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Nintendo Confirms Yoshi’s Ability To Throw Eggs To Defeat Enemies Is A Pro-Abortion Stance

The Onion - Tue, 2019-08-20 11:35

Listen up, Yoshi fans! After years of speculation about why Mario’s companion can throw eggs to defeat enemies, we just got definitive confirmation from the company that Yoshi’s ability is meant to be a pro-choice political statement.

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Character In Thriller Film Totally Unaware 100 Reporters On Front Lawn Until He Opens Door

The Onion - Tue, 2019-08-20 11:06

NORTH CARTHAGE, MO—Seemingly oblivious to what was going on outside of his home just a few feet away, sources confirmed Tuesday that the main character in a thriller film was completely unaware of the hundreds of reporters that had descended upon his front lawn until the very moment he opened the front door. “You’d…

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Ebola Drugs Show 90% Survival Rate

The Onion - Tue, 2019-08-20 10:52

In a positive development for future and current outbreaks, experimental trials found that individuals have a 90% survival rate when treated with a new set of antibody-based Ebola treatments called REGN-EB3 and mAb114, which will now be deployed to all outbreak patients in the Democratic Republic of Congo. What do you

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Lesotho Plan Has All Elements to End Gender-Based Violence at Work

AFL-CIO Weblog - Tue, 2019-08-20 10:45
Lesotho Plan Has All Elements to End Gender-Based Violence at Work

A new worker-centered, precedent-setting program will comprehensively address the rampant gender-based violence and harassment (GBVH) denying thousands of women garment workers a safe and dignified workplace in Lesotho.

The program, established by two negotiated and enforceable agreements, will cover 10,000 Lesotho garment workers in five factories that produce jeans and knitwear for the global market. Lesotho-based unions and women’s rights groups, major fashion brands and international worker rights organizations, including the Solidarity Center, negotiated with the factory owner, Nien Hsing Textiles, to mandate education and awareness training for all employees and managers, an independent reporting and monitoring system, and remedies for abusive behavior.

The parties came to the table after the U.S.-based Worker Rights Consortium documented how the mostly female workforce at three Nien Hsing textile factories regularly was coerced into sexual activity with supervisors as a condition of gaining or retaining employment or promotions, and were persistently sexually harassed, verbally and physically.

The Lesothoan unions and women’s rights groups, all with proven histories of fighting to advance the rights of workers and women throughout the country, are: the Federation of Women Lawyers in Lesotho (FIDA), the Independent Democratic Union of Lesotho (IDUL), the National Clothing Textile and Allied Workers Union, Lesotho (NACTWU), the United Textile Employees (UNITE) and Women and Law in Southern Africa Research and Education Trust (WLSA)-Lesotho. They will administer the agreement and will serve on the oversight committee.

The Solidarity Center, WRC and Workers United joined these groups to negotiate the two agreements with Levi Strauss, The Children’s Place, Kontoor Brands and Nien Hsing Textiles.

“This is the first initiative in Lesotho that brings together workers, unions, women’s organizations and employers to work towards one common goal of improving the socioeconomic rights of women in the workplace,” said Thusoana Ntlama, FIDA programs coordinator, and Libakiso Matlho, WLSA national director.

Agreements Follow Report Documenting Abuse at Lesotho Factories

Nearly two-thirds of the garment workers WRC interviewed reported “having experienced sexual harassment or abuse” or having knowledge of harassment or abuse suffered by co-workers, according to the report. Women workers from all three factories identified GBVH as a central concern for themselves and other female employees.

“Many supervisors demand sexual favors and bribes from prospective employees,” one worker told WRC investigators. “They promise jobs to the workers who are still on probationary contracts.[…]All of the women in my department have slept with the supervisor. For the women, this is about survival and nothing else.[…]If you say no, you won’t get the job, or your contract will not be renewed.”

All the Elements to Prevent, Eliminate GBVH at Work

While sexual harassment and other forms of gender-based violence may happen at any workplace, GBVH is rampant in the global garment and textile industry. Globally, some 85% of garment workers are women. They are especially vulnerable to abuse and violence at work because of imbalanced power structures, high poverty and unemployment.

