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“[Censored] offers devastating evidence of the dumbing-down of main-stream news in America. . . . Required reading for broadcasters, journalists, and well-informed citizens.” —Los Angeles Times
“Project Censored shines a spotlight on news that an informed public must have . . . a vital contribution to our democratic process.” —Rhoda H. Karpatkin, president, Consumer’s Union
“For ages, I’ve dreamed of a United States where Project Censored isn’t necessary, where these crucial stories and defining issues are on the front page of the New York Times, the cover of Time, and in heavy rotation on CNN. That world still doesn’t exist, but we always have Project Censored’s yearly book to pull together the most important things the corporate media ignored, missed, or botched.” –Russ Kick, author of You Are Being Lied To, Everything You Know Is Wrong, and the New York Times bestselling series The Graphic Canon.
“In another home run for Project Censored, Censored 2013 shows how the American public has been bamboozled, snookered, and dumbed down by the corporate media. It is chock-full of ‘ah-ha’ moments where we understand just how we’ve been fleeced by banksters, stripped of our civil liberties, and blindly led down a path of never-ending war.” –Medea Benjamin, author of Drone Warfare, cofounder of Global Exchange and CODEPINK.
“Project Censored is one of the organizations that we should listen to, to be assured that our newspapers and our broadcasting outlets are practicing thorough and ethical journalism.” —Walter Cronkite
“One of the most significant media research projects in the country.” —I. F. Stone
“Project Censored brings to light some of the most important stories of the year that you never saw or heard about. This is your chance to find out what got buried.” –Diane Ravitch, author of The Death and Life of the Great American School System.
“Project Censored interrogates the present in the same way that Oliver Stone and I tried to interrogate the past in our Untold History of the United States. It not only shines a penetrating light on the American Empire and all its deadly, destructive, and deceitful actions, it does so at a time when the Obama administration is mounting a fierce effort to silence truth-tellers and whistleblowers. Project Censored provides the kind of fearless and honest journalism we so desperately need in these dangerous times.” —Peter Kuznick, professor of history, American University, and coauthor, with Oliver Stone, of The Untold History of the United States
“Hot news, cold truths, utterly uncensored.” —Greg Palast
“Most journalists in the United States believe the press here is free. That grand illusion only helps obscure the fact that, by and large, the US corporate press does not report what’s really going on, while tuning out, or laughing off, all those who try to do just that. Americans–now more than ever–need those outlets that do labor to report some truth. Project Censored is not just among the bravest, smartest, and most rigorous of those outlets, but the only one that’s wholly focused on those stories that the corporate press ignores, downplays, and/or distorts. This latest book is therefore a must read for anyone who cares about this country, its tottering economy, and–most important– what’s now left of its democracy.” –Mark Crispin Miller, author, professor of media ecology, New York University.
“The staff of Project Censored presents their annual compilation of the previous year’s 25 stories most overlooked by the mainstream media along with essays about censorship and its consequences. The stories include an 813% rise in hate and anti-government groups since 2008, human rights violations by the US Border Patrol, and Israeli doctors injecting Ethiopian immigrants with birth control without their consent. Other stories focus on the environment, like the effects of fracking and Monsantos GMO seeds. The writers point out misinformation and outright deception in the media, including CNN relegating factual accounts to the “opinion” section and the whitewashing of Margaret Thatcher’s career following her death in 2013, unlike Hugo Chavez, who was routinely disparaged in the coverage following his death. One essay deals with the proliferation of “Junk Food News,” in which “CNN and Fox News devoted more time to ‘Gangnam Style’ than the renewal of Uganda’s ‘Kill the Gays’ law.” Another explains common media manipulation tactics and outlines practices to becoming a more engaged, free-thinking news consumer or even citizen journalist. Rob Williams remarks on Hollywood’s “deep and abiding role as a popular propaganda provider” via Argo and Zero Dark Thirty. An expose on working conditions in Chinese Apple factories is brutal yet essential reading. This book is evident of Project Censored’s profoundly important work in educating readers on current events and the skills needed to be a critical thinker.” -Publisher’s Weekly said about Censored 2014 (Oct.)
“Those who read and support Project Censored are in the know.” —Cynthia McKinney
“At a time when the need for independent journalism and for media outlets unaffiliated with and untainted by the government and corporate sponsors is greater than ever, Project Censored has created a context for reporting the complete truths in all matters that matter. . . . It is therefore left to us to find sources for information we can trust. . . . It is in this task that we are fortunate to have an ally like Project Cen-sored.” —Dahr Jamail
“Project Censored continues to be an invaluable resource in exposing and highlighting shocking stories that are routinely minimized or ignored by the corporate media. The vital nature of this work is underscored by this year’s NSA leaks. The world needs more brave whistle blowers and independent journalists in the service of reclaiming democracy and challenging the abuse of power. Project Censored stands out for its commitment to such work.” —Deepa Kumar, author of Islamophobia and the Politics of Empire and associate professor of Media Studies and Middle Eastern Studies at Rutgers University
“[Censored] should be affixed to the bulletin boards in every newsroom in America. And, perhaps read aloud to a few publishers and television executives.” —Ralph Nader
“Censored 2014 is a clarion call for truth telling. Not only does this volume highlight fearless speech in fateful times, it connect the dots between the key issues we face, lauds our whistleblowers and amplifies their voices, and shines light in the dark places of our government that most need exposure.” –Daniel Ellsberg, The Pentagon Papers
“Activist groups like Project Censored . . . are helping to build the media democracy movement. We have to challenge the powers that be and rebuild media from the bottom up.” —Amy Goodman
Buy it, read it, act on it. Our future depends on the knowledge this col-lection of suppressed stories allows us.” —San Diego Review

