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Posts Tagged ‘New York’

According to a report from the Institute for Global Labor and Human Rights, the sweatshop factory Alianza has closed its doors, ripping off its workers of some $6 million. These workers earned $1.05 per hour, and the factory owners made off with a ton of their money.

According to the report,

From 2001 through March 22, 2013, 1,050 to 1,500
workers, mostly indigenous Maya Indian, toiled at the
Alianza Fashion factory in Chimaltenango, Guatemala.

• Over the last 12 years, the Alianza workers were robbed
of over $6 million in wages and benefits due
them, most significantly health and pension benefits
through the Guatemalan Social Security Institute
(IGSS).

• Over 60 labels and retailers — some of them powerhouses
like Macy’s, JCPenney, Kohl’s and Philips-Van
Heusen — were produced in the factory. In 2011 alone,
Alianza workers sewed 4.2 million garments, and over
the course of 12 years some 52 million garments
were exported to the U.S. and Canada.

• The workers earned a base wage of just $1.05 per
hour, which is the lowest wage in Guatemala and well
below subsistence levels.

These corporations had huge markups in their prices. The bigger the markup, the better for Wall Street and these companies. This is precisely why Wall Street Senator Ron Wyden likes free trade treaties. Many of these jobs used to be in the United States, but after companies shipped the jobs to overseas sweatshops, the markup increased. In other words, the free trade treaties that paved the way for US corporations to ship millions of jobs overseas has been nothing but an income redistribution scam, thanks to Wyden, and other like-minded Republicans and Democrats.

“• A Wal-Mart women’s blazer retailed for $21.88,
while its total production cost was just $4.25 — for
a mark-up of 415 percent.!
• Calvin Klein jackets and vests for the Burlington
Coat Factory cost $9.23 to make, but retail
for $59.99 — a mark-up of 550 percent.”

Major corporations got major financial breaks, according to the report.

“• Lavish 100% tax breaks saved the Alianza factory
and major U.S. labels millions of dollars.
• The Guatemalan Ministry of Labor is dysfunctional
and does nothing to implement Guatemala’s
labor laws or internationally recognized worker
rights standards.
• For 12 long years, the labels and retailers at Alianza
never once sought to guarantee that fundamental
worker rights standards would be respected. Workers
had no legal rights whatsoever and every attempt to
organize was crushed.
• Philips-Van Heusen, Nordstrom and others are launching
a proactive campaign to reimburse Alianza’s workers
what they are owed.
• “From the very beginning at the Alianza Fashion factory,
management’s policy was to plunder the workers
in every way possible — robbing the workers of over
$6 million in back wages and benefits over the years,
in collusion with corrupt Social Security Institute and
Ministry of Labor officials who totally failed to defend
the rights of the workers,” said Gabriel Zelada, director
of Center for Studies and Support for Local Development
(CEADEL).”

Below is a list of corporations that took advantage of the workers at the Alianza factory in Guatemala.

AAFES (Army and Air Force Exchange
Service)
Alfani
American Apparel Global Corp
Bealls Florida
Bedford
Belk
Blair Catalogue
Bon-Ton
Boscov’s
Briggs New York
Burlington Coat Factory
Calvin Klein
Carole Wren Inc
Catherines
Cato Corp
Charlotte Russe
Charming Shoppes
Dickie’s
Dillard’s
Dressbarn
Fashion Bug
Fishman & Tobin / Li & Fung
Fred Meyer
Harvé Benard
HeartSoul
Hudson Bay Company
Ike Behar
J.C. Penney
J.M. Collection
Jones Apparel Group
Judy’s Group (Emily, NYP Suits)
Kellwood
Kim Rogers
Kohl’s
Koret
La Maison
Macy’s
Marshall’s
Wakefield’s
Meijer
Minikin Togs
NBC (National Broadcasting Corporation)
Nordstrom
Norton McNaughton
Peebles
Philips Van Heusen
Ross Stores
Sag Harbor
Stage Stores
Stein Mart
Style & Co.
The Men’s Warehouse
Tommy Hilfiger
Tracy Evans
Tribal
VF Outlet
Von Maur
Wal-Mart
Winners Apparel

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According to Bill Moyers, “As we near the end of 2013, it suddenly seems everyone’s talking about inequality. Earlier this month, Barack Obama spoke of a “relentless decades-long trend” of “dangerous and growing inequality and lack of upward mobility.” Around the same time, in a papal exhortation, Pope Francis wrote, “Just as the commandment ‘Thou shalt not kill’ sets a clear limit in order to safeguard the value of human life, today we also have to say ‘thou shalt not’ to an economy of exclusion and inequality. Such an economy kills.” And a month earlier in New York — the most unequal big city in the USMayor-elect Bill de Blasio won a landslide victory campaigning on the issue.

But just how bad is American inequality? How did we arrive at this new Gilded Age? And how might we create an economy of broadly shared prosperity?

If you’ve got questions, we’ve (hopefully) got the answers in this Essential Reader…”

One thing that needs to be addressed when it comes to inequality is what nobody seems to be talking about. Inequality has been brought about government legislation that redistributes income from the 99 to the 1 percent. This process of corrupting government at all levels began with a variety of tax cuts to the rich and corporations under President Ronald Reagan, and which has enabled them to buy the legislation that redistributes income from the 99 to the 1 percent, and resulted in the complete  corruption of federal and state governments and politicians, such as Wall Street Senators Ron Wyden, Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul. This includes legislation that has weakened union organizing efforts, such as the passing of right-to-work-for-less laws, as well as free trade treaties, privatization scams, and other vicious attacks against the 99 percent.

