Posts filed under ‘We the People’
This is a mind blowing chart. Don’t miss it — the USA is waaay over there on the right with zero mandatory paid vacation days or holidays.
The corporate lobby wins again!
There by the grace of God…
I. Am. Loving. This:
Ayotte Faces Backlash Over Gun Vote
Gun show background checks are pretty universally popular in New Hampshire…and Kelly Ayotte is facing some serious backlash from voters in the state for voting against them last week.
Ayotte now has a negative approval rating with 44% of voters giving her good marks and 46% disapproving. That’s down a net 15 points from the last time we polled on her, in October, when she had a 48% approval with 35% disapproving. 75% of New Hampshire voters- including 95% of Democrats, 74% of independents, and 56% of Republicans- say they support background checks. And 50% of voters in the state say Ayotte’s ‘no’ vote will make them less likely to support her in a future election, compared to just 23% who consider it to be a positive.
Ayotte won her seat in 2010 by 23 points. But in a very early hypothetical match up between her and new Democratic Governor Maggie Hassan, she trails by a 46/44 margin. This issue is really giving her some trouble.
“The issue is really giving her some trouble?” Good. Very good. I think the reason people are so furious about this is because polling shows that something like 87% of all Americans want some sort of background check but the senate blew them off which so clearly shows how special interests control D.C. We thought they were there to represent We the People? Silly us.
I mean, since when did 87% of all Americans want something done about anything? I don’t remember a time, other than this but what did we get? The proverbial big, fat middle finger. It just screams as to how dysfunctional our “democracy” is and folks like Ayotte are the poster child for that now.
My friend (I worked with him on Outfoxed), the intrepid Robert Greenwald, is out with a new documentary called: War on Whistleblowers: Free Press and The National Security State:
The corporate media tells us whistleblowers are troublemakers and/or attention-seekers who should be shunned, or worse — jailed or even executed.
Hardly. As a matter of fact, we need them:
In a Democracy, citizens are entitled to the freedom of information and the freedom of the press, but what happens when that democratic government turns its back on the truth and begins to punish those who stand up to falsehood, secrecy, and deception? In Robert Greenwald’s latest film for Brave New Foundation, we reveal the war targeted at the people who put the US constitution before everything. We reveal the War on Whistleblowers.
Here’s the trailer:
My Tweet of the Day:
I just came across this great quote:
When a government becomes invisible, it becomes unaccountable. To expose its lies, errors, and illegal acts is not treason, it is a moral responsibility. Leaks become the lifeblood of the Republic.
– Daniel Ellsberg and John Perry Barlow
The article from which this quote comes is about the White House’s “White Paper” on targeted killings and drones but its wisdom applies across the board. As the government becomes more and more secretive (as in the kill list, drone strikes* and its deliberation on approving (or not) the Keystone XL pipeline, for example), the less, obviously we know. And as those things happen under the ever-creeping tendency of our government to side with the corporatocracy and against the people, leaks become more and more important. We have a right to know what our government is doing because after all, it works for us and if it won’t tell us so we can hold it accountable, we need leakers who will.
Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney, John Bolton, Lindsay Graham and Erick Erickson Praise Obama’s Drone Plan/Kill list
They’re all warmongers so if they love it, I don’t!
To wild GOP crowd cheers, Newt Gingrich and Michele Bachman vehemently defend Obama’s assassination policy.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) will offer a resolution next week commending President Barack Obama’s use of drones and the killing of Anwar al-Awlaki.
We no longer have to transport ourselves to a magical alternate reality to ponder what a love child between Richard Nixon and Dick Cheney would look like. Given a Justice Department memo obtained by NBC News, we can conclude that child would look like none other than President Barack Obama.
“Just kill the terrorists before they kill us.” Land of the free and home of the brave? No. When I saw folks tearing up at the Super Bowl over those words I gagged.
We’re a scared bunch of sheeple. We stood by while almost 60,000 Americans were killed in Vietnam because our leaders told us the commies were coming to get us. Ten years ago yesterday, Colin Powell lied his face off in front of the United Nations Security Council and as a result, we invaded Iraq because they (I’m gagging again) supposedly had WMD and were ready to send a mushroom cloud over the U.S.
None of that was true.
Yet, again, we’re so scared of the lies we’ve told ourselves, all in the name of kill them before they kill us.
Defense spending — our tax dollars! — has doubled since 2001.