21. Large U.S Temp Company Undermines Union Jobs and Mistreats Workers


The Progressive Populist
June 1, 2001
Title: Temps are Ready for Organizing If AFL-CIO Provides the Muscle
Author: Harry Kelber

Faculty/Community Evaluator: Michael Robinson
Student Researcher: Eduardo Barragan, Connie Lytle

Labor Ready Inc. is a national temporary employment agency that employed over 700,000 people in 2000. Labor Ready has 839 offices in 49 states and in Canada, and stands ready to place temporary workers as strikebreakers in union labor disputes. During the recent Northwest steal strike, it was Labor Ready who provided hundreds of strike breakers to Kaiser Aluminum in Spokane Washington.

Labor Ready temps are often paid minimum wage for what can be very rigorous construction work. They receive no health benefits and can be seriously mistreated in their temporary places of employment. Workers are required to arrive at dispatch offices between 5-6:00 A.M. and wait for daily referrals. Workers are not paid for the waiting time at the dispatch office. Labor Ready workers have to pay an average of $1.58 when they cash their daily paycheck at the company’s cash dispensing machines. In 1999 the company raked in $7.7 million in fees from these machines. Labor Ready’s worker injury rate is three times the national average.

The AFL-CIO Building and Constructions Trade Department (BCTD) has supported class action lawsuits by former Labor Ready employees, and would like to see a national union organizing efforts to protect temporary workers nationwide.

BCTD President, Edward Sullivan stated, “Our organizing committee is wrestling with the growing threat posed by temporary employment agencies, which are selling themselves as ‘hiring halls without the union’ and sending thousands of construction workers out to jobs everyday.” Some 75 building and construction trades councils, and more than 100 local unions in 30 states are participating in BCTD’s campaign to organize temporary workers. Labor Ready has been forced to close 10% of its hiring offices because of union activities, but there is still no noticeable improvement in wages or working conditions nationwide.

There are practical reasons a national union drive is difficult. Many temp workers are unskilled or semi-skilled, with hourly wage rates of less than one-third the average union scale. Only about one-third of Labor Ready’s employees work in construction. Most workers are used in manufacturing, trucking, landscaping, yard work, and other day-labor assignments. It is very difficult to organize such a transitory labor force.

UPDATE BY AUTHOR HARRY KELBER: As of the summer of 2002, AFL-CIO unions still have not shown any interest in organizing Labor Ready, perhaps the largest employer of temporary manual labor in the United States with more than 750 branch offices that hire out 650,000 workers a year. In fact, the AFL-CIO’s official magazine, America@Work, and its other publications did not carry my story or any other about the plight of the Labor Ready temps, among the nation’s most exploited workers.

The AFL-CIO’s Building and Construction Trades Dept., while it continues to expose Labor Ready’s sleazy business practices, has steadfastly refused to become involved in attempting to organize the company’s employees, even though favorable conditions exist for a successful recruiting campaign.

The AFL-CIO is currently faced with an organizing crisis. It is woefully short of its announced goal to recruit one million new members this year. Labor Ready is an accessible target that is ripe for a multi-union campaign that could enlist the support of local unions in each community where a Labor Ready office is located.

So why won’t the AFL-CIO take on Labor Ready – or at least say why it won’t?

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