The North Carolina-based No Evil Foods presents itself as a socially-conscious, values-driven manufacturer of vegan foods. They claim to be the fastest-growing meat alternative in the country, currently available at more than 5,000 retailers. They sell products called "Comrade Cluck" and "El Zapatista." Their website boasts things like:
We offer a living wage to our employees and paid-time off for everyone, even our hourly hustlers. We support health and sustainability with our Vegan at Work & Family Meal programs and our policies reflect inclusivity and safety for all.
No Evil Foods is now coast-to-coast, leading the pack for environmentally sustainable, plant-based meats that feed and fuel the movement toward a better food system.
Unfortunately, their un-evil antics apparently end at workers rights. As Jacobin reports:
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No Evil told Reynolds he was fired for social-distancing violations, something that other workers say was a pretext for retaliating against him for organizing. Reynolds noted how other companies, such as Amazon, have used social distancing violations to target organizers. Another leader in the organizing efforts, Cortne Roche, says she was fired for dress code violations — she was told her pants were “too short” — but she too sees this as retaliation for organizing.
“I think they are full of shit,” says another ex-employee who was involved in the organizing drive and was recently fired. “It is a huge red-flag when a company uses this much left-wing imagery and has a turnover rate as high as they do.” “The owners of this company are faking progressive values harder than they are faking meat,” they added.
Nastaran Mohit is the organizing director of the NewsGuild of New York, which represents more than 24,000 journalists and media workers in the US and Canada. I've met her through her work with the Wirecutter Union, and she's also helped to organize workers at The New Yorker, New York Magazine, Buzzfeed, and more.
Teen Vogue recently published a great piece on Mohit, breaking down a day in her life — which is, as one might imagine, made even more complicated by the coronavirus pandemic. But Nas keeps fighting the good fight, doing crucial work at a time when media layoffs are more and more common. Solidarity matters, and there is power in a union.
Nastaran Mohit: A Day in the Life of a Union Organizer [Allegra Kirkland / Teen Vogue] Read the rest
In Kansas, the Shawnee Mission Board of Education adopted a three-year unilateral contract for teachers that their union fought against. On Monday, middle school teacher Amanda Coffman tendered her resignation from the school district with this powerful and emotional statement to the board.
Someone should hire Coffman as a highly-paid speech writer, pronto.
(Shawnee Mission Post) Read the rest
Spin is a short-hire/e-scooter company -- one of those firms like Bird and Lime that fill city streets with future-ewaste vehicles that block wheelchairs. It's owned by Ford.
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On Friday, googlers staged a workplace rally demanding the reinstatement of two suspended co-workers who'd been involved in workplace organizing against collaboration with ICE and tolerance for homophobia; on Monday, four of the organizers of the rally were fired.
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Designer/activist Mike Monteiro added a pointed pro-Union message to the cover of his new, print-on-demand book that Amazon workers would perhaps see when they print copies to ship to customers. The Amazon-specific cover to Ruined by Design: How Designers Destroyed the World, and What We Can Do to Fix It
made it through their approval process and is visible on the product page, for the moment anyway.
From The Verge:
While Monteiro says he’s sold over 10,000 copies of the book so far, only 150 paperbacks have been printed since he changed the cover, which isn’t a lot of opportunities for it to catch the right person’s eye.
Monteiro says he was working on some union organizing when he came up with the idea: “We were discussing how to get messages in front of people and I realized ‘Oh, huh. I have this thing that Amazon workers see every time a book gets ordered. Let’s put a message there.’”
Ruined by Design: How Designers Destroyed the World, and What We Can Do to Fix It (Amazon)
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This is an interesting move. Read the rest
In Is Labor Green? (Sci-Hub mirror), three Oregon sociologists investigate the correlation between high rates of trade unionization and low carbon footprints.
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GE Transportation workers were told after merger their new employer “wants to turn this into an Amazon warehouse,” says labor union.
The first wave of computerized automation caught trade unions flat-footed; already reeling from the Reagan-era attacks on labor, union leadership failed completely to come up with a coherent response to the automation of manufacturing industries (a notable exception was the longshoremans' union, which ensured that containerization led to massive pay raises and generous retirements for the workers whose work was largely eliminated by better shipping techniques).
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On Monday in Zimbabwe, thousands of nurses went on strike, demanding better salaries. The strike came hot on the heels of the country's doctors returning from their own weeks-long strike, which took place for similar reasons. With no nurses standing by to assist doctors or to see patients, hospitals in the African country have been forced to turn away people looking for care. Instead of negotiating with the nurses or passing legislation that would send them back to work, Zimbabwe’s vice-president, Constantino Chiwenga, apparently decided to fire them all.
Because doing that always calms things down in a country that's facing growing labor unrest.
According to The Guardian, vice-president Chiwenga believes that the strike actions undertaken by the country's doctors and nursing staff are politically motivated and stated that his "...Government has decided in the interest of patients and of saving lives to discharge all the striking nurses with immediate effect." Yep – ensuring that healthcare professions are never allowed to return to their jobs of you know, saving lives, is definitely gonna be in the best interest of any patients they might have treated.
Chiwenga called the strike “deplorable and reprehensible," citing the fact that the government had released £12m to boost their pay and allowances. There's no word, however, on how much this amount would increase the state of each nurse's wages, or when the money would actually come into use.
But don't worry Zimbabwe, there's good news! The government plans on hiring any unemployed or retired nurses that it can find to fill in the massive hole that your government just created in your country's healthcare system. Read the rest
Though Wells Fargo had been pressuring its employees to commit fraud since 1998, firing those who couldn't make quota, as well as the whistleblowers who came forward to report the fraud, it wasn't until the Committee for Better Banks launched a unionization drive to organize retail banking workers against punitive sales quotas that the crimes came to light. Read the rest
California governor Jerry Brown today approved a mandatory minimum wage of $15 an hour by 2022. The bill's enactment came within hours of a similar bill signing in New York by governor Andrew Cuomo. Read the rest
A paper in Industrial Relations A Journal of Economy and Society performs a meta-analysis of a wide range of studies the impact of trade unions on productivity and finds a complex puzzle. Read the rest