Nissan attacked for one of ‘nastiest anti-union campaigns’ in modern US history

Auto workers and others march to Nissan’s Canton, Mississippi, plant following a pro-union rally in March.

Days before a potentially historic union vote at the Nissan plant in Canton, Mississippi, the car company has been accused of running one of the “nastiest anti-union campaigns in the modern history of the American labour movement”.

The vote, a fiercely contested effort by the United Auto Workers (UAW) union to represent a foreign automaker’s US plant, is planned for Thursday and Friday this week. It comes as US unions are hopeful they can overturn a series of defeats as they seek to build membership in southern states, where manufacturers have moved to take advantage of lower wages and non-union workforces.

In the closing days of the campaign, which has attracted support from the former presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders, UAW officials and their allies have become increasingly confident of victory even as managers have pressured workers to vote no. “People are rallying,” says Frank Figgers, co-chair of the Mississippi Alliance for Fairness at Nissan.

The UAW is undertaking an extensive door-to-door campaign to visit workers in their homes to discuss the union. The UAW has shipped in staff from all over the country to help in the effort.

Other unions from around the south have shipped in organizers from across the country to assist in the outreach to the plant’s nearly 4,000 workers.

Nissan has responded with fierce opposition. The company has blitzed local TV with anti-union ads and stands accused of both threatening and bribing workers to vote no. It requires workers to regularly attend anti-union roundtable group meetings as well as one-on-one meetings with their direct supervisors, some of whom have worn “vote no” T-shirts to work.

The Republican governor, Phil Bryant, has also come out hard for Nissan. “If you want to take away your job, if you want to end manufacturing as we know it in Mississippi, just start expanding unions,” Bryant said last week.

Washad Catchings, a Nissan worker, said: “There is no atmosphere of free choice in the Canton plant, just fear, which is what Nissan intends.”

Late Friday, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), the independent US government agency responsible for enforcing US labor law, filed the latest in a series of complaints against Nissan.

The NLRB alleged that Nissan had violated the law in these anti-union sessions by warning that workers would lose wages and benefits if they supported the union.

The NLRB also found that a supervisor at the plant told workers that if they spoke out against the union, he would personally ensure that they received increased wages and benefits.

“Nissan is running one of the nastiest anti-union campaigns in the modern history of the American labor movement,” said the UAW secretary-treasurer, Gary Casteel, in a statement regarding the most recent NLRB charges. “The company’s investors as well as socially conscious policy makers in the US and around the world need to understand what’s happening in Mississippi and join local civil rights leaders in calling for a halt to Nissan’s illegal and unethical behavior.”

This isn’t the first time that NLRB has cited Nissan. In 2015, the watchdog charged Nissan and its temporary employee agency provider, Kelly Services, with violating workers’ rights. This April, the NLRB charged Nissan and Kelly Services with threatening to close the plant if workers unionized. The NLRB also chargedthe company with breaking labor law by having security personnel perform unnecessary security stops on union members.

Nissan has denied all the charges including the most recent one issued by the NLRB and plans to appeal them. “Today, the UAW has launched another set of baseless allegations against Nissan Canton,” wrote the Nissan spokesperson Parul Baraj in a statement. “The UAW can now continue its campaign of deception and empty promises as they work to divide the Canton workforce.”

Nissan says it plans to continue its attempt to campaign against the union as the election approaches. However, some workers said Nissan’s campaign was backfiring. “It’s almost overkill,” Morris Mock, a Nissan employee, said. “It looks like the company is being more desperate in their attempt to fight the union.”

Ultimately, Mock remains confident that the anti-union strategy won’t work. “Workers are numb to it,” says Mock. “Most of them been in there 14 years, and in 28 days, you can’t convince a Nissan worker that you are a good company.”