Ten years ago there was no such thing as the Department of Homeland Security but now we’re dumping untold billions dollars into that agency because it’s supposedly keeping us “safe.
And now we have drones — millions going to defense contractors for their new toys that we’re paying for — AGAIN, out of our tax dollars that — and President Obama’s kill list predicated on his supposed authority to kill Americans without their Constitutional right to be charged and tried by a jury of their piers.
They tell us these drone strikes are keeping us safe. But they aren’t: “Drone attacks are doing nothing but inciting more hatred” say Pakistani protesters. Google it yourself. There’s a whole bunch of info out there about how drone attacks are actually making us less after
So when will be again become the land of the free and the HOME OF THE BRAVE and when will we stop being scared little people who sacrifice their future for defense contractors and politicians who want to enrich them?
So what else is new America? As usual We the People are to blame for everything:
Under “anti-business” Obama,
Corporate profits have soared:
Tom Donohue, the president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, last week said higher taxes and a “flood of new regulations” will damage an already subpar economy. “In many ways, we’re going backwards,” he said.
There’s no end to the greed.
Such complaints, echoed by corporate executives throughout President Barack Obama’s first term, obscure one fact: American business has never had it so good.
U.S. corporations’ after-tax profits have grown by 171 percent under Obama, more than under any president since World War II, and are now at their highest level relative to the size of the economy since the government began keeping records in 1947, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
And the Dow Jones Industrial average is up 5,550 points since he took office.
The business world has done very, very well. On the other hand, we the people? Not so much.
Remember this? (Look at how cavalier and arrogant that cop looks.)
Twenty-one students and alumni filed a federal lawsuit on February 22, 2012 against UC Davis over the University’s treatment of protesters during a Nov. 18, 2011 demonstration in which campus police were caught on video dousing seated protesters with pepper spray.
Bravo! What the campus cops did was outrageous.
The lawsuit charged that UC Davis administration officials set in motion a series of events that they should have known would result in constitutional violations against the demonstrators, and that they and the campus police department failed to properly train and supervise officers.
A settlement was announced on September 26, 2012. The University agreed to pay $1million, including $730,000 to the named plaintiffs and others who were arrested or pepper-sprayed on November 18. Additionally, the case has been expanded to a class action lawsuit, and a portion of the total award will be set aside to compensate individuals other than the named plaintiffs who were pepper-sprayed or wrongfully arrested on November 18, 2011.
On January 9, 2013 a federal judge approved the settlement.
God I hope the University doesn’t appeal, though they might just to set a “precedent.” $1 million isn’t all that punitive. They should shut up, walk away, and be happy they weren’t ordered to pay more.
Yesterday we heard AIG was considering suing
the federal government We the People because the $182 billion bailout we sprang for in 2008 had some glitches in it they’ve decided they don’t like.
Understandably, and rightly, there was a huge outcry. I particularly like this letter to AIG from Democratic Reps. Peter Welch of Vermont and Michael Capuano of Massachusetts:
According to The New York Times, AIG is actively considering suing the U.S. government for monetary damages after American taxpayers rescued your company from its reckless conduct with a $182 billion bailout.
Don’t do it.
Don’t even think about it.
AIG became the poster company for Wall Street greed, fiscal mismanagement, and executive bonuses – the taxpayer and economy be damned.
Now, AIG apparently seeks to become the poster company for corporate ingratitude and chutzpah.
Taxpayers are still furious that they rescued a company whose own conduct brought it down. Don’t rub salt in the wounds with yet another reckless decision that is on par with the reckless decisions that led to the bailout in the first place.
Anyway, to make a long story short, AIG has decided not to sue.
Hey guys, GOOD THINKIN’ for once.
Aside from Republicans in Washington hating on everything and everyone, this is the big news today:
Ten Banks Settle Foreclosure Charges for $8.5 Billion
Ten major U.S. banks and mortgage companies will pay $8.5 billion to settle complaints that they improperly foreclosed on some homeowners, federal regulators announced Monday.
The settlement package includes $3.3 billion in direct payments to eligible owners and $5.2 billion in loan modifications, forgiveness of deficiency judgments and other assistance, according to announcements by the Federal Reserve and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC).
Eligible homeowners who should have been allowed to stay in their homes will receive compensation ranging from hundreds of dollars to as high as $125,000, depending on the type of possible mortgage servicing error.
More than 3.8 million borrowers whose home loans at these 10 banks were foreclosed on in 2009 and 2010 will receive some compensation in a timely manner, regulators said.
