MEXIFORNIA IN METLDOWN: First, illegal immigration is the problem. CA has spent hundreds of billions on illegal aliens and their bills — public schools, free meals at school, special bi-lingual teachers, healthcare, housing allowances, low income energy assistance, aid to families with dependent children, prisons, cops, courts, public defenders, welfare, food stamps, and a hundred other gov handouts. And don’t forget lower college tuition for illegal immigrants. WAYNE ALLYN ROOT
Friday, June 15, 2018
HUNDREDS OF MISERABLY PAID EMPLOYEES AT AMAZON BEG BILLIONAIRE JEFF BEZOS FOR A RAISE! - HE SAYS FUCK YOU!
ASSAULT ON THE
AMERICAN WORKER…. Amazon’s JEFF BEZOS PLAN FOR A NEW AMERICAN SLAVERY
Over 400 Washington Post employees signed an open letter asking Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, who also owns the newspaper, for better pay and benefits.
Though the open letter states that employees at the newspaper “have been extremely grateful” that Bezos “stepped in to purchase the Post at a time when the traditional media model was collapsing,” the employees declared that, “In the past year alone, the Post has doubled the number of digital subscriptions and increased its online traffic by more than half; its advertising team has met or exceeded all its targets.”
“All we are asking for is fairness for each and every employee who contributed to this company’s success: fair wages; fair benefits for retirement, family leave and health care; and a fair amount of job security,” the letter continued, adding, “Offering $10 a week in pay increases – or about 0.6 percent of the median salary and less than half the current rate of inflation – is unfair and even shocking from someone who believes democracy dies in darkness.”
The letter also claimed it was “unfair” that Bezos allegedly refused to improve retirement benefits, pushed for “the right to indiscriminately lay off anyone,” cut severance for those who are laid off or replaced by outsourcing, and demanded that “laid-off employees waive their legal rights to receive severance payments” — the latter of which they described as “extreme” and “ominous” in “light of the Post’s mixed record on fair treatment for women, racial minorities and older employees.”
“The Post is not just any business venture. But even if it were – this would not be the way to show that you value your employees,” they concluded. “Please show the world that you not only can lead the way in creating wealth, but that you also know how to share it with the people who helped you create it.”
Over 400 employees signed the letter, including account executives, managers, senior employees, editors, bureau chiefs, producers, staff writers, designers, drivers, and aides.
Several notable employees also signed the letter, including the Washington Post‘s White House Reporter Ashley Parker and politics reporter Dave Weigel, while some even appeared in a video calling out Bezos.
In January, Bezos became the richest man in history, while in the same month, employees who complained about pay at the Washington Post were told to be grateful to Bezos for giving them jobs.
Working conditions at Bezos’ other company, Amazon, have also been criticized, with employees reportedly being worked to “exhaustion” while trying to fulfill “impossible” targets, and even urinating into bottles and trash cans for fear of being sanctioned over bathroom breaks.
PUBLISHED: 11:03 EDT, 15 June 2018 | UPDATED: 14:20 EDT, 15 June 2018
The rich now own nearly half of the world's
personal financial wealth – and they're only
expected to continue getting richer, according
to a new study.
Worldwide, personal wealth grew to roughly
$202 trillion in 2017, a 12 percent increase
over 2016 and the strongest annual growth
rate in the past five years.
The total is roughly 2.5 times the size of the world's Gross Domestic Product of $81 trillion for 2017, according to a report by The Boston Consulting Group.
America is home to nearly 200,000 people who own $100 million or more. This class of ultra-wealthy people is expected reach 671,000, worldwide, by 2022
If current trends continue, the study found that personal financial wealth could grow at a compound annual growth rate of as much as 7 percent by 2022.
At the other end of the spectrum, about 767 million people - nearly 11 percent of the world's population - lived on less than $1.90 a day in 2013, according to most recent data available from The World Bank.
Despite the grim statistic, that number is down from 35 percent in 1990, with nearly 1.1 billion people moved out of extreme poverty since 1990.
'The fact that the wealth held by millionaires as a percentage of total wealth is increasing does not mean that the poor are getting poorer,' Anna Zakrzewski, the report's lead author, told Bloomberg. 'What it means is that everyone is getting richer. Specifically, we believe that the rich are getting richer faster.'
