You know an industry has hit the big time when labor unions decide it’s time to organize the workers. So, it looks like California’s medical marijuana workers are about to reach new highs now that the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 5 in San Jose has begun organizing local pot purveyors. Here’s the big question, though: How long before they start showing up to picket non-union shops with a giant inflatable bong? [More]
The United States Postal Service is continuing its long slide into suckage according to a new report delivered by Postmaster General John E. Potter this morning. People sent far less mail last year (“more than double any previous decline,” says the Washington Post) and labor costs continue to rise, which helped the USPS lose $3.8 billion in 2009. [More]
If you live in Chicago, New York City, or Philadelphia, expect to start hearing some noise about Walmart in the coming months. The retailer has announced that it’s going to “step up efforts to mobilize local political support” so that it can finally open stores in those cities, reports the Financial Times.
CVS stores across the nation regularly stock expired medicine, milk, and baby formula, according to a damning union report. This isn’t the first time CVS has been caught stocking dangerous goods. Last year, New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo threatened a suit after his office caught the pharmacy selling goods over a year past their expiration dates. CVS claims that, despite investing over $160 million in a “perpetual inventory management” system, it’s nearly impossible to keep expired items off the shelf because they simply have too much stuff.
The Service Employees International Union is running a campaign asking Bank of America customers to go into their local branch on Thursday and have a conversation with the teller about why their CEO, Ken Lewis, should be fired. One point that’s sure to rile up the tellers: their annual pay is less than what the CEO of one of Bank of America’s acquired companies spent on new drapes for his office.
The state of Illinois has suspended doing all business with Bank of America until they restore the line of credit to Chicago-based Republic Windows & Doors necessary for paying their workers.
Emails are shooting around to Geek Squad employees, encouraging them to join the Communications Workers of America union, so Best Buy retorts with emails of its own to voice its concerns. In an email sent by corporate management, Best Buy spoke of its concerns about unions, that unions would hinder its ability to speak with and negotiate with each Geek Squad employee individually. For, there’s nothing like the closeness created when one employee negotiates with a hydra. That’s just one fun piece of FUD (fear, uncertainty, doubt) in the email, posted inside…
A Japanese sake house near Tokyo has stolen one of my ideas and employed monkeys as waiters—one brings hot towels to customers when they sit down, and another takes orders and delivers bottles of sake. They’re tipped in edamame, which U.S. waitstaff should seriously consider since you don’t have to report it, and since the dollar will soon be worth about the same anyway. Our favorite quote from the article: “‘The monkeys are actually better waiters than some really bad human ones,’ customer Takayoshi Soeno said.” Hold on to your hats, there’s video footage below!
Ugh, those selfish pilots can’t be bothered to help their airlines return to profitability. No, instead they’re whining to NASA that they’re being forced to fly “uncomfortably low on fuel” and that “safety for passengers and crews could be compromised.”
Last week, news broke that a sweatshop in Queens, NYC was producing clothing for several large U.S. retailers, while overworking its mainly Chinese immigrant employees and cheating them out of wages. At the time, Macy’s announced it was cooperating with New York’s Department of Labor and investigating the matter internally. Now the company has confirmed that it never did business with the sweatshop—in fact, it investigated it twice in 2007 while evaluating potential suppliers and rejected it for shoddy record keeping. Use your crazy Macy’s coupons all you want, readers.
The New York Times says that the two most enthusiastic anti-Walmart groups, Wal-MartWatch and WakeUpWal-Mart are starting to take a more subtle approach when it comes to protesting the big blue box.
The IBEW 824 union is generating good business for the stick and sign makers of western Florida. First they picketed over Verizon ignoring the quality of its copper lines at the expense of pushing out FiOS. Now they’re picketing over what they say is Verizon’s poor customer service. One self-identifying union member said in the comments on this local news bit, “We are losing customers because of billing problems. We are losing customers because when the customers call in with billing or installation problems the employees are told to focus on “educating the customer on Verizon products and services” not on correcting their problem or answering their questions. ” Verizon’s response was that they haven’t gotten many complaints from customers.
“Verizon is not letting us do our jobs, and not letting us take care of the customer,” said Doug Sellers, president of the union that represents Verizon call center and repair workers, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 824. “Customers are waiting up to 10 days to get their phone lines fixed … If you have something as simple as static on your line, that could be out 10 to 15 days.
Customer complaints have gone up, and union workers says preventative maintenance has been largely forgotten about in some places, an accusation supported by the findings of several state public utilities commissioners. Are you a Verizon landline customer? Have you noticed things getting worse? Let us know in the comments.
Former American Airlines CEO Bob Crandall fired a guard dog at a Caribbean outpost to keep costs down. Just look at the self-satisfied gleam in Crandall’s eye. This is no mere cocktail party story, but a defining act of corporate leadership for his grandkids to cherish.
Today United Airlines canceled almost 60 flights at airports around the country, bringing the airline’s total cancellations since December 23rd over 1,100 flights—far more than any of its rivals. United’s official excuse is weather, but according to the Reuters, pilots are saying United’s decision to scale back staffing has lead to the scheduling disaster.
If you’re a frequent Amtrak travel, you might want to plan ahead for a half-week of telecommuting sometime in early February—Kiplinger says Amtrak workers may strike as early as February 1st, in an attempt to bring a conclusion to the negotiations that have been going on for nearly eight years.