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Leid Stories – 10.05.15

Auto Workers Say ‘No’ to Contract; Put Union, Fiat Chrysler on the Ropes
Whole Foods’ Version of ‘Conscious Capitalism’: Cut 1,500 Jobs
With two-thirds of about 40,000 workers at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles rejecting a tentative contract last week, both the automaker and the United Auto Workers leadership are reeling from the stunning defeat—a harbinger of what might happen with contractions at General Motors and Ford Motor Company. The Big 3 employs 141,000 workers.
Alex Wassell, a veteran auto worker and member of Local 869, explains why the rank and file voted against the new contract.
Over the next two months, Whole Foods Market will cut 1,500 jobs—a move, it says, is necessary to bring down costs to consumers and to fund an upgrade in its technology.
Leid Stories in a commentary on Whole Foods’ recent questionable business practices asks: Is this what co-CEO and co-founder John Mackey means by “conscious capitalism?”

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Leid Stories – 09.29.15

Fiat Chrysler Workers in Detroit Reject Contract; Strike Ahead?

Obama Goes Professorial, but Gets Read, at 70th U.N. General Assembly

A four-year tentative contract negotiated between the auto workers union and Fiat Chrysler appears headed for recall. More than 40,000 members of the United Automobile Workers currently are voting on whether to ratify the contract, but so far the UAW’s largest locals have voted against the deal.

Greg Gardner, labor reporter for the Detroit Free Press, explains why workers are against the contract and whether their thumbs-down on it is a harbinger of contract negotiations with Ford and General Motors. The Big 3 auto manufacturers employ about 141,000 workers.

At the opening of the 70th United Nations General Assembly in New York yesterday, President Barack Obama was in full professorial mode, lecturing world leaders about international affairs. Several of them conducted teach-ins of their own that corrected the teacher’s syllabus.

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Leid Stories – 09.23.15

Auto Workers Begin Voting on New Contracts. Deal or No Deal?
Starving for Education in Chicago: Hunger Strikers Fight for A School
About 40,000 workers are voting this week on whether to ratify a new four-year contract their union, the United Auto Workers, has worked out with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. All eyes in the auto industry are looking for the outcome, which might predict how contract negotiations with General Motors and Ford Motor Co. will go as well. The industry employs 141,000 people.
Two longtime union workers discuss their concerns about the contract-negotiation process, the concessions they say the UAW has made, the definitive change in workers’ rights and benefits, and the outsourcing of jobs.
It took a 34-day hunger strike by 15 activists to force Chicago Public Schools to reopen the historic Dyett High School, shut down last year. But the fight’s just beginning, say the strikers, who envision the creation of the Dyett Global Leadership and Green Technology High School, and the rebirth of community control over education in the City of Chicago.

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Economic Update – Precarious Work = Capitalism’s Inefficiency – 09.13.15

Updates on economics of refugees, Ford buys French political wife, LAs homeless, Labor Day history, Seattle Teachers strike, and Japan’s jobs ever more precarious. Response to listeners on why rising wages need NOT mean rising prices. Interview with Dr. Harriet Fraad, mental health counselor, on the psychological pains, personal suffering, and huge social costs of imposing uncertainty and precarity on job security, hours and days of work, benefits, and wages.

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Christina Sarich – Study: Children Exposed to GMO Soy Pesticides Suffer ‘Serious Genetic Damage’

A 2015 study has shown that children exposed to pesticides used to grow GM soy suffer serious genetic damage. Does this mean that our children will suffer the same fate as those unfortunate enough to live near GM soy fields in Argentina? Researchers from the National University of Río Cuarto, Cordoba (UNRC) compared children who lived close to a GM-soy growing area in …

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Julia Fidler – Scientists Warn “Supercharged” GMOs Could be Used as Bio-weapons

Scientists and environmentalists are concerned that a new technique for generated “supercharged” genetically modified organisms (GMOs) could be misused and trigger a health emergency or natural disaster. The “gene drive” technology allows GMOs to spread rapidly in the wild. The fear is that these organisms could fall into the wrong hands or accidentally spark a catastrophe. The technology is being …

Monsanto Off the Hook for Cancers From PCBs It Produced – Andrea Germanos

Monsanto emerged victorious on Tuesday at the end of a nearly month-long trial in which plaintiffs had alleged the former manufacturer of PCBs showed “a reckless disregard for human life.” PCBs, or polychlorinated biphenyls, were manufactured in the U.S. from 1929 until being banned in 1979, and, according to reporting by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Monsanto was the primary manufacturer of them. The …

EPA Knew EMFs Were a “Probable Human Carcinogen” Decades Ago and Covered It Up By Melissa Dykes

Did you know that back in 1990, the Environmental Protection Agency was all set to release a report that admitted electromagnetic fields (EMFs) are dangerous to our health, including that EMFs have been linked with “the development of various cancers” but stopped short of straight up admitting they are “probable carcinogens”? Isn’t it ironic the newspaper thought to tack a Radio …

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Herbicide-Resistant Insects Are Destroying GMO Crops Like Never Before – Christina Sarich

Bt corn was originally created, or so Monsanto claims, to eradicate a farming nuisance known as root worm  But as evidence from a GMO corn lab comes in, we are learning how the pests are living the lives in fields planted with GM Bt corn seed. In 2011, a cornfield planted in Iowa with Bt corn was found to be completely decimated …

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Monsanto Now Billing Itself as a “Sustainable Agriculture Company” BY CHRISTINA SARICH

When you read headlines like these, you may be confused. Should you get angry, or laugh? Monsanto as a sustainable agriculture company? Monsanto truly has decided to market itself as a ‘sustainable agriculture’ company despite spending billions to provide the world with destructive, carcinogenic chemicals. You can see Monsanto’s propaganda piece here. The biotech giant also says that it aims to “empower” farmers around the world, …