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News ::
NECCO factory machinists on strike
27 Aug 2002
Modified: 10 Sep 2002
NECCO factory machinists in Cambridge are striking for better health care.
They need our support!
NECCO factory machinists are striking for improvements in
their contract, especially with respect to health care.
As the current contract stands, health care fees would
be ramped up to $150/week within the next two years.
This is without dental insurance. Moreover workers would
still not be allowed to have sick days. Some of the
machinists mentioned a colleague who was injured at work.
He and his wife are both too ill to work, but he must pay
more than $600/month to maintain his health insurance.

The strikers need our solidarity and help on the picket
line. NECCO is very easy to find, between Central Square
in Cambridge and MIT, right on Mass Ave, a 5 minute walk
from the Red line stop in Central Square. They need help
especially in the mornings, from 5-8 AM, and at shift
change from 3-6 PM. Bring your own sign, or carry one
of theirs! The striking machinists are very friendly
and welcoming, and it is well worth the time to hear their
views and stories.

The union of the machinists is the International Association
of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAMAWA). Most workers
at NECCO belong to another unions (a baker's and
confectioner's union whose name I can't recall). These
workers are most often minorities or immigrants whose
first language is not English. These workers' union is
not very strong, and sees no problem with crossing the
picket line of the machinists, even though they get paid
less on average, and the same health care fees and
conditions would apply to them.

Although NECCO is not allowed by law to run the boilers
without engineers present for more than 7 days, this is
day 9 of the strike, and the boilers are back on since
yesterday. NECCO is lying to the State officials about the
safety of their running the boilers without the normal
trained personel, and is also somehow smuggling in scab
machinists to keep the boilers on.

The NECCO (New England Confectionary Company) factory in
Cambridge is one of the oldest still functioning factories
in the Boston area. NECCO is scheduled to move out of
Cambridge this winter, to a new location in Revere. Many
layoffs are expected. A pre-existing plant in Revere is
not unionized. Although negotiations are happening today,
the machinists are not hopeful, and expect the strike to
continue. They say they will follow NECCO to Revere if
need be.

Although the union solidarity within the NECCO plant is
not great, the strikers say that many workers from other
unions have refused to cross the picket lines, including
UPS Teamsters, and other delivery people.
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Screw the machinists.
27 Aug 2002
I hate those damned wafers anyway.
Additional Info
29 Aug 2002
Many thanks for this excellent article, Julia.

As a piece of additional information, the "union" that is crossing the picket line every day and even telling its members who work in the factory to be "extra careful" not to break the machinery (and thus, help out the Machinists' cause) or, even more disgusting, actually fix the machines themselves is the BCTGM, The Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union ( ). Take a minute to write them a little email detailing what you think about their soulless, scum-sucking, pie-card holding, corporate whoring, picket-line crossing selves and to inquire why it is that they have chosen to violate every single basic concept of working class solidarity and still call themselves a "union".

For a world without bosses!
boiler steaming? (english)
31 Aug 2002
A bit of info:

Many people looking through the Budget rental car parking lot could see an unusual amount of steam coming from the boiler yesterday. The boiler operators on strike say this was caused by inexperienced boiler operators doing the wrong thing, and that it could be a serious public saftey hazard.
Update: Labor, Automation and Resources (english)
03 Sep 2002
The Regenerative Landscape - 1

Operating Manual For Spaceship Earth

by Buckminster Fuller

...Thus man has developed an externalized metabolic regeneration organism involving the whole of Spaceship Earth and all its resources. Any human being can physically employ that organism, whereas only one human can employ the organically integral craft tool.

All 91 of the 92 chemical elements thus far found aboard our spaceship are completely involved in the world-around industrial network. The full family of chemical elements is unevenly distributed, and therefore our total planet is at all times involved in the industrial integration of the unique physical behaviors of each of all the elements.

Paradoxically, at the present moment our Spaceship Earth is in the perilous condition of having the Russians sitting at one set of the co-pilot's flying controls while the Americans sit at the other. France controls the starboard engines, and the Chinese control the port engines, while the United Nations controls the passenger operation.

The result is an increasing number of U.F.O. hallucinations of sovereign states darting backwards and forwards and around in circles, getting nowhere, at an incredibly accelerating rate of speed.

All of humanity's tool extensions are divisible into two main groups: the craft and the industrial tools. I define the craft tools as all those tools which could be invented by one man starting all alone, naked in the wilderness, using only his own experience and his own integral facilities.