 [Source”indianexpress”]

‘GO INTO YOUR POLICE STATION AND TELL US YOU ARE ON HOLIDAY – BUT DON’T PUT IT ON FACEBOOK’

Police today urged householders to tell them when they’re on holiday — so officers can help keep an eye on their house

Story image for Door & Windows from NDTV

Ahead of the start of the trades fortnight, community officers are leading a crackdown on break-ins during the summer months — when those types of crimes peak.

PC Andy Caulfield, based at Longhaugh Police Station, is one of those heading up the campaign to halt the crooks.

And he says one option open to people who are heading off on holiday is to alert police to their absence.

He told the Tele: “Come into your local police station and let us know you’re away.

“We can include it in our patrol matrix and give it passing attention.

“And if you have a burglar alarm, please use it.

“Set it, and notify us of who you have left a key with in case it goes off in error and we need to gain access.

“We’re just trying to remind people to take those extra 30 seconds to make sure everything is secure before you leave and that way you are less at risk of being a victim of crime.

“The impact on people that have been a victim of a theft or a break-in is long-lasting.

“It stays with you forever.”

PC Caulfield says officers have dealt with “numerous” break-ins in recent weeks, with thieves looking for tell-tale signs that homes have been left unsecured.

He said: “There is more of an opportunity for thieves to take advantage of the good weather.

“People will unconsciously leave their possessions lying out in the open or leave doors or windows open – that increases the risk.

“Recently, some people had a bit of work done to the rear of their property.

“They left ground-floor windows open to the rear to air out fumes.

“They went out shopping, came back, and someone had been in through the window and gained access to the whole property.

“I believe it was an opportunist who made off with a laptop and iPod.”

Thieves tend to aim for items which are easy to conceal or carry in a bag that can be moved on quickly.

“They can be away without the neighbours seeing anything,” PC Caulfield said.

“It’s the idea that someone outwith your friends and family has been in your place of residence, your place of comfort, and that place can suddenly feel quite vulnerable.

“By simply locking windows and doors if you’re popping out, or nipping next door, you can make sure your property is properly secured.

“You can always open doors and windows later on for fresh air.”

Even windows on upper floors aren’t always safe from the crooks, with a recent reported case involving a criminal using a ladder from the side of a house to climb in through a first-floor window.

And even someone’s Facebook profile can leave an opportunity for someone to target a house.

PC Caulfield said: “If you state on social media that you’re going out, you’ve advertised that you won’t be in,” he said, “so make sure your home is secured.”

[Source”pcworld”]

How the Modern World Made Cowards of Us All

BACK in the late 1980s, Dana Carvey of “Saturday Night Live” used to do a funny impression of President George H. W. Bush, in which the character would justify his own supposed timidity by muttering “wouldn’t be prudent” to himself about every small risk. The impression neatly captured the contemporary notion of prudence: faintheartedness, caution and a general bias against action.

So perhaps it seems odd that this is my advice for young people heading out of school and into the world: Be prudent.

Yes, it sounds boring, but it may turn out to be a more radical suggestion than most graduates hear.

I thought prudence was not my cup of tea. When I quit college to go on the road as a musician, I was being imprudent. When I quit music to go back to school in my 30s, it was imprudent. When I left a tenured professorship for an unsecure job? You guessed it — imprudent.

Then I had an epiphany. When I finally read the German philosopher Josef Pieper’s “The Four Cardinal Virtues,” which had sat unread on my shelf for years, I was shocked to learn that I didn’t hate prudence; what I hated was its current — and incorrect — definition.

The connotation of prudence as caution, or aversion to risk, is a modern invention. “Prudence” comes from the Latin “prudentia,” meaning sagacity or expertise. The earliest English uses from the 14th century had little to do with fearfulness or habitual reluctance. Rather, it signified righteous decision making that is rooted in acuity and practical wisdom.

Mr. Pieper argued that we have bastardized this classical concept. We have refashioned prudence into an excuse for cowardice, hiding behind the language of virtue to avoid what he calls “the embarrassing situation of having to be brave.” The correct definition, Mr. Pieper argued, is the willingness to do the right thing, even if that involves fear and risk.

