Wednesday, April 06, 2005

What I Did Not Do On My Vacation

Read blogs. So now I'm catching up on my favorite blogs after my vacation

I find that Workers Comp Insider has found a website that describes what it would be like to be working at the worst jobs in history:
The Worst Jobs in History is a journey through 2,000 years of British history and the worst jobs of each era. It is an alternately amusing and horrifying look back at the types of jobs our forebears held, and a description of the work conditions they faced. So if you ever wondered what it would be like to be a Medieval fuller or leech collector, a Tudor woad dyer or groom of the stool, a Stuart nit-picker or plague burier, or a Victorian rat catcher - now's your chance to find out.
I missed my favorite holiday while I was gone, but luckily Jonathan Tasani celebrated it for me:
How about this? The media is doing extensive coverage of a huge labor battle, with the networks sending their anchors down to the site, cameras set up to record the daily struggle; CNN has a full-time correspondent on the scene. Here are the details.

For many years, workers having been trying to organize at Smithfield Foods in Tar Heel, North Carolina, where 6,000 workers slaughter 34,000 hogs a day to produce retail pork items at the largest such plant in the world. The company’s union-busters have lead a campaign over several years that includes threats to close the plant, interrogations, surveillance and firings. The company has its own private policy force, with a holding cell. During one recent campaign, they used riot-clad police during the election.
Read on.

Feeling left out of the world-wide mourning for Pope John Paul II? Nathan Newman talks about John Paul II on labor:
For those committed to labor rights, John Paul II wrote a landmark encyclical, On Human Work in 1981 that laid out tough pro-labor views that conservatives routinely ignored.

John Paul II saw the rights of labor as THE issue for economic justice; "human work is a key, probably the essential key, to the whole social question, if we try to see that question really from the point of view of man's good." John Paul II rejected market relations as delivering justice for workers and emphasized "solidarity" between workers as the critical element that the Church must support

Mick Arran notes that the Bush Administration is practicing union-bashing on the cheap, with a one-person Labor Department office hunting down labor corruption in Nevada:

Not that a one-person outpost couldn't do some damage, but it's a sign that the Bushies are taking this about as seriously as they took pre-war planning, which is to say, not very. Still, it means they intend to use Elaine Chao's so-called 'Labor Dept' to attack unions. In this Orwellian Republican world, the most corrupt administration in history is going to 'investigate' unions for financial irregularities. We're reaching the laugh-til-you-cry stage in Bush's destruction of workers' rights.
And finally, for all the general labor news you'll ever want, check out rawblogXport.