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You..ought to be out raising hell. This is the fighting age. Put on your fighting clothes.
                                                      -Mother Jones

Monday April 27, 1903
New York City, New York - Aims of the International Ladies Garment Workers Union

The founders of the ILGWU are mostly Socialists who reject the AFL's "pure and simple unionism." Nevertheless, their aims are conservative in nature. Since the union was formed two years ago, they have discouraged strikes, and have relied, instead, on popularizing the union label. Where the union label is not found, the ILGWU promotes boycotts.

Women and the American Labor Movement
From Colonial Times to the Eve of World War I

-by Philip s Foner
NY, 1979

Sunday April 27, 1913
Military Bastille, West Virginia - Letter from Mother Jones to Carolyn Lloyd

We offer this excerpt from Mother Jones' letter without comment:
(as written, without correction except for punctuation, as needed for clarity.)

Military Bastille, West Virginia
My dear Miss Lloyd,
     Your two volumes of Mr. Lloyd's Biography came to me and was received with a great deal of pleasure. As I opened the package and saw what it contained, I, for a moment, felt down hearted. I looked at Mr. Lloyd's beautiful picture, so natural, as I saw him the last time in Pa. I remember it so well the statement he made on the floor of the convention in 1896 at the Populist's convention when they nominated Bryan and were cheering. I said this looks like a complete sell out and he said to me in reply, "Mother, this is the last of the Populist movement, this is is its funeral." He seemed to grasp that the traitors had gotten hold of the movement and in that he was right...
     Now dear Comrade, I am still fighting away and perhaps I am doing just as much good within these prison walls as I would outside...
                                                                     Mother Jones
The Correspondence of Mother Jones
-ed by Edward M Steel
U of Pittsburgh Press, 1985

Saturday April 27, 2013
From Labor Notes: "Supply Chain Workers Tell Walmart’s Dirty Secrets"

Walmart has cut store staffing so severely that in some cases workers have no time to stock shelves, and the few remaining checkers face customers who’ve been waiting in line for 30 minutes.

That’s just the newest symptom of Walmart’s profit-at-any-cost policies, which create miserable conditions along the company’s whole supply chain, said Walmart workers who compared notes Thursday [April 18] in New York.

They gathered to remember 112 garment workers who died in the Tazreen Fashion factory fire near Dhaka, Bangladesh, last November. About 100 marched to the house of Walmart board member Michele Burns with a letter asking for compensation for the victims and demanding that Walmart sign a fire-safety agreement with Bangladeshi unions.

Police and building security prevented delivery of the letter, so workers, including Sumi Abedin, a young survivor of the fire, stood outside in the dusk, reading the names of the dead and holding a series of long, black, coffin-shaped signs that spelled

Read full article here:

Making Change at Walmart

Corporate Action Network

Sumi Abedin & Kalpona Akter on the End Death Traps Tour

Originally posted to Hellraisers Journal on Sat Apr 27, 2013 at 03:00 PM PDT.

Also republished by In Support of Labor and Unions, Invisible People, and Anti-Capitalist Chat.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Excellent, JR - thanks for posting! (13+ / 0-)

    "Only a Vulcan mind meld will help with this congress." Leonard Nimoy, 3/1/13

    by nzanne on Sat Apr 27, 2013 at 03:23:15 PM PDT

  •  afflict the comfortable! make mother jones proud! (12+ / 0-)

    "...i also also want a legally binding apology." -George Rockwell

    by thankgodforairamerica on Sat Apr 27, 2013 at 03:39:55 PM PDT

  •  Brining it home to them (15+ / 0-)

    Too often - pretty much always now - those who profit from the exploitation of workers get to insulate themselves from the reality of what happens on the front lines.  They can go to their charity dinners and their Rotary Club meetings and pretend to be upstanding citizens, since the blood on their hands isn't visible.  Making it visible is one more powerful technique for the working class to use.

