The Worker Rights Consortium has found that the garment corporation Hanes (you know, underwear, T-shirts, like that) has been exploiting its Haitian garment workers, who make rather less than the minimum wage. Hanes will tell you they're not doing anything wrong, that it's their suppliers, the garment factories, that are shortchanging their workers. But who put a gun to Hanes's head and made them deal with only crooks? And why did they lobby our State Department to try to kill the Haitian government's plans to raise the minimum wage to a mere $5/day if they're so blameless? As it happens, later this week, two Hanes competitors (Gildan and Russell) will meet with labor advocates and union reps to hammer out how they're going to pay Haitian workers fairly, but Hanes, so far, isn't going along. You know what that means, right? It means it's time to administer the hammer of Bad PR! Sum of Us helps you tell Hanes to make sure its suppliers pay its workers better.
Meanwhile, the Pennsylvania state legislature mulls SB 57, which would allow police to use body-mounted cameras whenever they like. Again, I'm stunned that legislators find getting a warrant to be such a quaint concept. Do I oppose the use of body-mounted cameras in all conceivable instances? Of course not -- the evidence a camera gathers can help convict criminals and expose police misconduct. But I want reasonable controls the use of these cameras, and I don't want police to determine that almost entirely on their own. I don't want police to be able to hang onto whatever they film for as long as they like, and I don't want them to be able to switch off cameras while an incident is going on, so the public doesn't ever see them pepper-spray people. I don't ask that much! The ACLU of Pennsylvania helps you tell the state Senate to vote down SB 57, and ensure better privacy protections for the Commonwealth's citizens.
Finally, the Senate voted by a filibuster-proof majority yesterday morning -- to start debate on a long-term unemployment extension. I had thought Senate rule changes early in January (not the recent ones ending filibusters on Presidential nominations, rule changes I still disagree with) got rid of the filibuster-on-starting-debate; apparently, I was wrong. The idea that you need 60 votes in the Senate to even agree to discuss a legislative matter shows us how sick, immoral, and decadent a society we've become. But recall that extending unemployment benefits is a relatively popular matter politically, regardless of what our decadent elites and their "liberal" media lapdogs would have us think. Republicans still haven't been properly punished at the ballot box, despite actively campaigning against unemployment benefits since 2010. What does that tell us? It tells us we haven't hit them with our will hard enough. Daily Kos helps you tell the Senate to approve a long-term unemployment benefits extension.