Under these isolated conditions he could and did invent spears, slings, bows, and arrows, etc. By industrial tools I mean all the tools that cannot be produced by one man, as for instance the S.S. Queen Mary.

With this definition, we find that the spoken word, which took a minimum of two humans to develop, was the first industrial tool. It brought about the progressive integration of all individual generation-to-generation experiences and thoughts of all humanity everywhere and everywhen.

The Bible says, "In the beginning was the word"; I say to you, "In the beginning of industrialization was the spoken word."

With the graphic writing of the words and ideas we have the beginning of the computer, for the computer stores and retrieves information. The written word, dictionary and the book were the first information storing and retrieving systems.

The craft tools are used initially by man to make the first industrial tools. Man is using his hands today most informatively and expertly only to press the buttons that set in action the further action of the tools which reproduce other tools which may be used informatively to make other tools. In the craft economies craftsman artists make only end- or consumer-products.

In the industrial economy the craftsman artists make the tools and the tools make the end- or consumer-products. In this industrial development the mechanical advantages of men are pyramided rapidly and synergetically into invisible magnitudes of ever more incisive and inclusive tooling which produces ever more with ever less resource investment per each unit of end-product, or service, performance.

As we study industrialization, we see that we cannot have mass production unless we have mass consumption. This was effected evolutionarily by the great social struggles of labor to increase wages and spread the benefits and prevent the reduction of the numbers of workers employed.

The labor movement made possible mass purchasing; ergo, mass production; ergo, low prices on vastly improved products and services, which have altogether established entirely new and higher standards of humanity's living.

Our labor world and all salaried workers, including school teachers and college professors, are now, at least subconsciously if not consciously, afraid that automation will take away their jobs. They are afraid they won't be able to do what is called "earning a living," which is short for earning the right to live.

This term implies that normally we are supposed to die prematurely and that it is abnormal to be able to earn a living. It is paradoxical that only the abnormal or exceptional are entitled to prosper. Yesterday the term even inferred that success was so very abnormal that only divinely ordained kings and nobles were entitled to eat fairly regularly.

It is easy to demonstrate to those who will take the time and the trouble to unbias their thoughts that automation swiftly can multiply the physical energy part of wealth much more rapidly and profusely than can man's muscle and brain-reflexed-manually-controlled production.

On the other hand humans alone can foresee, integrate, and anticipate the new tasks to be done by the progressively automated wealth-producing machinery.

To take advantage of the fabulous magnitudes of real wealth waiting to be employed intelligently by humans and unblock automation's postponement by organized labor we must give each human who is or becomes unemployed a life fellowship in research and development or in just simple thinking.

Man must be able to dare to think truthfully and to act accordingly without fear of losing his franchise to live. The use of mind fellowships will permit humans comprehensively to expand and accelerate scientific exploration and experimental prototype development.

For every 100,000 employed in research and development, or just plain thinking, one probably will make a breakthrough that will more than pay for the other 99,999 fellowships. Thus, production will no longer be impeded by humans trying to do what machines can do better.

Contrariwise, omni-automated and inanimately powered production will unleash humanity's unique capability-its metaphysical capability. Historically speaking, these steps will be taken within the next decade. There is no doubt about it. But not without much social crisis and consequent educational experience and discovery concerning the nature of our unlimited wealth.

Through the universal research and development fellowships, we're going to start emancipating humanity from being muscle and reflex machines. We're going to give everybody a chance to develop their most powerful mental and intuitive faculties.

Given their research and development fellowship, many who have been frustrated during their younger years may feel like going fishing. Fishing provides an excellent opportunity to think clearly; to review one's life; to recall one's earlier frustrated and abandoned longings and curiosities. What we want everybody to do is to think clearly.

We soon will begin to generate wealth so rapidly that we can do very great things. I would like you to think what this may do realistically for living without spoiling the landscape, or the antiquities or the trails of humanity throughout the ages, or despoiling the integrity of romance, vision, and harmonic creativity.

All the great office buildings will be emptied of earned living workers, and the automated office-processing of information will be centralized in the basements of a few buildings. This will permit all the modernly mechanized office buildings to be used as dwelling facilities.

When we approach our problems on a universal, general systems basis and progressively eliminate the irrelevancies, somewhat as we peel petals from an artichoke, at each move we leave in full visibility the next most important layer of factors with which we must deal. We gradually uncover you and me in the heart of now. But evolution requires that we comprehend each layer in order to unpeel it.