    "Wouldn't you rather vote for what you want and not get it than vote for what you don't want - and get it?" Eugene Debs. "Le courage, c'est de chercher la verite et de la dire" Jean Jaures

    by Chico David RN on Sat Apr 27, 2013 at 03:40:46 PM PDT

  •  Over and over we hear that companies can't (7+ / 0-)

    compete if they don't suppress wages and benefits and limit dollars spent on matters such as testing and safety.

    And you know, under the current rules of the marketplace, that's true.

    But we almost never hear, from this same crowd who make the excuses to justify exploitation, is what could be done to structure the marketplace so businesses could compete AND pay living wages and benefits AND conduct product testing AND provide for workplace safety AND avoid environmental destruction, etc.

    As if...???

    Frankly, I'd rather take down Exxon or Goldman Sachs, the way we're taking down RushBeckistan, than elect another "better" Democrat who's going to wind up singing for the bankster choir.

    by Words In Action on Sat Apr 27, 2013 at 05:26:28 PM PDT

  •  Excellent diary! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JayRaye, Another Grizzle

    I know that I use strong wording at times, but I can't sit back and watch people being killed for corporate profit.  It is wrong and in my eyes between what happened in Texas as well as what continues to happen Bangladesh it almost seems to be corporate related murders and by this I mean if it happened once then it is horrible and should never happen again, but the second time it happens then it starts to become in my eyes a murder for profit.

    If any group of people were murdering citizens would we allow that?  No, that is why we've had laws and regulations that protect workers.  But, as recently as the collaspe of the building to the building fires in Bangladesh to the factory explosion in Texas were all caused by neglect of following the law or exploiting people with little power and that can easily be seen, to me, as becoming corporate geocide.

    Again, strong words, but the deaths of individuals should not be tolerated whether it comes from fringe groups wishing to do harm to others or corporations knowingly doing purposeful harm because the intent is the same.  The main word here being "intent," and these international corporations should have enough knowledge to know better and they should be held responsible for business practices that are killing almost 750 people between Texas and places like Bangladesh.  I'm not talking about fines, they don't work, it has to be true responsiblity.  Jail time.

    They did arrest the people in Bangladesh that were responsible for forcing the workers back into the building.  And that is a good thing.  But, I much rather see the workers alive and unharmed.

    "During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolution­ary act. " George Orwell

    by zaka1 on Sat Apr 27, 2013 at 06:03:30 PM PDT

    •  I agree with the use of the word murder. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      zaka1, MrJayTee, thomask, a2nite

      The use of the word genocide would only be appropriate if they were consciously trying to murder each and every single worker.

      No, it isn't genocide. Not even a conscious desire to murder.

      It is more like depraved indifference.

      If we have to die to make them rich, oh well, to them we performed our duty as workers.

      To paraphrase Mother Jones:
      (from memory)

      The operator was asked, "Why don't you prop the mines?"
      He replied, "Hell, dagos are cheaper than props"
      Now you are all dagos to those blood-sucking leaches, and if they kill 100 of you, why it was your own fault.

      WE NEVER FORGET Modestino Valentino who lost his life in the Paterson Silk Strike

      by JayRaye on Sat Apr 27, 2013 at 06:21:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I see your point (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JayRaye, a2nite

        and even hesitated to use the word geocide.  But, when I used the word geocide, I believe the international corporations with unsafe conditions are consciously aware and the deaths due to the conditions are because the corporations do not value the workers and consider them less than deserving of respect and to be treated fairly as well as keeping them safe.  

        Perhaps their intent is to not purposefully murder, such as in geocide, but anytime one class of people become so disposable to another class of individuals (who have power over them) then you have the beginnings of intent started.  If these worker's deaths become allowable it will simply grow and become the normal.  How many times in just the last year has this happened.  And in the case of Texas, the corporation knew the law and simply ignored it (and that is intentional) especially when you have a Governor that pursues business based on these kind of values.  Perhaps we need a new word somewhere inbetween because what is happening isn't just murder, it is something that could have and should have been prevented.

