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What To Know About The Political Crisis In Sri Lanka

The Onion - Fri, 2022-07-22 07:00

Months of protests in Sri Lanka led to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa fleeing the country as the South Asian island nation remains embroiled in a political and economic crisis. The Onion tells you everything you need to know about the political crisis in Sri Lanka.

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Categories: The Onion

Rob Manfred Extends Olive Branch To Minor Leaguers By Letting Them Run Bases At MLB Stadium After Game

The Onion - Fri, 2022-07-22 06:45

NEW YORK—In response to growing unrest among the players regarding their salaries, Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred reportedly extended an olive branch to minor leaguers Friday by letting them run the bases at an MLB stadium after the game. “We want the players across our farm system to know that we…

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Categories: The Onion

State Department Brokers Alliance In Destabilized Region By Providing Arms To Texan Warlords

The Onion - Fri, 2022-07-22 06:30

WASHINGTON—Calling the arrangement necessary to achieve long-term success in the volatile region, State Department officials announced Wednesday that they had managed to broker a key alliance in the failed Southwestern state of Texas by providing arms to local warlords. “The lack of stable institutions has left…

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Categories: The Onion

Survey: 1 In 5 U.S. Adults Condone ‘Justified’ Political Violence

The Onion - Fri, 2022-07-22 06:15

A new survey has found that one in five adults in the United States believe that political violence is justified in some circumstances, with 7.1% saying they would be willing to kill a person to advance an important political goal. What do you think?

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Categories: The Onion

Exasperated Aquarium Staff Demand Visitors Stop Tapping On, Yelling At Vending Machines

The Onion - Fri, 2022-07-22 06:00

CHICAGO—Expressing concern for the safety and well-being of the snacks, the exasperated staff of Shedd Aquarium demanded Friday that visitors stop tapping on and yelling at vending machines. “Sir, I know you’re excited, but I’m going to have to ask you to please stop screaming and banging on the vending machine…

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Categories: The Onion

UK: This summer's strikes are already working - unions, set your sights even higher

LabourStart - Thu, 2022-07-21 20:00
LabourStart headline - Source: Guardian

Workers Strike Brookline Starbucks

Working Mass - Thu, 2022-07-21 17:35

By Agnes Smedley

Picketing in the Heat

Brookline– The doors are locked and the lights are off at the Starbucks at 874 Commonwealth Ave across from Boston University, as the workers strike until further notice. Working Mass joined Starbucks workers braving 90-degree temperatures on the picket line in front of the store on Wednesday, the third day of the strike. The workers, organized with Starbucks Workers United, officially announced the strike in a letter to management on Monday, July 18, but had already staged a sick-out the previous day. 

Starbucks baristas at 874 Commonwealth Avenue are ON STRIKE UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE due to unfair labor practices. Read more in their notice to management and join us on the picket line from 9am-1pm! pic.twitter.com/pFQQRqQB3j

— Boston Starbucks Workers United (@BostonSBWU) July 18, 2022

Workers are prepared to strike for at least a week even as a massive heat wave brings high-90s temperatures to the Boston area, putting the hot in #HotLaborSummer.

The Brookline strike is part of a national strike wave of unionized Starbucks stores in the past two weeks in Pittsburgh, Buffalo, Denver, Boston, Seattle, Everett, Chicago, Clinton Township, MI and Cottonwood Heights, UT.

On Tuesday workers increased the pressure, organizing a rally with an estimated 40 people present including many community supporters. At the rally the workers had a large cake to jokingly celebrate Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz’s birthday, and asked why he has not yet come to the bargaining table. 

Hey @HowardSchultz, we brought cake and balloons to the picket for your birthday — will this bring you to the bargaining table? #StarbucksOnStrike #HotLaborSummer pic.twitter.com/8ceh8ATXLw

— Boston Starbucks Workers United (@BostonSBWU) July 19, 2022

Nora Rossi, a shift manager at the store told Working Mass that many of the supporters have been members of other unions. Some members from Starbucks Workers United at other stores have also come out to support. There is a core group of workers who have been holding the line, while other workers who are also students and therefore in classes have rotated in and out when they can. And many passers-by have been expressing their support, including by donating to the strike fund and dropping off water and other supplies.

Moment that reinforcements arrive on the strike line – with popsicles and Gatorade. Lots of community and union support today. pic.twitter.com/6TZXK4XfwE

— Working Mass (@DSAWorkingMass) July 20, 2022

Solidarity with striking @BostonSBWU workers at 874 Comm Ave! Join us tomorrow at noon and wear your red HGSU shirts! https://t.co/AiUb3MvB4b

— Harvard Grad Students Union-UAW Local 5118 (@hgsuuaw) July 18, 2022

Pushing Back on Unfair Treatment

The Brookline store voted to unionize in June, and shortly thereafter they were assigned a new store manager. 