The Lesotho plan “has all the elements needed to prevent and eliminate gender-based violence at work,” says Solidarity Center Executive Director Shawna Bader-Blau. “First, there’s real accountability. It is binding and enforceable on all parties. And the global brands and the employer have guaranteed their commitment to enforcing and upholding the code of conduct by signing fully executed, binding and enforceable contracts.”

The agreements:

  • Establish an independent organization to investigate issues, fully empowered to determine remedies;
  • Create a clear code of conduct on unacceptable behaviors and a system for reporting abuse—with garment workers as full participants in creating, implementing and monitoring it; and
  • Establish an education and awareness program that goes beyond the typical harassment and gender violence training. It will be comprehensive and get at the root causes of gender discrimination and violence against women.

Importantly, says Bader-Blau, “the program is sustainable because it’s worker designed, with unions working together with women’s rights groups to deliver it.”

And because the freedom to form unions and collectively bargain has proven essential to addressing gender-based violence and harassment at work and in creating the space for workers to shape a future of work that is fair and democratic, it’s especially key that these agreements also protect workers’ rights to freely form unions, says Bader-Blau.

Nien Hsing, which manufactures apparel for global brands in several countries, signed one agreement with trade unions and women’s rights organizations in Lesotho to establish the GBVH program, and has committed to take recommended action when violations of the program’s code of conduct have been established.

The global brands entered into a parallel agreement in which, should Nien Hsing commit a material breach of its agreement with the unions and NGOs, it will take action, including a potential reduction in orders.

In the past, as one worker told WRC, “The [supervisors accused of harassment] are usually rotated to other departments,” arrangements the plan seeks to eradicate.

Putting the Plan into Action

Lesotho-based women’s rights organizations, unions, the Solidarity Center and WRC will jointly design the education and awareness program and curriculum, with input from the newly created independent investigative organization.

They also will carry out the two-day training in which all workers and managers will take part. Workers will be paid regular wages during the training.

And importantly, says Bader-Blau, “Empowered workers with a negotiated stake in the agreements can identify and report violence and harassment. And because they have established the terms with the employer as equals, they can be sure that retaliation for reporting abuse and the impunity of abusers will end. Unlike corporate social responsibility programs, the Lesotho program is a contractual agreement with the employer, the brands and the unions, which means everyone is accountable to the code of conduct–with workers able to enforce it as an equal party.”

The program is partially modeled after the Fair Food Program, a set of binding agreements between leading food brands, like McDonald’s and Whole Foods, and the Coalition of Immokalee Workers. Using the type of independent complaint mechanism that will be established by the Lesotho agreements, the Fair Food Program largely has eliminated what had been rampant sexual harassment and coercion in the tomato fields of Florida.

The agreements also build on the Bangladesh Accord on Fire and Building Safety, in which unions were key participants, and recognizes the fundamental role of collective bargaining in negotiating an agreement that is binding on employers and international brands and in bringing accountability to the global supply chain by ensuring the agreement is implemented and enforced.

Funding for the two-year program will come primarily from the three brands, in collaboration with the U.S. Agency for International Development, and the program will kick off in fall 2019.

This post originally appeared at the Solidarity Center.

Kenneth Quinnell Tue, 08/20/2019 - 10:45

Tags: Solidarity Center

NRA Warns Banning Assault Weapons Would Infringe On Americans’ Constitutional Right To Make Them All Pay

The Onion - Mon, 2019-08-19 17:18

FAIRFAX, VA—Citing the founding fathers’ strongly held beliefs regarding violent retribution, the National Rifle Association warned Monday that a ban on assault weapons would infringe on the constitutional and inalienable right of Americans to make them all pay. “Lawmakers need to understand the importance of having…

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Jay-Z Pledges To Make Sure Colin Kaepernick Gets Contract At NFL Stadium Shop

