Attractive hardcopy!

| Filed under Administrative

Our friends at Thoughtcrime Ink made a pamphlet of three pieces of

ours. It’s called “From the Ashes.” You can order it here:


They also put the “direct unionism” discussion paper into paper form

and have published the Solidarity Federation book Fighting For

Ourselves, both of which we also recommend:


We know this stuff is available free online, but if you want good looking

paper versions, or you want to give copies to people, order them

there. Your money will go to supporting a cool project. They sell

other good stuff too, which you’ll find if you poke around their


by recomposition | tags : | 3

Going Green at the Cost of Workers’ Safety

| Filed under Discussion Life On The Job


by Emmett J. Nolan

The issue I’m writing about may seem rather trivial to some readers. To be honest, I too was shocked that my co-workers and I had to fight so hard to be heard on such a small and seemingly obvious issue. The issue which management picked to draw a line in the sand over was providing a trash can in the dining area of the café I work at. Yes, a trash can. Something most customers and workers take for granted. Rightfully so, because who could imagine a counter service café with a bus your own table practice operating without a trash can?


In an effort to make the company more green, a composting service was hired and new compostable packaging materials were chosen. Now, compostable items were separated from recycling and garbage. A part of this change included removing all four of the trash cans within the dining and patio area of the café. The cans weren’t replaced with a sorting station like many other businesses had done. Instead the company replaced them with a sign that read:


No Need to Wait till Tomorrow, When Safety Concerns Can Be Fixed Today

| Filed under Discussion Life On The Job

by Emmett J. Nolan


When we encounter challenges and worsening conditions at work, if we don’t respond immediately to those negative changes we risk having those degraded conditions becoming standard procedure. Whether it’s a reduction of staffing, an increased speed of work or anything else that makes our day-to-day lives on the job more complicated or less valuable, we must act quickly or run the risk of these lower standards becoming firmly established into precedent. The longer we wait to respond to these issues, the more challenging it becomes for us and our co-workers to change them. One such example my co-workers and I encountered involved a safety concern. If we did not respond to it immediately, the result would have been a permanent risk to our well-being.


One day I arrived to work and nothing seemed to be different; a day that was starting off just like the rest. Fifteen minutes into my shift, I needed to slice a loaf of bread for a customer. Our slicer is automatic, just push a button and a weight pushes the bread against a dozen or so jostling blades, neatly slicing a full-size loaf of bread. For years we’ve used this machine with no issue. I trained and seen countless co-workers trained on this machine. Each time, the optical sensor –if triggered– will stop the blades. This feature is pointed out and demonstrated often by one passing their hand by the sensor. The safety feature came in handy in the past when errand objects fell into the slicer and we needed to fetch them out by hand.


We’re Not Horses, We Can’t Rest on Our Feet

| Filed under Discussion Life On The Job

by Emmett J. Nolan


On my first day of work, my manager explained to me the three options regarding breaks:

  1. clock out for 30 minutes,
  2. take two 10-minute breaks on the clock, or
  3. take a 20-minute break on the clock.

Additionally, an hour and a half “black-out” period existed for breaks during the busy middle of the day. The actual state law is a 30-minute meal break and two 10-minute rest breaks for a work period over six hours. Not only was this buffet option of breaks illegal, but it was also a strain on the body during a 7 to 9 hour shift. This situation continued on for two years and I discovered that this system was not just limited to my department or workplace, but existed within other departments and at other locations in the company.