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Sorry, Boom Boom, but I can't support that. Boycotts, like strikes, are weapons to be used carefully, with a clear objective, and to help and not hurt our allies. I don't know who has issued this boycott call, but I do know that the Canadian Teamsters are making a huge historic effort to organize FedEx workers - and they seem to have had their first small success, ever:
[url=http://www.teamsters.ca/en/news/1360/a_historical_first-fedex_workers_jo... historical first: FedEx workers join the Teamsters Union[/url]
It's a small unit of 45 workers, and the union has just applied for certification. They also have websites - www.FedExWorkers.org and www.CampagneFedEx.org - reaching out to workers as part of their organizing drive.
When you're wooing workers to join the union, you don't generally launch a boycott of the company that pays their (meagre) wages. It kind of hands the boss a weapon that even dummies know how to use.
In short, unless and until I hear the Canadian Teamsters call for a boycott, I think we should vigorously support their organizing drive and reject the kneejerk temptation to boycott a bad employer just because he's bad. Moral righteousness and indignation don't win wars like this one.
ETA: Boom Boom, this is not intended as even a hint of criticism of you, because I know your heart is with the workers, always. I just think anything (yeah, absolutely anything) with a U.S. origin needs to be either read with skepticism, or (if it's clearly a friendly source) with a whole lot of context. What may work there does not work here.
oops!!! I wasn't aware of that, unionist. I'll see if I can have this thread taken down. The link was sent to me by a friend in the US.
Qualifier: this applies to the US only, NOT Canada! My apologies.
Our destitute working class is beginning to grasp that Barack Obama and other elected officials in Washington, who speak in a cloying feel-your-pain language, are liars. They are not attempting to prevent wages from sinking, unemployment from mounting, foreclosures from ripping apart communities, banks from looting the U.S. Treasury or jobs from being exported. The gap between our stark reality and the happy illusions peddled by smarmy television news personalities and fatuous academic and financial experts, as well as oily bureaucrats and politicians, is becoming too wide to ignore. Those cast aside are reaching out to anyone, no matter how buffoonish or ignorant, who promises that the parasites and courtiers who serve the corporate state will disappear. Right-wing rage is being fused with right-wing populism. And once this takes hold, a protofascism will sweep across our blighted landscape fueled by a mounting personal and economic despair. Take a look at Sinclair Lewis' "It Can't Happen Here." It is a good window into what awaits us.
Obama, entranced with power and prestige, is more interested in courting the elite than saving the disenfranchised. The president, when asked to name a business executive he admires, cited Frederick Smith of FedEx, although Smith is a union-busting Republican. Smith, who was a member of Yale's secret Skull & Bones Society along with George W. Bush, served as John McCain's finance chair. I guess Obama is hoping for some cash. And Smith has a lot of it. He founded FedEx in 1971, and the company had more than $35 billion in revenue in the fiscal year that ended in May. Smith is rich and powerful, but there is no ethical system, religious or secular, that would hold him up as a man worthy of emulation. Those who make vast profits at the expense of workers and the common good are not moral. They are not worthy of adulation. They build fortunes and little monuments to themselves off the pain and suffering of people like Henderson. Jesus called them "vipers."
Smith does think in the long term. His company lavished money on members of Congress in 1996 so they would vote for an ad hoc change in the law banning the Teamsters Union from organizing workers at Federal Express. A few stalwarts in the Senate, including Edward Kennedy (in a speech reprinted in the Congressional Record on Oct. 1, 1996) and his then-colleague Paul Simon, denounced the obvious. The company had bought its legislative exemption. Most members of Congress, then as now, had become corporate employees.
from the same article linked above:
What happened to our historical memory? How did we forget that those who built our democracy and protected American workers were not men like Smith, who use power and money to further the parochial and selfish interests of the elite, but the legions of embattled strikers in the coal fields, on factory floors and in steel mills that gave us unions, decent wages and the 40-hour workweek. How was it possible in 1947 to pass the Taft-Hartley Labor Act, which, in one deft move, emasculated the labor movement? How is it possible that it remains in force? Union workers, who at times paid with their lives, halted the country's enslavement to the rich and the greedy. And now that unions have been broken, rapacious corporations like FedEx and toadies in Congress and the White House are turning workers into serfs.
UPS is unionized. It is the largest employer of the Teamsters. Labor costs, because of the union, account for almost two-thirds of its operating expenses. But Smith spends only a third of his costs on labor.
FedEx is busy making sure Congress keeps unions out of its shops. It has lavished $17 million, double its 2008 total, on Congress to fight off an effort by UPS and the Teamsters to revoke Smith's tailor-made ban on unions. Smith, again thinking "long term," plans to continue to hire thousands of full-time employees and list them as independent contractors. If his workers are listed as independent contractors he does not have to pay Social Security, Medicare and unemployment insurance taxes. And when they get sick or injured or old he can push them onto the street.
I'm going to close this, Boom Boom. I don't feel okay about deleting it though. I'll talk to oldgoat in the morning about that.
I figure we leave it up because it's educational. Both Boom Boom and Unionist have made thoughtful posts, but we'll close if it's basically NA