The Onion - Mon, 2019-08-19 14:18

NEW YORK—Promising to do everything in his power to help the former starting quarterback, hip-hop superstar and business mogul Jay-Z pledged Monday to make sure Colin Kaepernick gets a contract with an NFL stadium shop. “Kaepernick has stayed in great shape, and I am confident that he could achieve a great deal of…

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Jeffrey Epstein Free To Visit Earth 6 Days A Week Under Terms Of Sweetheart Afterlife Deal

The Onion - Mon, 2019-08-19 13:34

THE HEAVENS—In what many are calling a “pathetically soft sentence” for the recently deceased sex offender, multiple angels confirmed Monday that Jeffrey Epstein was free to visit Earth six days a week under the terms of a new sweetheart afterlife deal. “According to heavenly sources, Mr. Epstein was granted entry…

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Experts Confirm Doritos Bag Developed Bright, Distinctive Coloring To Warn Potential Predators That It Could Kill Them

The Onion - Mon, 2019-08-19 13:26

LOS ANGELES—Saying that its characteristic markings had likely evolved as a defense mechanism, experts at UCLA confirmed Monday that the Doritos bag developed its bright, distinctive coloring as an evolutionary tactic to warn would-be predators that it could kill them if consumed. “After extensive research, we can…

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Newt Gingrich Slams ‘New York Times’ 1619 Project As Shameless Abolitionist Propaganda

The Onion - Mon, 2019-08-19 13:15

NEW YORK—Bemoaning the paper’s recent series focusing on the role slavery played in American history, Newt Gingrich slammed The New York Times’ 1619 Project Monday as shameless abolitionist propaganda. “What we’re seeing is the tragic decline of The New York Times into a propaganda paper that’s clearly operating in…

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Trump Advisor Confirms Administration Looking Into Buying Greenland

The Onion - Mon, 2019-08-19 13:00

Top White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said on Fox News Sunday that the White House is looking into the possibility of buying Greenland, despite the fact that Greenland’s government recently confirmed that the island was “not for sale.” What do you think?

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Sick Boy’s ‘Visit To Heaven’ Sounding More And More Like Wet Dream

The Onion - Mon, 2019-08-19 12:46

LA CROSSE, WI—The initially heartwarming story of cancer patient Trevor Powell’s visit to heaven came under scrutiny Monday after sources close to the boy revealed that, upon reflection, the account sounded more and more like a wet dream. “At first, when Trevor said that he was going into a dark tunnel and felt a warm…

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Ahead of Election Season, New Jersey State AFL-CIO’s Labor Candidates School Grooms New Crop of Office-Seeking Union Members

AFL-CIO Weblog - Mon, 2019-08-19 11:58
Ahead of Election Season, New Jersey State AFL-CIO’s Labor Candidates School Grooms New Crop of Office-Seeking Union Members NJ AFL-CIO

It was a monumental weekend for 28 union members who graduated from the New Jersey State AFL-CIO’s 23rd Annual Labor Candidates School on Sunday.

The two-day immersion course, held at the union-staffed Rutgers University Inn and Conference Center on Aug. 17 and 18, featured lectures from a number of seasoned election experts. Topics included fundraising, election law, campaign research, message development, public speaking, media relations, voter contact, volunteer recruitment, targeting and digital strategy.

"To say I’m proud of the graduates of this year’s Labor Candidates School would be an understatement," said Charles Wowkanech, president of the New Jersey State AFL-CIO. “It’s exciting to see so many union members interested in running for elected office. These ambitious brothers and sisters understand the issues facing the working class, and once they’re elected, they’ll pursue a proactive and progressive labor agenda at the state and local level.

“This new crop of labor candidates has the full support of the state fed, and we look forward to mentoring them during this upcoming election season,” Wowkanech added.      

Wowkanech launched the Labor Candidates School in 1997 as part of the state federation's ongoing effort to recruit, train and support union members running for elected office. Since then, the school has helped 1,031 union members get elected to local, state and federal offices.

