MR Daily Review
1. Dollar General workers strike in South Carolina.
Workers at a Holly Hill, South Carolina Dollar General are on strike for better wages and working conditions. The workers are organized through a Fight for $15 branch called Raise Up the South and are not yet unionized, but decided to strike to demand management address their unsafe working conditions. These type of labor actions and strikes are incredibly important, both to win material benefits for workers but also organize workers to continue the fight for better wages and conditions. As of 2021 only 4.4% of retail workers had a union. This strike doesn’t create a union but it shows the kind of labor militancy required to sustain an organizing campaign and is definitely a much needed sight in retail and the South.
2. Joe Manchin kills climate, tax deal.
Recent reporting indicates that Joe Manchin has killed an attempted climate change and tax reform deal that was set to be part of a pre-election reconciliation package. The plan was allegedly hammered out between Schumer and Manchin but once details went public Manchin made it clear only two smaller agenda items, Medicare negotiating drug prices and ACA subsidies, will make the cut. The entire premise of reforms contingent on Manchin’s support makes them moot from the beginning, especially in the realm of climate change and tax reform. Anything approved by Manchin would have been friendly to the fossil fuel industry and the billionaire class. So good riddance.
3. Ted Cruz calls for gay marriage to be “left to the states.”
In the Dobbs decision that overturned Roe, Clarence Thomas’s concurrence made it clear other fundamental rights protected by the 14th amendment are also at risk of being overturned. Ted Cruz added his voice to the choir on his podcast saying he supports doing just that – and declaring that gay marriage should be turned over to the states. He’s effectively calling for the overturning of Obergefell, the case that enshrined the right to gay marriage federally. Ambitious Republican state attorney generals are already getting ready to bring cases that will try to overturn gay marriage and other fundamental rights. Conservatives like to point to a throw away line from the Alito opinion in Dobbs as proof these rights aren’t under threat, but the entire posture of the conservative legal movement and conservative politics says otherwise.
4. Famine in Somalia direct result of IMF & global north exploitation, leaving millions to face starvation.
According to the UN, 7 million people are food insecure, millions of young children are acutely malnourished, and the situation is getting worse. The harrowing reports are of skyrocketing food prices, and hospitals that do not have enough beds to treat the children being admitted. Without grain imports from Ukraine & Russia, compounded with record drought, thousands are traveling for days in search of help that is scarce. Meanwhile, the first thing NPR does is assure us the “free market is working.” For any sentient being, that is clearly false. The reason for this humanitarian crisis is precisely because of the free trade regime that has been imposed in Somalia since the 1981. Through the 70s, Somalia remained food self-sufficient despite recurrent droughts. In the 80s, the IMF-World Bank imposed its set of deadly economic reforms (its Structural Adjustment Program) that have wrecked countries wherever implemented. The reforms mandated severe austerity, all internal supports for farmers and the agriculture sector were slashed in favor of a free trade regime. As planned, cheap imports flooded in, destroying the agriculture sector and forcing Somalia to become dependent on imported grain. Since, Somalia continues to experience devastating famines, in 2011, 2017, and now. Today, through illegitimate debt, Somalia remains chained to the IMF and its policies. If anyone knows a place to donate, let us know and we will add it.
5. Skittles “not fit for human consumption” claims lawsuit.
A lawsuit filed in Northern California declared that the popular candy Skittles are unfit for human consumption as they are contaminated with dangerous levels of a “known toxin” titanium dioxide. The ingredient is banned in several European countries but makes it into the product in the United States. The Mars candy company stated they would remove the ingredient in 2018 but hasn’t done so yet. To that end they also said their current ingredients comply with the law and FDA guidelines.