In other words, to be rash is only one breach of true prudence. It is also a breach to be timid. So which offense is more common today?

A new study by the University of Chicago economist Steven Levitt helps answer this question. He started with the premise that people who agonize over important choices may systematically make wrong decisions, defaulting to either “yes” or “no” with too much regularity. To investigate, Mr. Levitt found several thousand people in the throes of a difficult decision, weighing choices like job offers and marriage proposals, who volunteered to let him make the decision for them — with the flip of a coin.

Heads meant to decide in the affirmative; tails meant to decline. (Let it sink in that thousands of people agreed to have their most important decisions made by a stranger — worse, an economist — flipping a coin.) When given heads, Mr. Levitt found people were much more likely to take the decision affirmatively than they would be if left to their devices, so the experiment was effective.

But the really interesting result concerned the participants’ happiness. In follow-up interviews six months later, Mr. Levitt found that the average “heads” person was significantly happier than the average “tails” person.

Here’s what all this means: Our sin tends to be timidity, not rashness. On average, we say “no” too much when faced with an opportunity or dilemma.

Once you start looking for this imprudently risk-averse behavior, you see it everywhere, particularly among young people. According to data from the General Social Survey collected by the National Opinion Research Center, people under age 30 today are almost a third less willing than under-30s in 1996 to relocate for their careers. And as the economist Tyler Cowen observes in his new book “The Complacent Class,” the fraction of people in this age group who own their own businesses has plummeted by about 65 percent since the 1980s.

Economic changes have contributed to both trends, to be sure. But there is another culprit: a diminishing frontier spirit and an increasing paranoia about taking big leaps.

Family formation, perhaps the ultimate personal leap of faith, looks to be another victim of this imprudent hesitation. Census Bureau demographers recently reported that while only a quarter of 24- to 29-year-olds were unmarried in the 1980s, almost half of that age group is unmarried today. And delaying the jump to adulthood has real social consequences. Last August, the Centers for Disease Control announced that the United States fertility rate had fallen to its lowest point since they began calculating it in 1909.

My checkered past, it turns out, may not be a litany of imprudent decisions. True prudence means eschewing safety and familiarity in favor of entrepreneurial living. It requires clear eyes, a courageous heart and an adventurous spirit.

So take a risk. Be prudent. Don’t wait for social scientists to flip a coin on your behalf. Choose heads.

[“Source-nytimes”]

How the Modern World Made Cowards of Us All

BACK in the late 1980s, Dana Carvey of “Saturday Night Live” used to do a funny impression of President George H. W. Bush, in which the character would justify his own supposed timidity by muttering “wouldn’t be prudent” to himself about every small risk. The impression neatly captured the contemporary notion of prudence: faintheartedness, caution and a general bias against action.

So perhaps it seems odd that this is my advice for young people heading out of school and into the world: Be prudent.

Yes, it sounds boring, but it may turn out to be a more radical suggestion than most graduates hear.

I thought prudence was not my cup of tea. When I quit college to go on the road as a musician, I was being imprudent. When I quit music to go back to school in my 30s, it was imprudent. When I left a tenured professorship for an unsecure job? You guessed it — imprudent.

Then I had an epiphany. When I finally read the German philosopher Josef Pieper’s “The Four Cardinal Virtues,” which had sat unread on my shelf for years, I was shocked to learn that I didn’t hate prudence; what I hated was its current — and incorrect — definition.

The connotation of prudence as caution, or aversion to risk, is a modern invention. “Prudence” comes from the Latin “prudentia,” meaning sagacity or expertise. The earliest English uses from the 14th century had little to do with fearfulness or habitual reluctance. Rather, it signified righteous decision making that is rooted in acuity and practical wisdom.

Continue reading the main story

Mr. Pieper argued that we have bastardized this classical concept. We have refashioned prudence into an excuse for cowardice, hiding behind the language of virtue to avoid what he calls “the embarrassing situation of having to be brave.” The correct definition, Mr. Pieper argued, is the willingness to do the right thing, even if that involves fear and risk.

