From the Labor Commission of the CPUSA, updates, information, news, analysis, and organizing materials in solidarity with workers of the world.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Locked-out Honeywell workers reject Kryptonite

By Scott Marshall

Metropolis, Illinois - Over 2500 steelworkers and supporters converged on Metropolis Illinois for a mass rally and march against Honeywell this past Saturday. (see video here) Metropolis calls itself the home of Superman.

The Metropolis Honeywell nuclear conversion plant starts the process of making nuclear fuel and uses some of the most dangerous chemicals on earth. The plant employs about 220 union workers. Some 42 have died of cancer and another 27 are struggling with the disease. Honeywell wants to cut health care and pensions for these United Steelworkers Local 7-669 (USW) members.

The locked out workers had offered to work without a contract while continuing negotiations. But Honeywell refused. The company locked them out and brought in scabs instead.

The workers enjoy the support of the community in this working class town of 6500 in southern Illinois near the West Virginia border. Union members and supporters came on buses from around Illinois and West Virginia to march in solidarity. Contingents included United Steelworkers, United Mineworkers, United Auto workers, International Association of Machinists, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Operating Engineers, Communication Workers of America, Plumbers and Pipefitters, and several other unions in a spirited display of union solidarity.

Darrell Lillie, the steelworkers local union president, told the cheering crowd, "with your support we will stay out one day longer than Honeywell, until we get justice for our members." Jim Robinson, USW District 7 Director told the rally that Honeywell, like many giant multinational corporations, is trying to use the economic crisis to bust unions and drive down hard won union wages and benefits.

But as one striker told me, "we won't process that kryptonite."

Monday, August 2, 2010

Kellogg's latest "prize" in the box

Washington Post
Monday, Aug. 2, 2010

"This summer, when Kellogg recalled 28 million boxes of Froot Loops, Apple Jacks, Corn Pops and Honey Smacks, the company blamed elevated levels of a chemical in the packaging.
Dozens of consumers reported a strange taste and odor, and some complained of nausea and diarrhea. But Kellogg said a team of experts it hired determined that there was "no harmful material" in the products."

So there you have it. The company is taking care of business.

They found elevated levels of a chemical in the packaging but their experts found no harmful material in the products.

Therefore it must be that the consumers who complained of nausea and diarrhea must have been eating the boxes.

The EPA, which is part of Big Government, should mind its own business. The free market forces will solve this problem without the intrusion of government bureaucrats.

This is how it works: as more and more people become sick or worse, sales will drop and the industry will be forced to correct the problem or go out of business.

This self-correcting feature of the marketplace is one of the cornerstones of what made America great.

The sacrifices made by consumers who are victimized fall under another well known marketplace truism that companies know and trust to guide them in their mission: "You can't Make an Omelette without Breaking a Few Eggs."

The eggs, uh rather the people, play an important role in a company's Research and Development programs. If consumers become sick or are injured by a product an analysis is done and various fixes are made until reports of illnesses and injuries stop.

This trial by error procedure is time-tested and has a success rate of 100% given enough time and data (consumer problems) to develop solutions.

An important aspect of this procedure is it does not interfere with the basic mission of any company to make profit until a later time.

Note also that success is achieved without the input of a single Big Government entity.

Time and time again the genius of the marketplace and its leaders cannot and will not be outdone.

Finally, while on the subject, I would like to take this opportunity to go back and restate, on behalf of the nation, an apology to another victim of Big Government interference:

O BP, we are heartily sorry for having offended Thee, and we detest all our unfair judgments, because of thy righteousness, but most of all because they offend Thee, BP, Who are all-good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of Thy grace, to criticize no more and buy, buy, buy. Amen

Now in recognition of my duty as a citizen to contribute to the welfare of the country, I will have a bowl or two of Froot Loops.