We have now updated our definitions of universe by conforming them with the most recent and erudite scientific findings such as those of Einstein and Planck.

Earlier in our thinking we discovered man's function in universe to be that of the most effective metaphysical capability experimentally evidenced thus far within our locally observable phases and time zones of universe.

We have also discovered that it is humanity's task to comprehend and set in order the special case facts of human experience and to win therefrom knowledge of the a priori existence of a complex of generalized, abstract principles which apparently altogether govern all physically evolving phenomena of universe.

We have learned that only and exclusively through use of his mind can man inventively employ the generalized principles further to conserve the locally available physical energy of the only universally unlimited supply. Only thus can man put to orderly advantage the various, local, and otherwise disorderly behaviors of the entropic, physical universe.

Man can and may metaphysically comprehend, anticipate, shunt, and meteringly introduce the evolutionarily organized environment events in the magnitudes and frequencies that best synchronize with the patterns of his successful and metaphysical metabolic regeneration while ever increasing the degrees of humanity's space and time freedoms from yesterday's ignorance sustaining survival procedure chores and their personal time-capital wasting.

Now we have comprehended and peeled off the layers of petals which disclosed not only that physical energy is conserved but also that it is ever increasingly deposited as a fossil-fuel savings account aboard our Spaceship Earth through photosynthesis and progressive, complex, topsoil fossilization buried ever deeper within Earth's crust by frost, wind, flood, volcanoes, and earthquake upheavals.

We have thus discovered also that we can make all of humanity successful through science's world-engulfing industrial evolution provided that we are not so foolish as to continue to exhaust in a split second of astronomical history the orderly energy savings of billions of years' energy conservation aboard our Spaceship Earth.

These energy savings have been put into our Spaceship's life-regeneration-guaranteeing bank account for use only in self-starter functions.

The fossil fuel deposits of our Spaceship Earth correspond to our automobile's storage battery which must be conserved to turn over our main engine's self-starter.

Thereafter, our "main engine," the life regenerating processes, must operate exclusively on our vast daily energy income from the powers of wind, tide, water, and the direct Sun radiation energy.

The fossil-fuel savings account has been put aboard Spaceship Earth for the exclusive function of getting the new machinery built with which to support life and humanity at ever more effective standards of vital physical energy and reinspiring metaphysical sustenance to be sustained exclusively on our Sun radiation's and Moon pull gravity's tidal, wind, and rainfall generated pulsating and therefore harnessable energies.

The daily income energies are excessively adequate for the operation of our main industrial engines and their automated productions. The energy expended in one minute of a tropical hurricane equals the combined energy of all the U.S.A. and U.S.S.R. nuclear weapons.

Only by understanding this scheme may we continue for all time ahead to enjoy and explore universe as we progressively harness evermore of the celestially generated tidal and storm generated wind, water, and electrical power concentrations.

We cannot afford to expend our fossil fuels faster than we are "recharging our battery," which means precisely the rate at which the fossil fuels are being continually deposited within Earth's spherical crust.

We have discovered that it is highly feasible for all the human passengers aboard Spaceship Earth to enjoy the whole ship without any individual interfering with another and without any individual being advantaged at the expense of another, provided that we are not so foolish as to burn up our ship and its operating equipment by powering our prime operations exclusively on atomic reactor generated energy.

The too-shortsighted and debilitating exploitation of fossil fuels and atomic energy are similar to running our automobiles only on the self-starters and batteries and as the latter become exhausted replenishing the batteries only by starting the chain reaction consumption of the atoms with which the automobiles are constituted.

We have discovered also why we were given our intellectual faculties and physical extension facilities. We have discovered that we have the inherent capability and inferentially the responsibility of making humanity comprehensively and sustainably successful. We have learned the difference between brain and mind capabilities.

We have learned of the superstitions and inferiority complexes built into all humanity through all of history's yesterdays of slavish survival under conditions of abysmal illiteracy and ignorance wherein only the most ruthless, shrewd, and eventually brutish could sustain existence, and then for no more than a third of its known potential life span....

See also:
Giant Rat Rulez (english)
10 Sep 2002
I Talked to the umbrella hat guy, and he said the Giant Rat is really helping the strike.

The Giant Rat Totally RuleZ!