A payment agent will be appointed to administer payments. The agent is expected to contact eligible borrowers by the end of March with payment details, regulators said. Borrowers will not have to take any further action.
The settlement includes Bank of America, Citigroup, Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase, MetLife Bank, PNC, Sovereign, Sun Trust, U.S. Bank and Aurora. The financial firms have operated under what is known as enforcement actions since April 2011. Federal regulators ordered the enforcement actions after they found evidence the banks mishandled paperwork or improperly sped up foreclosures by bypassing required procedures.
I heard someone on the CBS radio news this morning say that in order for this settlement to reflect the damage done by these banks it would have to be more in the range of $40 billion, not $8.5. And on his show today Thom Hartmann said he heard that the Obama administration was afraid these banks would collapse if they pushed it that far. (Fine, let them freaking collapse already!)
Not only that, I can only imagine what a fiasco dispensing this money is going to be.
Yeah, I know that’s a bit of a shocker of a headline but look at this:
W A R
Amid violence and chaos in Syria, four hundred US troops have been deployed to Turkey with Patriot missile batteries to bolster defenses along the border. NBC’s Annabel Roberts reports.
The way this gets out of control — and fast — is, we send troops to “defend” Turkey. One U.S. soldier gets killed and suddenly we need reinforcements because that soldier shouldn’t die in vain. And then another soldier dies and we need even more troops because now we’ve lost two people and we have to justify their deaths. Then we send helicopters and tanks and we set-up camps and voila, we’ve got 5,000, 10,000, 40,000 troops there.
Syria’s President Assad is a monster and what he’s doing to his people is horrific. I get that. My problem is that suddenly we’re sliding into something that might cost us millions if not billions of dollars while the discussion on the table at home is about austerity and cutting “entitlements,” more honestly known as earned benefits working Americans have paid into.
Let’s put sending troops to Turkey on the table too. Can we afford it? How are we going to pay for another potential war? Democrats don’t want to look like they’re “weak” on defense and Republicans would love it if we ran the budget up even more because then hey, their 30-year dream of slashing those “entitlements” in order to balance the budget might finally come true.
Let’s say no for a sec until we have a national discussion about how we’re going to pay for this. I mean, do We the People have a say in this since we’re the ones who’re going to pay for it?
If we thought the news coming out of Washington in 2012 was maddeningly, pull-your-hair-out bad, it looks like we’re in for even more fun this year:
President Obama signed the “fiscal cliff” deal developed by Vice President Joe Biden and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, averting across-the-board spending cuts for two months, raising taxes on the wealthiest Americans, and averting a number of other tax increases. But the Washington Post notes that the deal assures additional budget fights in the coming months.
“The next big deadline is likely to come around the end of February, when the Treasury Department will exhaust the measures now in place to extend the nation’s $16.4 trillion debt ceiling… Republicans hope to use that moment to force Obama and congressional Democrats to agree to major spending cuts in return for the increase.”
Next, “in early March would come another deadline: the $110 billion cut in spending, half from the Pentagon, delayed as part of this deal. A month or so later — on March 27 — a short-term measure that funds government agencies will lapse. Without a renewal, the government will shut down.”
It’s a good thing there isn’t anything else that needs to get done.
I guess I was wrong about the hopelessness of reaching a bipartisanship agreement on much of anything in Washington because alas, both parties came together today to royally screw the American people:
The Senate on Friday reauthorized for five years broad electronic eavesdropping powers that legalized and expanded the President George W. Bush administration’s warrantless wiretapping program.
The FISA Amendments Act, (.pdf) which was expiring Monday at midnight, allows the government to electronically eavesdrop on Americans’ phone calls and e-mails without a probable-cause warrant so long as one of the parties to the communication is believed outside the United States. [The potential for abuse here is enormous.] The communications may be intercepted “to acquire foreign intelligence information.”
The House approved the measure in September. President Barack Obama, who said the spy powers were a national security priority, is expected to quickly sign the package before the law Congress codified in 2008 expires in the coming days.
The American Civil Liberties Union immediately blasted the vote.
“The Bush administration’s program of warrantless wiretapping, once considered a radical threat to the Fourth Amendment, has become institutionalized for another five years,” said Michelle Richardson, the ACLU’s legislative counsel.
