A tornado ripped through a candle factory and an Amazon shipping facility, and people needlessly died. Sqeaky and Mako will discuss the violations of workers' rights that led to this and update everyone on a few other issues in the news. Kellogg’s is trying to replace workers and might be failing partially because of interference from online communities.
Read the transcript and check the sources at: https://dysevidentia.transistor.fm/episodes/0023-weather-or-not-to-support-labor
- 00:00 Intro
- 01:30 Meta
- 06:24 Kellogg’s Strike Update
- 16:22 Sponsored by ABK Kustomz
- 17:26 Covid Minute
- 32:21 Sponsored by Wren
- 33:28 Tornadoes and Amazon and a Candle Factory
- 48:17 Onsite Amazon Safety sign
- 48:49 More Tornadoes and Labor
- 51:16 A few other labor discussions (MLB, Starbucks, Amazon Union)
- 1:38:25 Outro
- SECTION [0:00] Intro
- SECTION [1:30] Meta
- SOURCE [3:57] Episode 19 Striketober - https://dysevidentia.transistor.fm/episodes/0019-striketober
- SUPPORT US [5:38] Dysevidentia on Patreon - https://www.patreon.com/dysevidentia
- CONTACT [5:41] Dysevidentia on Reddit - https://www.reddit.com/r/Dysevidentia/
- CONTACT [5:44] Dysevidentia on Twitter - https://twitter.com/dysevidentia
- CONTACT [5:45] Dysevidentia on YouTube - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBbU3rnK52CXUkK0cJ-o29g
- CONTACT [5:46] Dysevidentia on Discord - https://discord.gg/EZtcgdsCDA
- CONTACT [5:48] Dysevidentia by email - Contact@dysevidentia.com
- CONTACT [5:49] Dysevidentia.com - https://dysevidentia.com
- SHOUT OUT [5:58] Hypnotic, Call Of Duty Esports - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCT-3oI75RGtrOjWCIk-_iIw/videos
- SECTION [06:24] Kellogg’s Strike Update
- SOURCE [6:45] Overview of strike situation and Kellogg’s claim of replacing 1400 workers - https://www.marketwatch.com/story/kellogg-to-permanently-replace-1-400-striking-union-factory-workers-11638986331
- BULLSHIT SOURCE [8:00] - Definitely don't fill out this application with nonsense that might overburden the Kellogg's Corporate office - https://jobs.kellogg.com/job/Omaha-Permanent-Production-Associate-Omaha-NE-68103/817685900/z
- BULLSHIT SOURCE [8:00] - Definitely don't fill out this application with nonsense that might overburden the Kellogg's Corporate office - https://jobs.kellogg.com/job/Battle-Creek-Permanent-Production-Associate-Battle-Creek-MI-49014/817685300/
- BULLSHIT SOURCE [8:00] - Definitely don't fill out this application with nonsense that might overburden the Kellogg's Corporate office - https://jobs.kellogg.com/job/Lancaster-Permanent-Production-Associate-Lancaster-PA-17601/817684800/
- BULLSHIT SOURCE [8:00] - Definitely don't fill out this application with nonsense that might overburden the Kellogg's Corporate office - https://jobs.kellogg.com/job/Memphis-Permanent-Production-Associate-Memphis-TN-38114/817685700/
- SOURCE [8:13] Antiwork subreddit post - https://www.reddit.com/r/antiwork/comments/rcacru/apply_now_kellogg_is_hiring_scabs_online_lets/
- DUBIOUS SOURCE [8:36] Kellogg’s Jobs site taken down by online protestors in solidarity - https://labor411.org/411-blog/redditors-crash-kellogg-jobs-site-as-company-tries-to-hire-permanent-replacements/
- BULLSHIT SOURCE [10:46] Email to ask about ball chortling requirement and more - firstname.lastname@example.org
- SECTION [16:22] Sponsored by ABK Kustomz
- SPONSOR [16:22] ABK Kustomz, use code evidence for 10% off your next PC - https://abk-kustomz.com/
- SECTION [17:26] Covid Minute