The bulk of the world's wealth – more than 40 percent – was held by residents of North America, for $86.1 trillion in total. Americans like Bill Gates, with a net worth of $93.3 billion, and Oprah Winfrey ($3 billion) helped put the continent over the top.
The millionaires and billionaires of Western Europe followed, controlling 22 percent.
The U.S. is home to some of the richest people in the world - including nearly 200,000 people with $100 million or more in assets. Among them are Oprah Winfrey, whose net worth is approximately $3 billion, and Microsoft founder Bill Gates, whose net worth is $93.3 billion
China also continued to see major growth, particularly among its affluent population – defined as people with $250,000 - $1 million to invest. The number of Chinese millionaires is on track to grow four times as fast as in the U.S.
'China will continue to experience similar growth as in the past and this will mean that over the next five years, there will be more wealth created in China than in the U.S.,' Zakrzewski said.
The U.S. has nearly 200,000 people with $100 million or more in assets – the highest concentration in the world. Worldwide, the number of people in this ultra-rich category is on track to reach 671,000 by 2022.
Amazon Chief Executive Jeff Bezos named world's richest man
abuse of Chinese workers at Foxconn supplier plant for Amazon
By Alec Andersen
16 June 2018
A comprehensive new report released Sunday by the New York-based
labor rights watchdog China Labor Watch (CLW) has shed new light on the
barbaric and illegal practices that Amazon employs to boost its profits by
driving down production costs on the backs of factory workers at the company’s
electronics assembly plants in China.
The report, titled “Amazon Profits from Secretly Oppressing Its
Supplier’s Workers,” is the culmination of interviews and documentary evidence
collected between August 2017 and April 2018 by a team of investigators
dispatched to Foxconn’s Pioneer Park 2 facility in the Chinese city of
Hangyeng, located in the southern Hunan Province.
Workers at Foxconn Pioneer Park 2 manufacture Amazon’s Kindle
tablets and Echo smart speakers. Investigators uncovered a variety of abuses at
the factory—many of which are illegal even under China’s lax labor
laws—including rampant wage theft, fraudulent benefits schemes, dangerous
working and living conditions and the extensive use of subcontractors to illegally
subvert Chinese law and the basic rights of its workers.
Abuse of Dispatch Workers
The CLW report reveals that approximately 40 percent of the
workforce at Amazon’s Hangyeng production facility is comprised of so-called
“dispatch workers” hired through several different labor subcontractors.
In China, “dispatch workers” are employees who typically operate
under one-year contracts and receive slightly higher wages but enjoy almost
none of the rights enjoyed by other workers, such as paid leave and protection
against layoffs and termination. In 2014, the Chinese government imposed a 10
percent cap on the proportion of a company’s workforce that may be comprised of
dispatch workers. The report thus indicates that the number of dispatch workers
at the factory exceeded the legal limit by roughly four times.
Investigators also found that dispatch workers at the Hangyeng
facility were often not provided a copy of their signed contract, even when
requested. One worker told the undercover CLW investigator that when asked for
a copy of the contract, an administrator for the Qizhong dispatch company
responded that, “the labor contract had no legal merit to it and would not give
the signed contract to the worker.”
Poverty Wages and Wage Theft
Foxconn guarantees dispatch workers a
minimum wage of 3,700 RMB
month, but payslips revealed that income for
neither dispatch nor
regular workers even
came close to that number. All workers at the
paid at a starting rate of 14.5 RMB
($2.26) per hour, including an attendance
bonus of 1 RMB ($0.16) per hour. If a worker
is absent for two or more days in
month for any reason, including illness, or is
late to work twice in a
month, his or her
hourly wages for the entire month are
reduced by 1 RMB to 13.5
Workers are required to arrive 10 minutes early but are not
compensated for that time. Workers must also wait in line to be searched on
their way out of the factory, time which is likewise uncompensated.
Over the course of the investigation, which coincided with the
factory’s off-season, regular workers earned an average monthly wage of 2,000
RMB ($315.79). During the same period, dispatch workers were paid an average
2,500 RMB ($394.74) per month, with the slightly higher earnings reflecting the
lack of social insurance offered to dispatch workers.
As a result of these poverty-level wages, dispatch workers are
forced to work excessive amounts of overtime to make ends meet. This reliance
on additional hours creates a system in which managers grant overtime as a
reward for good behavior and restrict it, as well as normal hours, as a
punishment for alleged “misdeeds” such as illness, tardiness, or needing to
take unexpected leave. Meanwhile, regular workers at the factory were not
allowed to take overtime, making it next to impossible for them to survive on
their low wages and leading many to resign.