Amendments senators refused to enact included extending the measure for just three years, another one requiring the government to account for how many times Americans’ communications have been intercepted, and one by Wyden prohibiting U.S. spy agencies from reviewing the communications of Americans ensnared in the program.
As a former paralegal, I know warrants aren’t hard to get. All a law enforcement agency has to do to get one is show probable cause (lots of doubt can remain) that a individual is doing something illegal. It is outrageous that that check, minimal as it was, is now gone and that a ah, Constitutional lawyer will sign a bill to extend it another five years.
This has already become so entrenched in our society that there will undoubtedly come a time when extending it for another five years and another five years (and on and on) won’t even make the news.
That sort guy in the blue shirt on the conservative side represents the people I see at the food bank. Some of them don’t stand a chance but Republicans would have us believe “all” they have to do is “work hard and play by the rules” and they’ll be millionaires.
This is outrageous: We the People own the land these United States sit on. Should mining companies be able to extract the riches and reap the profits from those riches without paying royalties to ah, again, We the People? I don’t think so:
While the U.S. government reaps billions of dollars in royalties each year from fossil fuels extracted from federal lands and waters, it does not collect any such royalties from gold, uranium or other metals mined from the same places, congressional auditors reported Wednesday.
The federal government doesn’t even know how much these so-called “hard rock” mines produce from federal public lands in the 12 western states where most of the mining occurs, the Government Accountability Office report found.
And there is no federal law requiring the disclosure of production figures from individual mines.
Two Democratic lawmakers are hoping public concerns over the economy and the looming “fiscal cliff” will reinvigorate a movement on Capitol Hill to reform the General Mining Act of 1872, which exempted mining companies from paying royalties for profiting from U.S. public lands.
They want miners to pay the same 12.5 percent in royalties as oil companies, a move that could bring hundreds of millions of dollars in new annual revenue.
This is a no brainer. Why don’t all corporations who make a profit off of federal land (i.e., our land) automatically pay a fee? Do we really need to debate this? The resources don’t belong to them. They belong to us!
The big story here — according to the “liberal media” — is how this could inconvenience holiday travelers. The big story to me is that these folks are getting paid a pitiful $8 an hour to do yeoman’s work:
Security guards at New York’s JFK Airport are threatening to strike just before Christmas, demanding significant improvements to their working conditions.
About 300 workers will vote tomorrow to authorize the strike, which would begin December 20. They are also considering unionization.
The workers, who are employed by two private companies, Air Serv and Global Elite Group, are responsible for inspecting planes for explosives and contraband before takeoff, and checking airport staff who have access to aircraft.
They are also in charge of directing terminal traffic, according the the New York Post.
The guards are currently paid $8 an hour without benefits
“We want to be issued enough of the proper equipment to be able to do our job and keep the public safe,” Prince Jackson, an Air Serv employee, told Crain’s. “We want more money and benefits.”
Michael Allen, a spokesman for the Service Employees International Union, which is advising the guards, told The Post:
These security officers feel responsible for the safety and security at JFK Airport. They feel it is their duty to bring attention to these gaping holes in preparedness and safety standards.
I find it outrageous that folks who are responsible for keeping BOMBS OFF OF AIRPLANES are paid $8 an hour and they’re working without adequate equipment. I presume that somewhere along the line, money from the Department of Homeland Security trickles down to these people directly or to the companies they work for.
The president has asked congress to authorize $68.9 billion (BILLION) for that agency in his 2013 budget.
Surely we can come up with proper equipment and more than $8 an hour for these people, particularly if we respect and value what they’re doing. If we don’t, then let’s stop playing games and admit we don’t — that keeping bombs off planes isn’t really all that important.
Looks like there’s a good turnout this morning of people protesting how Republicans are trying to screw workers in Michigan. I’d be there if I could:
“Some say” as many as 10,000 people could demonstrate today on the lawn of the Michigan State Capitol in opposition to the “right to work
for less” law rammed through the state legislature by Republicans over the last few days.
This morning, the Detroit Free Press reports that:
Riot gear was stockpiled in a back room at the Capitol on Monday as State Police prepared for what’s expected to be one of the largest demonstrations in Lansing history today, as the House takes up right-to-work legislation.
Officials were also seen Monday briefing more than a dozen undercover officers — dressed as working people in jeans and ball caps — on how to blend in with the crowd today and respond to any trouble or suspicious activity.
“Because of lessons learned in Wisconsin and Ohio, we are taking precautions,” including riot gear that will only be used if needed, said Inspector Gene Adamczyk. “The State Police have come here prepared.”
