to get started, before the robots and the robber barons turn our society into something unrecognizable.
    — Paul Krugman (via azspot)
     
  7. There is an argument sometimes made by union activists that unions should run persuasion campaigns to collect dues because the workers are more invested and supportive of an energized organization than when dues are passively/invisibly collected on a union’s behalf. There is some evidence that this is true. For example, the most powerful local union in the country, Culinary 226 in Las Vegas—a political powerhouse that ensures middle-class wages and benefits for hotel housekeepers—operates in a right-to-work state and gets close to 100% dues compliance. Thus the Culinary local has the classic “free rider” problem—but the union solves the problem itself thru its intense advocacy. However, the very invisibility and ease of collecting union dues in the non-right-to-work states has paradoxically made unions more dependent on these “automatic” functions than ever. In short, most local unions today are logistically and, often, intellectually, atrophied. They lack the esprit, borne of success and militancy, of Culinary 226. Unfortunately, on balance, and in most situations, unions need automatic dues collection just to function at a reasonably high level. The medicine may make them weaker, but to take them off it immediately could be fatal.
    — 

    This Is Not Wisconsin. It’s Worse.

    This article is really, really, really good. 

    (via differentclasswar)

     
  8. The so-called ‘right-to-work’ laws — they don’t have to do with economics, they have everything to do with politics. What they’re really talking about is giving you the right to work for less money.
    — President Obama • During a speech in Michigan today, clearly laying out his views on a new law that will make Michigan the 24th “right to work” state in the country. Michigan’s House of Representatives is expected to review the bill on Tuesday, and Gov. Rick Snyder could sign it into law by the end of the day. Massive protests took place at the capital building, and union workers opposed to its passage say they’ll be back tomorrow. source (via shortformblog)
     
  9. merryplz:

andrewfishman:

Blake Fall-Conroy, “Minimum Wage Machine,” 2008-2010
This machine allows anyone to work for minimum wage for as long as they like.  Turning the crank on the side releases one penny every 4.97 seconds, for a total of $7.25 per hour.  This corresponds to minimum wage for a person in New York.  
This piece is brilliant on multiple levels, particularly as social commentary.  Without a doubt, most people who started operating the machine for fun would quickly grow disheartened and stop when realizing just how little they’re earning by turning this mindless crank.  A person would then conceivably realize that this is what nearly two million people in the United States do every day…at much harder jobs than turning a crank.  This turns the piece into a simple, yet effective argument for raising the minimum wage.  

ah yes totally mentioning this in my paper

    merryplz:

    andrewfishman:

    Blake Fall-Conroy, “Minimum Wage Machine,” 2008-2010

    This machine allows anyone to work for minimum wage for as long as they like.  Turning the crank on the side releases one penny every 4.97 seconds, for a total of $7.25 per hour.  This corresponds to minimum wage for a person in New York.  

    This piece is brilliant on multiple levels, particularly as social commentary.  Without a doubt, most people who started operating the machine for fun would quickly grow disheartened and stop when realizing just how little they’re earning by turning this mindless crank.  A person would then conceivably realize that this is what nearly two million people in the United States do every day…at much harder jobs than turning a crank.  This turns the piece into a simple, yet effective argument for raising the minimum wage.  

    ah yes totally mentioning this in my paper

     
  10. For many men it is unthinkable that women could possess a technical competence equal to their own. Women would have to be paragons of competence to be accepted by male colleagues (Cockburn, 1985, 188)
    — 

    Finn, Geraldine. Voices of Women, Voices of Feminism: Limited Edition. Fernwood Publishing; Halifax. 1993. (pg. 113)

    Relevant: a recent study that found women face persistent gender bias in the sciences:

    Science professors at American universities widely regard female undergraduates as less competent than male students with the same accomplishments and skills, a new study by researchers at Yale concluded.

    I’d wager that you’d find similar results if you conducted the same experiment in other fields.

    (Source: gynocraticgrrl)

     
  11. 16:51

    Notes: 617

    Reblogged from spookyskookin

    Tags: sex workcrimetwworklabor

    People are much less likely to be convicted of murdering a prostitute than of any other murder. The conviction rate of 75% for murder drops to 26% when it comes to killings of women in prostitution.
    — 

    Raymond, K., Brothels and safe red light areas are the only way forward, in The Observer. December 17 2006.

    (via gynocraticgrrl)

    (Source: avaproject.org.uk)

     
  12.  
  13. toniiu:

    • William S. Burroughs was an exterminator. He really liked that job. He liked the word, too, and published a collection of short stories called Exterminator! not to be confused with a collaborative collection of stories with Brion Gysin called The Exterminator.
    • Vladimir Nabokov was an entomologist of underappreciated greatness. His theory of butterfly evolution was proven to be true in early 2011 using DNA analysis.
    • Margaret Atwood first worked as a counter girl in a coffeeshop in Toronto, serving coffee and operating a cash register, which was a source of serious frustration for her. She details the experience in her essay, “Ka-Ching!”
    • Don DeLillo took a job as a parking attendant when he was a teenager. It was so boring that he became an avid reader, which led him to pursue a career in writing.
    • Before writing 1984George Orwell (born Eric Arthur Blair) was an officer of the Indian Imperial Police in Burma. He shouldered the heavy burden of protecting the safety of some 200,000 people, and was noted for his “sense of utter fairness.”
    • Though it’s apparent in reading Joseph Conrad’s work (especially Heart of Darkness) that he lived a large part of his life at sea, it’s maybe less obvious that he spent part of that time involved in gunrunning and political conspiracy.
     
  14. I tell my students, ‘When you get these jobs that you have been so brilliantly trained for, just remember that your real job is that if you are free, you need to free somebody else. If you have some power, then your job is to empower somebody else.
    — Toni Morrison  (via feministquotes)

    (Source: oprah.com)

     
  15. galesofnovember:

    This is a super important primary source to have in your life.

    It is double important if you want to take on the dreary and unfunny task of talking to whiny men who like to throw temper tantrums on the internet about how feminists oppress them.

    The whole article is very readable and interesting,  but here are two important summary conclusions:  

    ” men [in traditionally feminine fields] are given fair—if not preferential—treatment in hiring and promotion decisions, are accepted by supervisors and colleagues, and are well-integrated into the workplace subculture. Indeed, subtle mechanisms seem to enhance men’s position in these professions—a phenomenon I refer to as the “glass escalator effect.”

    An additional conclusion is the men do face stigma when they enter traditionally feminine fields but that this stigma actually benefits men because it pushes them into more “acceptable” professions that are higher pay and higher status.  For example,  a male kindergarten teacher will be “stigmatized” into being made assistant principal, or  a male social worker will be stigmatized into becoming a supervisor, policy maker or researcher and in both cases this is likely to propel them over more qualified women.