        "During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolution­ary act. " George Orwell

        by zaka1 on Sat Apr 27, 2013 at 07:01:00 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  This so truly horrible, zaka, that its hard (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          zaka1, MrJayTee, a2nite

          to find the right words.

          There really are no words to describe the callous disregard that they have for the lives of working people as they search for cheaper and cheaper labor.

          That's all we are to them, a commodity. They want us as cheap and disposable as possible.

          WE NEVER FORGET Modestino Valentino who lost his life in the Paterson Silk Strike

          by JayRaye on Sat Apr 27, 2013 at 07:06:58 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I know and it (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            JayRaye, MrJayTee, thomask

            is heartbreaking.  I just don't understand this world sometimes.  I logged in to rec'd your diary because it is so important.  I've been taking a break for a while because things get overwhelming.  I grew up in an industrial town and there were still many terrible accidents that happen to workers in the 60s and 70s that cost them their lives or disabled them.  But, things improved.  And now that we have safety knowledge it should be used everywhere in the world.  

            If we were actually helping third world countries that would be one thing that globalization would be good for, but to exploit workers especially when we know better, well, there is just no excuse for it.

            With all the workers killed in just the past week, it should be world knowledge that regulation and decent pay should be granted to all workers.  What breaks my heart is the families and children that have lost someone and now will struggle emotionally with that lost.  What these corporations do not understand is that people are more than workers and we have other purposes and roles that we fill in our lives.

            "During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolution­ary act. " George Orwell

            by zaka1 on Sat Apr 27, 2013 at 07:44:56 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  JayRaye (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I have a question and don't know if you can answer it or not, but are corporations like Walmart just buyer's of the products that are produced in countries like Bangladesh or India?  And/or are the factories in third world countries set up by people in those countries who have the money to invest in a factory and workers?  I sometimes wonder who is truly responsible, is it the owners of the factory in the actual country or are the actual owners America businesses?  I know American businesses that have moved overseas, but I'm unclear if it is just certain corporations taking advantage workers or if this is wide spread overseas.

    It seems the garment industry is the worst.  And sadly too many women are being hurt, but also I'm sure many men as well.  

    "During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolution­ary act. " George Orwell

    by zaka1 on Sat Apr 27, 2013 at 08:50:17 PM PDT

    •  I think one would have to be a corporate lawyer (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      zaka1, a2nite

      to understand the relationship. They keep it murky so that they can play the "deniability" card whenever they need to. Which they are already doing in this case. They also claimed ignorance in the case of the Nov fire.

      Here is my belief on the subject: they should be held accountable for every single item that they import into the USA: under what conditions was it made? have union organizers been murdered in the country where it was made? was child labor used? etc etc etc.

      Also there should be federal laws with stiff penalties regarding import of products produce under those conditions.

      Walmart also claims they are not responsible for their supply chain, even within the US, hence the super-exploitation of the warehouse workers in southern CA and else where.

      We need to hold them to account!

      WE NEVER FORGET Modestino Valentino who lost his life in the Paterson Silk Strike

      by JayRaye on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 05:13:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I agree with (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        holding them responsible for imports and supply chains as well as better federal laws and stiff penalties regarding imports.  I believe I read that Walmart knew that the building was a fire hazard and refused to upgrade it for safety.  I hope the workers overseas get a union, perhaps we need a global union that would shake up the world.

        I truly believe that history does repeat itself.  But, it seems to always look different or take on a new form, but the bottom line is that it is always the innocent and those with less power that get hurt.  I think globalization created more harm in many ways than it has done good.  But, I don't know all the ins and outs of it.

        Thank you for writing this diary, awareness is so important.  I just wish this important diary had made it to the rec'd list.  

        "During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolution­ary act. " George Orwell

        by zaka1 on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 06:45:31 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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