In other words, to be rash is only one breach of true prudence. It is also a breach to be timid. So which offense is more common today?

A new study by the University of Chicago economist Steven Levitt helps answer this question. He started with the premise that people who agonize over important choices may systematically make wrong decisions, defaulting to either “yes” or “no” with too much regularity. To investigate, Mr. Levitt found several thousand people in the throes of a difficult decision, weighing choices like job offers and marriage proposals, who volunteered to let him make the decision for them — with the flip of a coin.

Heads meant to decide in the affirmative; tails meant to decline. (Let it sink in that thousands of people agreed to have their most important decisions made by a stranger — worse, an economist — flipping a coin.) When given heads, Mr. Levitt found people were much more likely to take the decision affirmatively than they would be if left to their devices, so the experiment was effective.

[Source”timesofindia”]

Samsung in Talks With US Watchdog After Complaints of Exploding Washing Machines

Samsung in Talks With US Watchdog After Complaints of Exploding Washing Machines

Samsung is in discussions about “potential safety issues” concerning some of its washing machines after a class-action lawsuit complained the appliances were exploding, the company said Wednesday.

The news comes after the South Korean electronics giant recalled millions of its Galaxy Note 7 smartphones following a series of battery explosions.

Samsung is “in active discussions” with the US Consumer Product Safety Commission on issues with top-load washing machines manufactured between March 2011 and April 2016, a company statement said.

“In rare cases, affected units may experience abnormal vibrations that could pose a risk of personal injury or property damage when washing bedding, bulky or water-resistant items,” it said.

Samsung recommended consumers use the “lower speed delicate cycle” when washing bedding or bulky items until it can offer additional information or remedies.

The safety commission confirmed it is in discussions with Samsung and that they are “working on a remedy for affected consumers.”

A US law firm has filed suit in New Jersey “alleging that some Samsung top-loading washing machines explode in owners homes,” leading to potential injury or damage, attorney Jason Lichtman said earlier on Wednesday.

“Users have reported Samsung top-load washers exploding as early as the day of installation, while other owners have seen their machines explode months or even more than a year after purchase,” the firm said in a statement.

Samsung – the world’s largest maker of smartphones as well as mobile phones in general – suffered a major blow to its prestige when it was forced to recall some 2.5 million of its flagship smartphones after some users complained that batteries had caught fire while charging.

 

[Source:- Gadgets360]

David Norman invites us into his Georgian home

David Norman of furniture company Furl in his living room at home

I live in a Georgian vicarage in Nottinghamshire with my wife and our teenage daughter. When we moved in two years ago, the décor was very Eighties. It has taken a while, but we’re slowly turning it back to how it would have looked in the 18th and 19th century.

I’m obsessed with space-saving furniture – something designers in the Georgian era perfected. Having a period house with space for antiques and this kind of furniture is wonderful and really inspiring. I’m also a huge fan of contemporary art and have paintings hanging up all over the place.

I don’t buy things very often, but when I do I like to look in antique shops and galleries to see what might catch my eye.

One of a pair of paintings of Dickens-inspired scenes by artist Xue Wang
One of a pair of paintings of Dickens-inspired scenes by artist Xue Wang Credit: Andrew Fox

Paintings

These are originals by an artist called Xue Wang. They’re her interpretations of Charles Dickens stories such as The Old Curiosity Shop. They’re really detailed and somewhat macabre

Red chairs

These were made in the early 19th century and are coated in gold leaf, while the seat and back is red velvet. They’re from Ireland and had to be completely restored so that they looked like this

An early Georgian chair
An early Georgian chair Credit: Andrew Fox

Radiators

All the radiators in our home are covered in an antique gold effect to help evoke the feel of a stately home in the Georgian era

Georgian secretaire

This fits in perfectly with the atmosphere of our home and is used to store heirlooms and antiques

Get the look

Voyage Maison Dachshund Cushion

 

[Source:- Telegraph]