Usefully indispensable?

So with Canada Post’s workers heading back to work next week, regardless of your feelings towards unionized labour, I think a little context is required.

But before I get into it I should state I’m not going to provide, nor am I looking for, commentary concerning either the deal the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (C.U.P.W.) were after or the House of Commons legislation forcing them back to work. Honestly I haven’t been following either side closely enough to provide any sort of informed insight.

I am, however, ready to cite two recent news stories that appeared in the media recently where union’s, on the one hand, proved useful (read: indispensable) to an individual seeking justice. But on the other proved indispensable (read: useful) for a corporation resisting their worker’s their right to organize to temporarily dismiss grievances…

Continue reading Usefully indispensable?

Time has come and gone

Yesterday Chris Hedges posted his weekly column over at TruthDig, This Hero Didn’t Stand a Chance, where he interviewed Tim DeChristopher. And very true to form, his piece didn’t stray too far from what I’ve come to expect from him and respect about his writing. He doesn’t mince words. He doesn’t fuck around. Time for that bullshit has long since passed.

For those who are unaware — it’s getting ridiculous, borderline criminal, how much news fails to be reported in the media these days — Tim is an environmental activist who, in the dying days of the Bush Administration, was successfully able to disrupt a Bureau of Land Management (BLM) auction of over 100,000 acres of federal land, in Iowa in December 2008, to the oil and gas industries for drilling. But it wasn’t until the Obama Administration came into office, who saw fit to “invalidate” the auction for reasons other than Tim’s participation — locking the public out of the decision to sell public land, for instance — took it upon themselves to charge Tim with a crime.

Long story short, he was found guilty of violating the “Federal Onshore Oil and Gas Leasing Reform Act,” in March of this year — seeing how the administration took nearly 2 month’s, after the auction was cancelled to charge him, I imagine it took prosecutors that long to find that provision to charge him with. And he’s facing a $750 000 fine and up to 10 years in prison. Even though he was able to subsequently raise the funds to pay for the land he had won, and offered payment to the BLM, they rejected it claiming Tim didn’t bid “under normal circumstances,” so they couldn’t accept. A somewhat valuable piece of information his jury conveniently wasn’t allowed to know.

And he’s still awaiting sentence…

Continue reading Time has come and gone