Corporations love “right to work” laws because they tend to cause wages to fall overall, making it so they get to keep more of their profit. Republicans love the laws because they weaken unions, who tend to mobilize and vote Democratic. So what we have here, ladies and gentlemen, is the Michigan State Police being used to beat back We the People on behalf of those two interests.
USA! USA! USA!
Watch this: Tax the Rich: An Animated Fairy Tale, narrated by Ed Asner. (It’s very good.)
Here we have Democrats being wimps again, just two weeks after the American people said no to cutting
entitlements earned benefits:
Dems already signaling flexibility on entitlements: Relatedly, the Wall Street Journal quotes named and unnamed Democrats who are already saying they are prepared to give some ground on entitlement reform. It’s a bit odd that Dems would signal this at the outset, particularly given that Republicans continue to only show flexibility on tax loopholes, and not tax rates — meaning they are not making any big concessions.
I have to wonder what kind of election results would be required to force Democrats to grow a pair and to ahem, act like Democrats.
SARASOTA – A homeless man spent the night in jail Sunday after police arrested him for charging his cellphone in a public picnic shelter at Gillespie Park.
Darren Kersey, 28, was charged with theft of utilities after Sarasota Police Sgt. Anthony Frangioni spotted him charging his phone at about 9:20 p.m. Sunday. Unable to come up with the $500 bail for the misdemeanor, Kersey had no choice but to stay in jail.
In his arrest report, Frangioni wrote that he told Kersey that the “theft of city utilities will not be tolerated during this bad economy.” Frangioni also told Kersey that he should charge his phone at local shelters, according to the report.
So, I guess Kersey stole maybe 35c worth of electricity from Sarasota taxpayers.
What’s wrong is wrong but what gets me is that we aren’t, as a society, treated as equals: Wall Street bankers crashed the worldwide economy and they owe We the People $1.54 trillion but as far as I know, nobody has spent so much as a minute in jail.
There isn’t a whole lot of good news out there but lo and behold, here’s some:
A union-backed living wage measure for Long Beach hotel workers passed with more than 60% of the vote in Tuesday’s election — the third hotel worker living wage measure to pass in California.
With all precincts reporting, 63.22% of voters favored Measure N, which requires nonunionized hotels with more than 100 rooms to pay all workers at least $13 an hour, according to the Los Angeles County registrar-recorder/clerk’s office.
By passing the measure, Long Beach voters have required 17 of the city’s hotels to pay workers a rate that is $4 more than California minimum wage and provide them with five sick days each year.
“We’re ecstatic that Long Beach voted overwhelmingly to pass this,” said Christine Petit of the Long Beach Coalition For Good Jobs and a Healthy Community, which sponsored the measure.
“And this ordinance means a lot to the workers, who will get the wage increases just in time for the holidays.”
Long Beach becomes the third California city to pass a living wage provision specific to hotel workers. The first, in Emeryville, passed in 2005 and was joined by a measure in 2007 to create a living wage for workers at Century Boulvard hotels near LAX.
The more I read as local election results come trickling in, the prouder I am of We the People. Special kudos to the folks in Long Beach. What a compassionate, humane thing to do.
Florida Rep. Alan Grayson on Wednesday after defeating certifiably insane Republican Allen West on the Joy Bahar “Say Anything” radio show:
What the Republicans are doing [now] is different from what they normally do. They normally try to vilify groups that can’t fight back. They vilify the undocumented because they can’t vote, so they can’t retaliate. They vilify pregnant teenagers because they can’t vote either. Here, they’re vilifying the voters. They’re attacking the voters. They’re pissing the voters off, and that’s a very dangerous thing for elected officials to do anywhere.
We had lines as long as six hours here in Central Florida to vote, and it was simply because the Republicans wanted it that way. It’s because [Republican Governor] Rick Scott wanted it that way. It’s because the Republican super-majorities in Tallahassee wanted it that way. If you make voters your enemy, the voters know that, and they are going to fight back.
The thing I loved the most about Tuesday was that voters didn’t cow to Republican voter suppression efforts, they acted up and they stood in line and they gave Republicans a big ol’ middle finger.
USA! USA! USA!
CORRECTED: Not to detract from what Grayson said or the insanity of Allen West, I must make a correction because I guess I had my head in the sand when I put this post up. Grayson did not defeat Allen West. Allen West appears to have been defeated by Democrat Patrick Murphy but a recount is taking place so there are no official results as yet (November 12). Grayson defeated Republican Todd Long.
