Voices from Russia

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Kaluga Benteler Workers Win Strike

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On Sunday, a strike coordinator said that workers at the Benteler plant in Kaluga, southwest of Moscow, ended their strike after management promised them a new labour agreement and higher wages. Labour union activist Dmitri Kozhnev told Ekho Moskvy radio that negotiators, who included plant management and Kaluga Oblast Governor Anatoly Artamonov, pledged to meet all the demands of the striking workers. Lenta.ru news website reported that Kozhnev said that the union didn’t declare an official end to the strike, but the workers left the plant’s premises and went home.

Kozhnev said that work to draft a collective labour agreement would begin on Monday. He didn’t say when it might be completed. About 100 workers of the Benteler plant, which produces car parts, including for a neighbouring Volkswagen factory, participated in the strike, which began on Thursday. Tensions grew after worker pickets prevented products from being shipped from the plant, although a threat of police intervention never materialised. The union’s main demand was an increase in salaries, which currently average only 18,000 rubbles (610 USD. 458 Euros. 381 UK Pounds) a month… a sum that workers said is far below wages at other plants in Kaluga Oblast, which is a major industrial hub.

1 April 2012

RIA-Novosti

http://en.rian.ru/russia/20120401/172536040.html

Editor’s Note:

It’s clear that VVP isn’t kissing up to the moneybags as the Republicans do in the USA. Just watch… he’s going to squeeze the godless Western Liberals (“conservatives” in Anglosphere terms) who came to Russia to enrich themselves at the expense of the Russian working people. Then, he’s going to go after the Russian oligarchs. Trust me on this.

It’s a RED year…

BMD

1 April 2012. Love BT Promised to Pay Rent on His Digs to the LA OCA Parish… So Far, He’s Welshed on the Deal

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Click here for a PDF of the minutes of the Holy Virgin OCA Cathedral parish council meeting. Note this:

Margaret reported that she has not received any rent from his Grace Bishop Tikhon as of yet. She indicated that even though there was no written agreement made, he had previously indicated that he would pay 650 USD (19,160 Roubles. 490 Euros. 405 UK Pounds) per month, which would include utilities, beginning January 2012. Parish Council agreed that Margaret informally follow-up with his Grace regarding this matter.

In short, The Great Coryphaeus of LA (retired Archbishop Tikhon Fitzgerald) doesn’t even pay a nominal sum for his residence and utilities (most people would LOVE to pay 650 USD for a decent apartment, utilities, and heat). It does put all of his rants on the Indiana List in a new light, doesn’t it? He receives a stipend as a retired bishop and Social Security, and he can’t even help out the parish with a nominal sum to help cover their expenses in offering him a place to live? Where’s his rent money going? To help Sir Ray with his legal bills? To help Fathausen with his airfare expenses? To assist Dickie Wood as he lives in parts unknown? Perspirin’ minds wanna know…

BMD

Workers Fired for Wearing Orange Shirts By Nutter Boss in Neo-Fascist Republican Florida

Oh, these are the popular Russian cartoon characters Gena the Alligator and Cheburashka… this’ll be the reality throughout the country if you vote for Republican Neo-Fascists this fall…

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Six of the workers fired from a law firm in Deerfield Beach FL on 16 March for wearing orange have retained a lawyer, and may pursue legal action against their former employer, who allegedly wouldn’t allow workers to speak to each other over their cubicle walls. Attorney Donna Ballman now represents six of the 14 support staff who said they were accused of staging a protest against workplace conditions and then fired abruptly, as first reported by the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. Ballman said she’s been trying to get in contact with the Elizabeth R Wellborn law firm, where the 14 workers had been employed, but there hasn’t been a response, saying, “If they won’t discuss this, we’re going to pursue our legal remedies”. She declined to say if the fired workers would seek damages or try to get their jobs back. The Elizabeth R Wellborn law firm, which may have as many as 275 employees, didn’t return a request for comment.