More than 150 Labor Candidates School graduates currently hold public office. Among them are U.S. Rep. Donald Norcross, State Senate President Steve Sweeney, State Sen. Troy Singleton and Assemblymen Joe Egan, Wayne DeAngelo, Eric Houghtaling, Tom Giblin, Anthony Verrelli and Paul Moriarty. As officeholders, these graduates have championed policies that reflect the priorities of New Jersey’s working families, such as paid family leave and raising the minimum wage.

With its ever-increasing tally of election victories and 78% win ratio, the New Jersey State AFL-CIO’s Labor Candidates School has become a nationwide paragon of success. In fact, many state federations now are expanding their political programs based on New Jersey’s labor candidate training model. This includes the Minnesota AFL-CIO, which sent Field Director Pommella Wegmann to New Jersey to observe the school this past weekend.    

“Minnesota’s labor movement is excited to bring this tried-and-tested labor candidate training to the Midwest,” Wegmann said. “The New Jersey State AFL-CIO has built the premier program in the country, and I’m extremely grateful for the opportunity to attend this school and learn from their staff.” 

As of now, 66 union members are running for political offices throughout New Jersey in November’s general election. For a complete list of New Jersey State AFL-CIO endorsements, click here.

Kenneth Quinnell Mon, 08/19/2019 - 11:58

After Much Thought, OGN Has Decided To Update Our Review Of ‘Banjo-Kazooie’ From A 9.7 To A 9.6

The Onion - Mon, 2019-08-19 10:55

At Onion Gamers Network, we always strive to provide the pinnacle in gaming news, commentary, previews, and reviews. On rare occasions, however, we have failed to live up to these lofty standards and must take significant steps to correct these missteps. Today, we find ourselves needing to do just that. After a…

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Aging Boxing Veteran Wishes Someone Had Told Him Being Punched Unconscious Could Damage His Brain

The Onion - Mon, 2019-08-19 10:48

BOSTON—Frustrated that he had gone decades in the ring without once being warned of the risks, aging boxing veteran Tony Sheehan told reporters Monday that he wished someone had told him that being repeatedly punched unconscious for years could damage his brain. “I mean, I guess I kind of knew it couldn’t be exactly…

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Review: London Rules, by Mick Herron

Eric Lee's Blog - Mon, 2019-08-19 09:56

OK, I’ve said this before and I have to say it again: plot is not Mick Herron’s greatest strength. In this book, the fifth in the Slough House series, a bunch of terrorists blow up some penguins, and the most significant murder is the result of an accident — by one of the heroes. And I think Herron is running out of bad guys. This time, it’s some inept North Koreans who’ve been living in England. All that having been said, the book is great fun and tells the continuing story of Jackson Lamb and his “slow horses”. You either enjoy listening to Lamb insult people in increasingly bizarre ways, or you don’t. And Roderick Ho — or “the Rodster” as he is known by no one — is one of the great comic creations in literature. I’ve already begun the sixth book of the series …

How Netanyahu lost

Eric Lee's Blog - Mon, 2019-08-19 02:04

On October 30, 1972 a little-known author named Arthur Tobier published a book entitled How McGovern Won the Presidency and Why the Polls Were Wrong.

The New York Times described the book as “perhaps premature”. A few days later, Richard Nixon went on to defeat McGovern, as predicted by all the polls, in a historic landslide.

Read my full blog post here: https://blogs.timesofisrael.com/how-netanyahu-lost/

John Hickenlooper Drops Out Of Presidential Race

The Onion - Fri, 2019-08-16 16:20

Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper announced that he will drop out of the 2020 presidential race in order to pursue a bid for Senate. What do you think?

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Amazon Workers Now Being Shipped In Packages To Personally Assure Customers They’re Treated Well

The Onion - Fri, 2019-08-16 15:23

DURHAM, NC—In an effort to improve the company’s image amid criticism about poor conditions in its warehouses, e-commerce giant Amazon has begun to ship workers in packages to personally assure customers they’re being treated well, sources confirmed Friday. “When people who don’t know any better criticize my employer,…

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