Check out the link below for the complete story.

Inequality: An Essential Reader | The Poverty Line, What Matters Today | BillMoyers.com.

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Big Money didn’t win all the time on Tuesday election. In fact, big money lost 15 times against progressive policies and candidates. For example, Bill de Blasio won the New York City’s mayor race “on a platform of reducing inequality and halting NYPD’s controversial ‘stop-and-frisk’ program, he’ll also govern with a more progressive city council, as the 21 new members of the 51-seat body are expected to double the council’s progressive caucus after aggressive campaigning by labor groups and the Working Families Party.”

Check out the story below from Moyers and company.

Under the radar progressive wins of the 2013 election–Bill Moyers and Company

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Earlier this month, thousands of fast food workers in cities from New York to Chicago to Detroit hit the streets. Many were wearing “red ‘Fight for 15′ T-shirts – a reference to the popular call for a $15 hourly wage, almost double the current federal minimum.” More protests are planned for the fall.

“We’re frustrated and we’re angry,” says Alex Mack, 33, a worker at Wendy’s in Chicago. “I make $8.25 an hour and it’s impossible to live on. I’m a father, a husband. I’m always robbing Peter to pay Paul, shorting one bill to pay another.” But Mack is optimistic that the strike action will be successful. “If we stick together, it’s not impossible,” he says.

Corporations such as McDonald’s are earning record profits, mainly by cheapening their products and poisoning their customers through the use of less expensive genetically modified ingredients. Under the current circumstances, McDonalds and the other food chains can afford to pay more to their employees, it just means less will go to their investors.

The result will be simple if this scenario happens. The employees will demand more goods and services, thereby strengthening the weak economy. Rich investors will have less money to invest in politicians, such as Wall Street Senator Ron Wyden, as well as derivatives and other things, most of which are geared toward redistributing the wages, benefits and salaries of the 99 percent to themselves.

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This morning, Apple was convicted of conspiring with book publishers to raise ebook prices. This was one of the biggest anti-trust lawsuits ever brought by US federal authorities.

According to the Guardian newspaper, “US district judge Denise Cote ruled on Wednesday that the company played a “central role” in a conspiracy with the biggest book publishers in the US to fix prices in violation of antitrust law.

Executives from the companies would meet in the private dining rooms of upscale New York restaurants to bemoan the low prices charged by the ebooks market leader Amazon, and what they could do about it, Cote said in her ruling.

Cote ruled that that damages would be determined at a new hearing. Apple continued to deny on Wednesday that it had done anything wrong, and said it planned an appeal.”

This a perfect example of what goes on throughout the US economy. Regardless of how weak demand is, manufacturers consistently conspire to artificially raise the price of their stuff. Doing so pushes their stock prices higher, as well as dividend payments and corporate earnings. Now, if only the US government would do something about the thousands of other corporate executives redistributing income from the 99 to the 1 percent via conspiracy in restraint of trade, like the big banks withholding millions of houses from the market in order to artificially jack-up housing prices even though demand is historically weak.

Click below for the complete story about Apple in the courtroom. Below that is the story of the big banks rigging the housing market.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2013/jul/10/apple-guilty-ebook-prices-trial

The Fix is In: Big Banks Have Rigged the Housing Market

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For almost twenty years, Martin Jay Levitt spent 19 years managed 250 union-busting campaigns for corporations around the country. How talented was he? His record was 245 wins and 5 losses.

“In the below video, “Confessions of a Union Buster,” Levitt shares his experience and trade secrets with 27,000 flight attendants at Delta Airlines who will begin voting Sept. 29 on forming a union with the Flight Attendants/CWA (AFA/CWA).

Two of the main pillars of an anti-union campaign says Levitt, are misinformation and fear. Charter school teachers, from New York to Illinois to California, will find much of this playbook familiar.”

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New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said, “We must reconnect the people to the political process and their government.… Let’s pass campaign finance reform and let’s do it this year.”

click here for the complete story

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Let’s get something strait! Everybody has to make a buck to live in the United States. If you’re plumber, you must plumb. If you’re a contractor, you got to build or remodel. If you’re a professor, you must teach and research. But what happens when the school you teach at doesn’t provide the type of jobs necessary to attract students willing to borrow a hundred grand? If you’re an administrator, you want to attract students, so maybe you fudge the figures at how your graduates get jobs after they leave school so that you can attract more students.

That’s a ton of money for many students to lay out only to discover you’re not going to get a job as an attorney after you graduate.

Click here for the complete story

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The state of New York sued major US banks on Friday for fraudulently foreclosing on thousands of homeowners in the state in the wake of the nationwide housing crash.

The state is suing JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and Wells Fargo, along with Virginia-based MERSCORP, which it called a “shell company” set up by the banks to process home loans they made but which became a dumping ground for poorly documented and mishandled mortgage records.

Click here for the complete story

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NEW YORK (AP) — Police arrested protesters who sat on the ground and blocked traffic into New York City’s financial district on Thursday, part of a day of mass gatherings in response to efforts to break up Occupy Wall Street camps nationwide.

Police in riot helmets hauled several protesters to their feet and handcuffed them at an intersection one block from Wall Street.

“All day, all week, shut down Wall Street!” the crowd chanted.

For the full story click on the link below.
mass arrests of Occupy Wall Street Protesters

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