Ballman said Elizabeth Wellborn’s husband gathered most, though not all, of the employees who were wearing orange that day and Ballman said that they were “told that management thought they were wearing orange shirts to protest working conditions, and they should pack their things and leave”. Ballman said some workers might have been wearing orange to mimic the uniform colour often used by the Florida Department of Corrections. Those workers may have been protesting new work rules imposed by a new manager earlier this month. She said, for example, that they could not speak to co-workers over the walls of their cubicles, even to discuss work-related matters. She said, “They couldn’t go to the break room and get coffee while on the clock. There were suddenly lots of new restrictions on them. Some of them were upset about those new rules. Different people were wearing orange for different reasons that day, but the fact is it doesn’t matter”. She said there have been cases where firing employees because management didn’t like their shirts were found to be unlawful, including when AT&T workers wore shirts that said “Inmate #” on the front and on the back said “Prisoner of AT$T”, which was activity protected under the National Labor Relations Act. Ballman said, “Firing because people engaged in activities or are suspected of engaging in activities for objecting to working conditions is illegal under the National Labor Relations Act”. The National Labor Relations Act protects certain activities with or without a union, and gives employees the right to discuss, comment, and complain about working conditions.

Kerri Stone, a law professor at Florida International University In Florida, said that employment is presumed to be at will, which means that unless stated otherwise by something like an employment contract or a piece of legislation, an employee can be fired for any reason or no reason at all. Janice Doble, 50, is one of Ballman’s new clients. She worked in the copy room at the Wellman firm. She said she was wearing orange because she was going to a happy hour with co-workers and was not protesting working conditions. Doble told the Sun-Sentinel, “Orange happens to be my favourite colour. My patio’s orange. My lipstick was orange today”. Ballman said that since the 14 workers were fired, three have reportedly been re-hired by the firm, possibly after explaining they were not a part of a protest. She said the six workers she represents have each worked for the company for about six months to a year. Ballman’s releasing a book this fall entitled, Stand Up For Yourself Without Getting Fired: Handle Your Workplace Crisis Before You Quit, Get Canned, Or Sue the Bastards with Career Press. She said, “Everybody who can be fired for no reason is an ‘orange American’. Everybody that can be fired for wearing an orange shirt to work should be outraged by this”.

27 March 2012

Susanna Kim

ABC News

http://abcnews.go.com/Business/fired-orange-workers-coffee-working-speak-cubicle-walls/story?id=16004370#.T3j2WmEgfih

Editor’s Note:

Let’s keep it simple. All the Republican candidates define “freedom” as, “The bosses can do to you as they please, you have NO rights, you ungrateful bastard, and you’d best kiss our arse in public or we’ll fire you ‘to encourage the others’”. If you earn a salary, if you’re not part of the One Percent or their Five Percenter Affluent Effluent lickspittles, if you vote Republican, you’re dumber than dirt, and I say that openly.

The Republicans want to spread the godless brutal “employment-at-will” system that the Republican barbarians forced on Florida and Texas throughout the nation. It’s interesting to note that many of those willing to stamp their boot full-force into the faces of their employees describe themselves as “born-again ‘Christians’”… it’s more proof that Jayzuss has NO relation to the Lord Christ that REAL Christians worship. Remember what St John in the Apocalypse said about the Anti-Christ… chilling, isn’t it?

No “orange American” should vote Republican. If you do, you vote for the boot of the oligarchs on your neck…

BMD

Confirmed: CIA Secret Prison in Poland

Bush operated torture facilities throughout the world… Obama closed them. What does that tell about their respective morality? If Obama’s a “socialist“, I’d rather have an upright Socialist than a violent and brutal whore for the rich who kicked people in the teeth whilst he bore a smarmy pious expression on his face. I prefer the company of irreligious people who take a moral stand to immoral “believers” who torture in the name of God. That’s the way it is…

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Confessions of top-ranking Polish officials exposed another CIA-run interrogation “black site”, blowing the lid on one of the dirtiest secrets in Eastern Europe. Zbigniew Siemiątkowski, the former head of the Polish intelligence service, faces charges of taking part in establishing a secret prison for the CIA in a remote part of Poland. Allegedly, foreign prisoners at the detention centre were tortured in connection with America’s global war on terror. Siemiątkowski refused to comment on the matter, citing Polish secrecy laws. However, he didn’t deny the report.

Rumours about Poland hosting a CIA-run prison had circulated for years, though the authorities dismissed them as absurd. However, the UN and the Council of Europe long claimed they had evidence of the site’s existence. Former Polish President Aleksander Kwaśniewski and former Prime Minister Leszek Miller both repeatedly denied the knowledge of the prison. The official investigation into a CIA-run prison in Poland started in 2008, three years after Donald Tusk took office. It took just as long for evidence of the site to come to light.