The manager started cutting hours for employees and said there wasn’t enough work, all while hiring five new workers. Workers at the picket line said that up through Monday when they went on strike, the manager was still interviewing candidates. Worker organizers have gotten in contact with 2 out of the 5 new hires, but don’t have contact with the last three. 

Once we unionized we realized that we can help ourselves, we can make this happen ourselves, we have that power now, we’re protected.

Nora Rossi, shift manager and member of Starbucks Workers United

In their letter, workers claim the manager, Toni Chorlian, has unilaterally changed the schedule with no notice. Under the National Labor Relations Act, management in a unionized workplace must bargain “in good faith” with a recognized union before making changes to certain mandatory subjects of bargaining, including wages and hours. Making changes to mandatory subjects of bargaining without bargaining “in good faith” is considered an unfair labor practice. 

The demands of the strike center around resolving the alleged illegal threats of termination, union busting through scheduling, and call to removes the new manager who workers allege has made racist and transphobic remarks and actions.

“The way we’ve been talked to by management and otherwise has been very demoralizing, and it’s been very hard on everyone at the store. On top of having our hours cut and being understaffed we were run ragged physically, it’s also an emotional toll every day,” said Rossi.

“We decided we cannot do this another day, we have to do something. We’d been kind of waiting for a while, like, somebody help us, somebody do something, somebody help us, and once we unionized we realized that we can help ourselves, we can make this happen ourselves, we have that power now, we’re protected.”

What will it take to win?

The newly unionized workers do have many more legal rights and collective power now that they are unionized and on strike. However, that doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy to stop unfair labor practices and bring Howard Shultz to the national bargaining table. 

The Brookline workers said that they need continued support from the local community and are asking for two things: donations to their strike fund so that they can continue to make rent and strike until their demands are met, and for supporters to sign up for morning and overnight shifts to hold the picket line in order to stop deliveries.

Support the strike! pic.twitter.com/ZWIvBIVh8z

— Working Mass (@DSAWorkingMass) July 20, 2022

Deliveries are usually made between 3-5 in the afternoon, but the company is able to change the delivery time of the Teamsters-staffed logistics companies to arrive in the middle of the night. Teamsters are contractually protected against crossing picket lines, but only if the picket line is physically in place. If the delivery workers show up at 1 am with deliveries and there’s no picket line, they won’t have a “legitimate” reason to say they couldn’t deliver.

State Representative and Boston DSA member Erika Uyterhoven joined an overnight picket line shift at 9:00 pm Wednesday night and urged supporters to sign up for a shift to block deliveries. 

Join us on the picket line at 874 Comm Ave standing in solidarity with ⁦@BostonSBWU⁩! #mapoli

Sign up to support the 24-hour picket here: https://t.co/dLdpk7NGFw pic.twitter.com/R7wQkbIF6Q

— Erika Uyterhoeven (@erika4rep) July 21, 2022

The nationally coordinated strike wave at Starbucks demonstrates the fighting mood of these newly-unionized workers. In struggle, the workers are realizing their collective power.

But will one store on strike in Boston be enough to get the manager fired? Or do Boston café workers need to follow Seattle’s lead by having all Boston area cafes striking at the same time? Whatever the answer, socialists and community supporters will be there every step of the way!

Agnes Smedley is a member of Boston DSA and a coffee worker at a local Boston coffee chain, writing under a pen-name to protect their on-going organizing efforts

U.K. Movie Theater Offers Redheads Free Movie Tickets To Escape Heat

The Onion - Thu, 2022-07-21 15:35

British movie theater chain Showcase Cinemas U.K. recently offered free tickets to people with red hair amid a heat wave in the country, explaining that redheads are more vulnerable to the sun’s rays and would have shelter in their fully air-conditioned theaters. What do you think?

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Categories: The Onion

Covid Virus Unsure How To Make Biden’s Body Any Weaker

The Onion - Thu, 2022-07-21 15:30

WASHINGTON—In an acknowledgment that it may not be able to accomplish much with its infection of the nation’s commander-in-chief, the virus that causes Covid-19 told reporters Thursday it was unsure what it could do to make President Biden’s body any weaker. “His vital organs and circulatory system are already pretty…

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Categories: The Onion

Area Baseball Fan Excited For First-Round Draft Pick They’ll Never Hear About Again

The Onion - Thu, 2022-07-21 15:22

BRECKSVILLE, OH—Eagerly learning what experts were saying about the player for the fourth straight day, area baseball fan Ryan Silva remained incredibly excited for a first-round draft pick he’ll never hear about again, sources confirmed Thursday. “I couldn’t be happier that we got Chase DeLauter—this guy is the real…

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Categories: The Onion

2022 Labor Notes: ‘A Special Moment for the Labor Movement’

Steward's Corner - Thu, 2022-07-21 14:04

Despite nationwide flight cancellations due to weather conditions and labor shortages, the 2022 Labor Notes Conference drew a huge and diverse crowd of more than 4,000 workers from across the globe.

