Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The only thing that tastes better than chocolate, is JUSTICE!

As a family of lifelong chocoholics and Hershey's lovers, we are shocked and appalled to find Hershey exploiting and abusing their workers.  No matter the, "pain" involved, we will no longer purchase ANY Hersheys products.  None.  And will never again, until Hersheys, finally, produces justice for its workers.

We stand with the hundreds of student guestworkers from around the world, American workers, and labor leaders sitting in at the Hershey's Chocolate Company packing plant in Pennsylvania.

These students paid $3,000-$6,000 each to come to the U.S. this summer for what they thought would be a cultural exchange program. Instead, they found themselves packing chocolates at the Hershey's plant in deeply exploitative conditions.

The student guestworkers aren’t the only ones who have suffered.  If Hershey hadn't chosen to subcontract to have its chocolates packed by exploitable guestworkers, 400 workers in Central Pennsylvania could have had a living wage and union jobs.

We demand that you immediately end the exploitation of student workers at the Hershey's plant, return the money that the student workers paid for a cultural exchange, and make these living wage jobs for Pennsylvania workers.

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First Hint

“I had to quit my job over that tornado.” Obie resolutely told me in 1981, sitting at a long table in the employee break room. A room that, unnoticed by me, was now going gradually silent.

“That tornado,” being the monstrous F4 funnel that struck Wichita Falls, Texas in 1979, killing 42 people, causing over 1,700 injuries, destroying over 3,000 homes and leaving 20,000 homeless.

With my tactfulness, perhaps, needing a little tweaking, there in my first day as a newbie to the brand new operating unit for the, “phone company” (and new resident of Wichita Falls). I asked, “You had to quit your job over the tornado? How’d that happen? Did it hit where you worked?” (I usually asked three to four questions at a time, back then.) Obie, slowly shaking his head, responded, "No... It didn’t. I... guess that might’ve been some part of the problem.”

“Part of the problem…?” I was stumped. Until Obie, who was black, told me that since the tornado had missed the, " black part of town," instead wreaking havoc on the most affluent (and white) areas, that the, "white folks" said the, “black folks” (see nig**r) had brought it… BROUGHT the Tornado ON the White People!"

Picking up my chin, I nervously giggled, “Oh man, that’s crazy!" Obie, his voice hollow as if from some deep well, solemnly answered, “Yeah, but the white workers on my job harassed me so much over it, every day, that I finally had to quit that job.”

I was completely shocked and spouted, incredulously, “I can’t believe that. That is just nuts!”

Seeing a warning in Obie's face, I then began to glance around and noticed that, unlike me, all the other, “white folks” sitting at that long table seemed to be swelling up like toads.

Startled by the sudden whip of negative energy, I instinctively acted to snag that energy and deflate those fat toads:

With an exaggerated conspiratorial tone, combined with a, “pre-Palin” wink, I turned to Obie, saying, Soto Voce, “Well, you know Obie, I DID see a picture of it and… it WAS black.” Obie’s eyes went wide, he sucked in his breath and then, as I cackled, he joined in, looking terribly relieved and surprised by my attitude, or lack thereof.

But...we laughed alone.
None of the toads croaked in.
First hint of things to come.