Allegedly, a secret interrogation facility for terror suspects operated in Stare Kiejkuty, a small village in remote Poland, from December 2002 to the fall of 2003, “depriving prisoners of war of their freedom” and “allowing corporal punishment”. Earlier, two prisoners from Guantánamo Bay, Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri and Abu Zubaydah, claimed they were prisoners at this “black site”. Polish prosecutors have already given the two “victim status”. Among other possible detainees are self-proclaimed 9/11 terrorist mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, perpetrator of the 2000 USS Cole bombing Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, and Palestinian terror suspect Abu Zubaydah. According to the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights, up to eight prisoners underwent “extraordinary rendition” to undergo torture in Poland.

The harsh interrogation techniques used by American spooks included waterboarding, starvation, cooling of the body, visual and acoustic deprivation for extended periods of time, slamming prisoners against walls, and mock execution, amongst many other methods. Naturally, no European country, Poland included, allows. If it comes out that Poland did, in fact, allow torture to take place at a CIA facility in their country, interested parties could take the matter before the European Court of Human Rights. The prosecution of Polish and American agents would also remain a distinct possibility. Dr Adam Bodnar, human rights lawyer and head of the legal division at the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights, told RT, “We can think about Polish intelligence officers, who, most probably, somehow, collaborated with the CIA in establishing this site. We can think about the CIA officers, because if they made it [tortures] in the territory of Poland… it’s a crime. But, as you most probably know, the US authorities wouldn’t give any data regarding them and wouldn’t allow them to be extradited”.

Never Again in Poland?

Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk fully supported the high-profile case against the former senior official. Tusk charged that Poland has become a “political victim” of US officials, saying, “This may be painful, but concrete evidence that Poland is no longer a country where politicians can fix something under the table and expect it not to [eventually] come out… even if they do so with the world’s greatest superpower”. In fact, the Polish PM had no other choice but to recognise the existence of the CIA prison in his country. Tusk charged that Poland has become the “political victim” of US officials leaking some aspects of their bilateral relations, stating, “Poland’s a democracy where national and international law must be observed”, demanding an investigation into the matter. He said harshly, “Let there be no doubt about it either in Poland or on the other side of the ocean. Poland will no longer be a country where politicians, even if they are working arm-in-arm with the world’s greatest superpower, could make some deal somewhere under the table, and, then, it’d never see daylight”. He referred to the current investigation, which has the purpose of ensuring that nothing like this will happen in Poland again.

The US never disclosed the whereabouts of the so-called “black sites,” but human rights groups named Afghanistan, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, and Thailand as the most likely hosts. Lithuania was the first country in Europe to admit it’d allowed the CIA to establish two secret detention facilities in 2002-06. In November 2011, Lithuania faced a lawsuit for hosting a secret CIA prison on its soil when Abu Zubaydah, a prisoner at Guantánamo Bay, claimed that the CIA detained and tortured him there.

1 April 2012

Russia Today

http://rt.com/news/poland-cia-secret-prison-968/

Editor’s Note:

Let’s keep this simple. A vote for the Republican Party is a vote for torture. This torture had the approval of the highest members of the Bush administration, including GWB and Vice President Cheney (a brutal coward who dodged he draft “legally”, who refused to serve in the forces himself, but who advocated aggressive war throughout the world for the enrichment of his corporate sugar daddies). If there were justice, the cops would drag these two out into an open field; make them to kneel down, and shoot them dead in the nape of the neck. It won’t happen… don’t hold your breath. Money DOES talk… and “money” supports the political prostitutes who whore for the One Percent. What Bush and Cheney did was the exact same thing as some of the Nazi war criminals faced the gibbet for. Note well that the oligarch paymasters of the Republicans use “outsourcing” to circumvent American labour, safety, and environmental regulations to fatten their boodle-bags (they have another McMansion to pay for, dontcha know!), so, why would it surprise you to see their amoral political whores used the same tack?

That’s how low the GOP’s fallen… it’s become a shill for the worst elements of the One Percent, and anything’s kosher in the defence of the “rights” of the plutocrats… ANYTHING. Do remember Pastor Niemöller’s words… and, then, mark your ballot for President Obama this fall. He’s NOT perfect… but we have a responsibility to keep the Republicans out this time around. If we do, the chance that they’ll collapse into a dribbling regional/confessional bloc representing oddbod white Southern Evangelical crazies is very good.

If you had told Americans in 1945 that the USA would use Nazi tactics, and that the Republican Party would defend them relentlessly, they would’ve locked you up in a rubber room, for they’d consider you nutters beyond redemption. We’ve got a job to do to clean up the mess…

Fight the Republican Hydra… IN THE NAME OF LIFE!

BMD

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