During peak season, workers are forced to work up to 100 hours of
overtime each month, which is nearly three times China’s maximum of 36 overtime
hours that may be worked in a month. Dispatch workers worked as many as 80
hours of overtime during the period covered in the report.
Dispatch workers at the factory are paid the same base wage of
14.5 RMB per hour for both regular and overtime hours. Both Chinese law and
Amazon’s Supplier Code of Conduct require workers to be paid an overtime rate
of 1.5 times the normal hourly wage.
Benefits, Attendance, and Unpaid “Vacations”
Regular workers are allowed paid sick leave if they provide
medical documentation of their illness, in which case they are entitled to 80
percent of wages for the days they miss. However, workers at the Hangyeng plant
reported in chat groups that for taking a single day of leave, including sick
leave, their earnings were reduced by the equivalent of three days’ wages.
Regular workers are also offered China’s “five social insurances,”
which includes medical, old-age, unemployment, maternity, and workplace injury
insurance. As a result, their wages are reduced by 400 RMB ($62.44). However,
regular workers reported that they never received any confirmation of coverage
and had to pay all medical expenses out-of-pocket, so the actual reason for
these deductions is unclear.
Dispatch workers at the plant are not provided any social
insurance coverage, in violation of the 2014 law governing dispatch workers,
which explicitly requires that dispatch agencies register their workers for
social insurance and make social insurance contributions. However, dispatch
agencies deducted wages for what they claimed was “accident insurance,” though
no confirmation of enrollment was provided and the agency refused to tell
workers what was covered under this supposed “insurance.”
During off-peak season, dispatch workers are often sent on
involuntary “vacations,” during which they receive no pay, effectively
rendering them unemployed to reduce wage expenditures. Between April 25 and the
end of May this year, almost 800 workers were sent on unpaid “vacation,” around
700 of which were dispatch workers. Between January 11 and February 26, workers
reported that 3,000 workers were forced to go on leave, of which 90 percent
were dispatch workers.
Dangerous Working Conditions
On top of woefully inadequate wages and benefits schemes that
range from fraudulent to nonexistent, workers at Amazon’s Foxconn Pioneer Park
2 electronics assembly plant in Hangyeng are forced to endure conditions that
are intolerable and dangerous even by Chinese standards.
Workers must ask permission from their line supervisor to use the
restroom, and temperatures in the factory were frequently 5 degrees Celsius (9
degrees Fahrenheit) higher than the outside temperature. Additionally, workers
are not provided with any personal protective equipment (PPE) or informed of
the risks posed by chemicals and equipment with which they work on a daily
While regular workers at the plant are given five days of job
training prior to assuming normal duties, dispatch workers are provided only
eight hours of advance training, which does not include information specific to
their assigned units. Thus, workers are aware of neither potential dangers
specific to their roles, nor steps to take in order to avoid injury or
detrimental health effects. This represents yet another direct violation of
Chinese law, under which workers must undergo at least 24 hours of training
before assuming normal functions.
The unsafe working conditions produced by this lack of training
and protective equipment are further exacerbated by constant exhaustion among
dispatch workers resulting from working so many hours.
In journal entries, an undercover China Labor Watch investigator,
who was tasked with brushing Echo Dot speakers, described the toll that long
hours spent performing monotonous, repetitive work took on herself and her
In one entry, she writes: “Many people were resting on the
assembly line and sleeping, while others had pushed together some chairs and
were sleeping on those. Some had even stacked together some foam boards and
slept on top of them.”
“The woman across from me said that she had been brushing for so
long that her hand was growing numb, her neck was sore, her eyes couldn’t see
clearly, and her vision was getting worse,” the investigator wrote.
Another woman had to be rushed to the hospital after complaining
of stomach pain that eventually left her doubled over, forcing her to lay down
and preventing her from standing. The Amazon assembly plant has neither a
medical clinic, trained personnel to provide aid, nor emergency first aid kits.
Squalid and Unsafe Living Quarters
Both regular and dispatch workers at Foxconn Pioneer Park 2 are
provided housing at a cost of 110 RMB ($17) per month. Workers are crammed into
the dormitories lacking basic safety equipment and emergency plans.
