Monday, 19 March 2012

Some Examples of "Greedy" Unions and Labour Groups

Every time a Union or even worse a Labour advocacy group or human rights for workers group gets some precious screen time or front placement in a paper you know what to expect,crowing about greed and profit theft. in the more intelligent media this is altered slightly to "concerns" over "narrow sectional interests" and "short term goals", funny given that these papers never mention or criticise the Freemasons, or the Carlyle group, or any other group of venture capitalists who've hidden there assets in some tiny backwater. You know groups which have no other purpose but self profit even if at the expense of the rest of the population.

Then I remember who owns most of the media or buys up all that glossy advertising ar which point it stops being funny and just gets sad. To address that here is a few stories from around the world of Unions and Labour groups focussing on improving the general good for all.

"This weekend the first Trader Joe's in the state of Florida is set to open its doors and ahead of a grand opening, farmworkers scored a long-sought-after victory with the grocery store chain. On Thursday, Trader Joe's signed a landmark agreement to pay one penny more per pound of tomatoes picked by immigrant farm workers in South Florida. The deal came a day before planned protests from the Coalition of Immokalee Workers. FSRN's Kelly Benjamin has more."

The above videos document the campaigns by migrant labourers to end abuses in the fields where they work, as migrants employed in seasonal work often far out of site of most Americans they have few legal protections and even fewer avenues to end injustices and abuse directed at them.

The Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) is a membership-led farmworker organization of mostly Latino, Haitian and Mayan Indian immigrants working in low-wage jobs throughout the state of Florida. We have been organizing in the town of Immokalee since 1993 and have a base of nearly 4,000 members.

This campaign on behalf of tomato pickers is to get the buyers of the crops they pick (mostly fast food chains and supermarkets) to pledge themselves to abuse free business and pay a staggering extra penny per pound picked.

"The logic behind the Campaign for Fair Food is simple. Major corporate buyers -- companies such as Publix, Ahold, Kroger and Wal-Mart -- purchase a tremendous volume of fruits and vegetables, leveraging their buying power to demand the lowest possible prices from their suppliers. This, in turn, exerts a powerful downward pressure on wages and working conditions in these suppliers' operations.

A 2004 study released by Oxfam America, "Like Machines in the Fields: Workers without Rights in American Agriculture," concludes: "Squeezed by the buyers of their produce, growers pass on the costs and risks imposed on them to those on the lowest rung of the supply chain: the farmworkers they employ" (36). The Campaign for Fair Food aims to reverse this trend by harnessing the purchasing power of the food industry for the betterment of farmworker wages and working conditions."

Currently the campaign is focussing on Publix superstore.

Meanwhile in South Africa we have an interview with the leader of the Union of Metal Workers, explaining there greedy believe that South Africa needs to become less reliant on fossil fuels and embrace a greener economy. For those not in the know the biggest employers of Metal Workers in South Africa are currently linked to the fossil fuel producers, oil coal and gas.

"Frank Hammer interviews Cedric Gina, president of the National Union of Metal Workers of South Africa about the need that workers lead the transition to a green economy"

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