You probably heard about the “partially collapsed crane”
that’s hanging over the streets of New York City tonight.
The top of the crane, which was being used to help construct the One57 building just south of Central Park, was flipped over and bent by the wind today during Hurricane Sandy. As the bent end sways and flexes in the wind tonight, the metal bars holding it to the base could snap, sending the four or five story downward-pointing end crashing onto the street below.
Backing up a bit, One57 is the hottest, most expensive building in New York City right now. The yet-to-be-completed penthouse apartment recently sold for — get this — $90 million. (Wonder what the HMO fees and taxes are.)
That said, I found this short video of New York firefighters — you know, the folks Republicans used to love but now want to fire — touching in that they probably make something like $60,000 a year (putting their lives on the line) but they’re spending the night protecting the public from some selfish I-don’t-give-a-damn builder who probably cut corners and has now put the whole area in danger:
We mustn’t take them for granted and we mustn’t let the powers that be disrespect or denigrate them.
Geezus. Look at those guys. What a thankless freakin’ job.
I hope (beyond hope) that the builder is fined for all the resources — as in our tax dollars — the city is using to protect against his recklessness.
Remember this from November when a rogue cop pepper sprayed seated students who were involved in an Occupy protest at the University of California-Davis?
The University of California regents have agreed to pay out roughly $1 million to end a lawsuit over last November’s pepper spraying of UC-Davis students, part of a deal that also calls for a personal written apology from Chancellor Linda Katehi to each person hit with the spray.
The details of the settlement, approved in secret earlier this month by the regents, are contained in documents filed in federal court in Sacramento this morning.
The deal, hammered out in mediation sessions after 21 students and former students sued last February, still must be approved by a federal judge.
It calls for each of the 21 plaintiffs to receive $30,000 for a total payout of $630,000. The agreement also transforms the suit into a class action, which will allow others who were hit with pepper spray during the Nov. 18 protest to submit claims for payments of up to $20,000.
That part of the deal envisions five to 10 additional claimants coming forward, with a sliding scale that reduces the payout for each of those depending on the final tally. Those claimants wil be paid from a pool of money limited to $100,000.
This photo was taken yesterday in NYC during a rally marking the first anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street movement. It says so much about the United States of America circa 2012.
If you buy the Republican line about how “small government” is the way to go and taking a hands-off approach to the “free markets” is cool and letting corporations “innovate,” this is what you’re asking for:
Factory fires in two major cities in Pakistan have killed at least 314 people and injured dozens more, including some who had to leap from windows to escape the flames, officials and survivors have said.
The most deadly blaze broke out on Tuesday night in a garment factory in the southern port city of Karachi, where at least 289 bodies have been recovered so far, according to Roshan Ali Sheikh, a senior government official.
At least 25 others were killed hours earlier in a shoe factory in the eastern city of Lahore.
Most of the deaths were caused by suffocation, as people caught in the basement were unable to escape when it filled with smoke, said the top firefighter in Karachi, Ehtisham-ud-Din. There were no fire exits, and the doors leading out of the basement were locked, he said.
Such safety issues are common throughout Pakistan, where buildings also lack emergency equipment like alarms and sprinklers and municipal rules are rarely enforced. [Love that small government, hey?]
Workers on higher floors of the five-storey building struggled to make it out of windows that were covered with metal bars.
Mohammad Ilyas, a factory worker who was injured as he jumped out of the building, said he was working with roughly 50 other men and women on one of the floors when suddenly a fireball came from the staircase.
“I jumped from my seat, as did others, and rushed towards the windows, but iron bars on the windows barred us from escaping. Some of us quickly took tools and machines to break the iron bars,” he said. “That was how we managed to jump out of the windows down to the ground floor.”
Sheikh said the factory’s managers had fled and were being sought by police.
“The owners were more concerned with safeguarding the garments in the factory than the workers,” said employee Mohammad Pervez, holding up a photograph of his cousin, who was missing after the fire.
“If there were no metal grilles on the windows, a lot of people would have been saved. The factory was overflowing with garments and fabrics. Whoever complained was fired.”
This is a lesson about worker rights and unions. Corporations already have an inordinate amount of power. Their rights are being protected big time by our corporate-owned media and our corporate-owned congress. Who’s looking out for us? Unions.