Regular workers are told during recruitment that they would be
living in apartment buildings with a wide variety of amenities, including the
ability to borrow cleaning equipment from the building manager rather than
buying their own.
In reality, however, workers are housed in poorly-maintained
facilities with leaking roofs and crumbling sinks. When workers asked about
borrowing cleaning supplies, building managers informed them that they would
have to purchase such items themselves. While Wi-Fi worked in the dorms
initially, workers reported that they were unable to connect to the Internet at
any point during the investigation.
Dispatch workers are housed by their respective agencies with six
workers occupying each room. There are no emergency exits in the dorms for
either regular or dispatch workers. The dorms also lack first aid kits, fire
extinguishers, and even an emergency evacuation plan, making them death traps
in the event of a fire or other major emergency.
In a letter to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, CLW Executive Director Li
Qiang laid out the investigation’s main findings, noting that what the
organization found, “violates Chinese labor law. Foxconn uses a large number of
dispatch workers and violates workers’ interests via these dispatch companies.
This practice, in and of itself, is unethical and illegal.”
Amazon was in fact well aware of the criminal conditions that
prevail at the Hangyeng assembly plant, admitting that an independent audit
conducted in March revealed the excessive number of dispatch workers as well as
the underpayment of overtime.
Far from being “issues of concern,” as the company claims, these
were deliberate policies employed by Amazon to boost its profits through
Foxconn, the notorious Taiwan-based manufacturer that gained notoriety
following revelations that 14 workers at the company’s Shenzhen Apple assembly
plant committed suicide in 2010 as a result of the long hours, poor pay, and
barbaric conditions workers were forced to endure.
However, Sunday’s CLW report revealed a level of exploitation far
exceeding that which drove those workers to death in 2010 and sparked a
worldwide backlash against Apple. The choice of Hengyang as a base of
operations, rather than larger industrial cities with superior infrastructure
and port access such as Shenzhen or Shanghai, was made due to its status as a
low-wage hub with a minimum wage of little more than 1,200 RMB ($186) per
The 14.5 RMB hourly wage at the Amazon Hengyang is nearly one-third
lower than the legal minimum wage in Shenzhen (19.5 RMB) and Shanghai (20 RMB).
Moreover, wages for both regular and dispatch workers in the factory were less
than half the average monthly wage of 4,647 RMB ($725.22) earned by workers in
Hengyang. According to the Asia Wage Floor Alliance, the living wage for China
as a whole is over 23 RMB per hour.
Amazon, which made $3 billion in profit last year and whose CEO
Jeff Bezos is the richest man in the world with over $120 billion in assets,
relies on the ever-deepening exploitation of its warehouse, manufacturing, and
delivery workers around the world to produce and deliver its products as
cheaply and quickly as possible. The technological and logistical advances that
Amazon has created must be brought under the democratic control of the
international working class in order to reallocate these immense resources to
meet human need, not private profit.
Pelosi on Illegals Suppressing U.S. Wages: ‘That’s Not the Point’
(CNSNews.com) -- House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said that whether illegal aliens suppress the wages of U.S. workers is “not the point” and that using language like “illegal aliens” was not constructive.
At a press conference on Thursday, CNSNews.com asked Pelosi, “Yesterday you outlined your plan to get a better deal for American workers. Does permitting illegal aliens to enter the United States and work here suppress the wages of American workers?”
Pelosi said, “That’s not the point. Using terminology like ‘illegal aliens’ and ‘illegally entering the country’ is just not viewed as constructive. The fact is that we have, we must protect our borders, that is our responsibility.”
“We also must protect our values, that’s our responsibility as well,” she said. “And we do believe that there can be a bipartisan way for us to come together to honor the values of our country and recognize that newcomers to our country are frequently the constant reinvigoration of America.”
She continued, “Bringing their hopes, their dreams, their aspirations, their optimism, their courage, their determination, to make the future better for their families are American traits, and in doing so these newcomers make America more American.”
“Should we, we must protect our borders, yes,” said Pelosi, “but what we’re talking about here, though, are asylum seekers and that has nothing to do with legal entry into the country.”
Pelosi and House Democrats released a plan yesterday to provide a better deal for American workers. Their plan aims to address inequality by giving “workers freedom to join unions and negotiate collectively.”
In addition, the plan hopes to pave the way for Americans to “higher wages, better health care, safer working conditions and stronger retirement security.”
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