I was on vacation and have been unable to post for a few days. I was going to skip today as well, but there is a great article in today’s Huffington Post. It describes how children are made to work throughout most of the world. The two main exceptions: Europe and North America (plus the lightly populated Australia). What do these areas have in common? Workers joined together in unions, often allying with religious reformers and advocates for children, to fight for laws that protected children from exploitations. The next time someone speaks against unions, remind them that there are many places in the world where there are no unions. Those are places where wages are very low and an adult can be working next to a child.
The corporate media is nothing but a PR firm for big business. Every story I read or heard about the Hostess Strike pushed the same line: The workers are to blame. We heard the same story when teachers went on strike in Chicago. The corporate media hates workers.
Let’s look at this story in more detail. Laura Clawson of Daily Kos reports that the company is owned by a private equity firm. When the company went into bankruptcy a few years ago, workers took concessions. This time the bakers’ union refused to take concessions. According to Clawson, it wouldn’t matter anyway, since the company planned to close some plants and sell off the rest at a profit. She quotes the union president who says that the company has had six CEOs in the last eight years – none of them had a background in the baking industry.
Speaking of Hostess executives: Annie-Rose Strasser of Think Progress has found that the company’s CEO had his pay tripled (from $750,000 to $2.25 million) at the same time that the company was filing for bankruptcy and blaming the workers for its problems. Other executives received pay increases of as much as 80%. This seems a fitting reward for the executives who drove the company into the ground through debt restructuring.
Don’t blame the workers or the union. Blame the vultures that are eating the carcass of the working class. Blame the vampires that need more blood, so they break contracts and steal pensions. Blame the corporate media. It’s lying to you.