They heard daring tales of organizing, learned strategies for getting a first contract, and joined a joyous Juneteenth celebration. Many workshops were packed, standing room only.

Categories: Labor Notes

2022 Labor Notes: ‘A Special Moment for the Labor Movement’

Magazine Stories - Thu, 2022-07-21 14:04

Despite nationwide flight cancellations due to weather conditions and labor shortages, the 2022 Labor Notes Conference drew a huge and diverse crowd of more than 4,000 workers from across the globe.

They heard daring tales of organizing, learned strategies for getting a first contract, and joined a joyous Juneteenth celebration. Many workshops were packed, standing room only.

Categories: Labor Notes

White House Says Biden Still Energetic Enough To Have Customary Morning Intercourse With Jill

The Onion - Thu, 2022-07-21 14:00

WASHINGTON—In an address detailing the commander in chief’s health following a recent Covid 19 diagnosis, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters Thursday that President Biden remained energetic enough to have his customary morning intercourse with the First Lady. “Despite some mild symptoms…

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Categories: The Onion

UPenn Teamsters Defeat Two-Tier

Steward's Corner - Thu, 2022-07-21 13:15

Teamsters Local 115 members at the University of Pennsylvania are celebrating a contract victory that eliminates two-tier pay for housekeepers, over the resistance of their own union officials.

“In my 31 years here, this is the best contract I’ve seen,” said member Theresa Wible. “We haven’t seen raises like this since the ’80s, and I’ve never seen our union hall this packed.”

The 550 campus Teamsters are mostly housekeepers, and 250 of them had been stuck on a permanent bottom tier.

Categories: Labor Notes

UPenn Teamsters Defeat Two-Tier

Magazine Stories - Thu, 2022-07-21 13:15

Teamsters Local 115 members at the University of Pennsylvania are celebrating a contract victory that eliminates two-tier pay for housekeepers, over the resistance of their own union officials.

“In my 31 years here, this is the best contract I’ve seen,” said member Theresa Wible. “We haven’t seen raises like this since the ’80s, and I’ve never seen our union hall this packed.”

The 550 campus Teamsters are mostly housekeepers, and 250 of them had been stuck on a permanent bottom tier.

Categories: Labor Notes

CDC: ‘Definitely Too Hot Out To Wear A Condom’

The Onion - Thu, 2022-07-21 12:20

ATLANTA—Reminding the nation that many heat-related deaths and illnesses are preventable, the Centers for Disease Control issued a new guideline Thursday stating that it’s definitely too hot out right now to wear a condom. “With temperatures reaching triple digits from Las Vegas to New York, we are asking Americans to…

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Categories: The Onion

Mommy Fact: Did You Know?

The Onion - Thu, 2022-07-21 12:06
Categories: The Onion

Alarming Study Finds Only 20% Of Unwanted Babies Adopted By Wild Animals

The Onion - Thu, 2022-07-21 11:05

STANFORD, CA—In a groundbreaking study that has alarmed many as the nation rolls back reproductive rights, researchers at Stanford University published startling data Thursday that revealed only 20% of unwanted babies end up being adopted by wild animals. “Contrary to conventional wisdom, we found that only one in…

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Categories: The Onion

International Students in Ontario Are Fighting Wage Theft—And Winning

Steward's Corner - Thu, 2022-07-21 10:05

In Brampton, Ontario, a small team of young organizers has begun taking on the businesses that exploit them, one case at a time.

The Naujawan Support Network, a collective of international students and migrant workers from Punjab, India, has won back more than $200,000 Canadian ($154,000 U.S.) in stolen wages in just over a year.

Categories: Labor Notes

International Students in Ontario Are Fighting Wage Theft—And Winning

Magazine Stories - Thu, 2022-07-21 10:05

In Brampton, Ontario, a small team of young organizers has begun taking on the businesses that exploit them, one case at a time.

The Naujawan Support Network, a collective of international students and migrant workers from Punjab, India, has won back more than $200,000 Canadian ($154,000 U.S.) in stolen wages in just over a year.

Categories: Labor Notes
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