Friday, August 27, 2004
Solidarity with Starbucks Workers
It’s easy--and accurate--to identify Starbucks as a high-profile symbol of corporate culture and creeping homogenization...but this does nothing to help those who toil behind the counter in an often futile attempt to make ends meet. Running concurrent with our efforts against corporate domination is a movement to support those workers. This article is an excellent primer:
‘They’re as Bad as Walmart’: Starbucks Workers get Organized!
By Derek Seidman
Two days after workers at the 36th and Madison Starbucks in New York City turned in their union cards to the NLRB for a certification election, Howard Schultz, the CEO of Starbucks, sent them a little voice message. In this dispatch from the corporate tower, Schultz—who personally brought in $17 million last year—tried to appeal to the $7.75-per-hour upstarts in words that would impress George Orwell.
The multi-millionaire CEO began his message by referring to his poverty-wage employees as “partners,” and stressed how Starbucks and its workers “have built great trust in one another.” He went on to explain that he viewed “treating everyone with dignity and respect as our highest priority,” and stressed the “caring and supportive culture” of the company. He ended with this note of pure authenticity: “I want to conclude by simply thanking you for everything you do each day, and for being the real heart and soul of Starbucks.”
Not surprisingly, the workers saw right through this corporate textbook mumbo-jumbo. Their experience had taught them better. Their story and their ongoing struggle for the first unionized Starbucks locale of the more than 4,000 Starbucks in the United States is vitally important and in need of our support.
To read the complete article and learn how to help the workers, click here:
Thursday, August 26, 2004
"Is your car vegan?"
With that irrational question, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer Sharon Bernstein begins an August 23, 2004 press release...I mean, article called “Automakers Getting a Taste for Vegan Values.” Bernstein is referring to the Toyota Prius...a car she claims not only has “impeccable green credentials,” but is vegan to boot.
To read the complete article, click here:
Wednesday, August 25, 2004
Eduardo Galeano Says:
“I don’t feel there is anyone who is voiceless. Everybody has something to say, something that deserves to be heard by others. So I never shared this attitude of becoming the voice of the voiceless. The problem is that just a few have the privilege of being heard. I’m not a martyr, not a hero. We all have the right to know and to express ourselves, which is nowadays very difficult as long as we are obeying the orders of an invisible dictatorship. It is the dictatorship of the single word, the single image, the single tune, and perhaps it’s more dangerous than other dictatorships because it acts on a world scale. It’s an international structure of power which is imposing universal values that center on consumption and violence. It means that you are what you have. If you don’t have, you are not. The right to be depends on your ability to buy things. You are defined by the things you have. It’s like you are driven by your car. You are bought by your supermarket. You are seen by your TV screen. You are programmed by your computer. We have all become tools of our tools.”
Excerpted from “Louder Than Bombs” by David Barsamian, a highly recommended collection of interviews with a wide range of thinkers, writers, activists, etc. Order it here: http://www.southendpress.org/books/bombs.shtmlShare