- SOURCE [17:41] 1% of Americans older then 65 have already died of covid - https://news.yahoo.com/1-every-100-americans-over-153535542.html
- SOURCE [18:20] Covid numbers - https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/
- SOURCE [18:36] Covid Trends - https://graphics.reuters.com/world-coronavirus-tracker-and-maps/regions/europe/
- SOURCE [20:05] Antivaxxer Marcus Lamb dies of something - https://www.joemygod.com/2021/11/anti-vax-televangelist-marcus-lamb-dies-of-something/
- SOURCE [20:05] Antivaxxer Marcus Lamb dies of covid - https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/marcus-lamb-anti-vaccine-christian-broadcaster-dies-covid-battle-rcna7139
- SOURCE [22:33] British Columian (Canada) woman fights for for medical exemption - https://www.msn.com/en-ca/news/canada/covid-19-bc-woman-who-says-she-nearly-died-from-vaccine-fights-for-exemption/ar-AARMxqC
- SOURCE [26:47] Imperfect Solutions are better than no solutions - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GiYO1TObNz8
- SECTION [32:21] Sponsored by Wren
- SPONSOR [32:11] Wren. Offset your carbon footprint and support pollution mitigation with Wren - https://shareasale.com/r.cfm?b=1701593&u=3056050&m=105790&urllink=&afftrack=
- SECTION [33:28] Tornadoes and Amazon and a Candle Factory
- SOURCE [36:22] Wikipedia now has maps of these tornado - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tornado_outbreak_of_December_10%E2%80%9311,_2021
- SOURCE [37:13] Gov. Pritzker issues disaster proclamation - https://abc7chicago.com/tornado-illinois-amazon-edwardsville-il/11333315/
- SOURCE [38:41] Woman claims Amazon told boyfriend to stay for tornado that took his life - https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/amazon-warehouse-worker-tornado-illinois-b1974778.html
- SOURCE [39:58] Factory workers threatened with firing if they left before tornado, employees say - https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/kentucky-tornado-factory-workers-threatened-firing-left-tornado-employ-rcna8581
- SOURCE [40:33] Factory workers threatened with firing if they left before tornado, employees say - https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/kentucky-tornado-factory-workers-threatened-firing-left-tornado-employ-rcna8581
- SOURCE [43:12] OSHA investigating after 6 killed in Amazon warehouse collapse - https://www.kmov.com/news/amazon-speaks-out-on-safety-policies-amid-deaths-caused-by-tornado/article_9946367e-5c3f-11ec-bec1-af08e8cedc1c.html?block_id=990662
- SOURCE [44:12] Officials ID two men killed when tornado hit Amazon center in Baltimore - https://www.baltimoresun.com/maryland/baltimore-city/bs-md-ci-amazon-collapse-day-2-story.html
- SECTION [48:17] Onsite Amazon Safety sign
- SECTION [48:49] More Tornadoes and Labor
- SUPPORT [50:23] There is a GoFundMe for Mayfield Kentucky Tornado Relief - https://www.gofundme.com/f/mayfield-kentucky-tornado-relife
- SECTION [51:16] A few other labor discussions (MLB, Starbucks, Amazon Union)
- SOURCE [51:31] MLB owners Lockout - https://openargs.com/oa549-greedy-billionaire-mlb-owners-stage-lockout/
- SOURCE [52:07] Shitty letter to baseball fans - https://www.mlb.com/news/featured/a-letter-to-baseball-fans
- SOURCE [1:02:37] Opening arguments discussion on why the union election was overturned - https://openargs.com/oa550-oxford-shooters-parents-charged/
- SOURCE [1:03:58] Union accuses Amazon of illegally interfering with vote - https://apnews.com/article/business-general-news-fe02363fede1e67b57d673260d7f07d4
- SOURCE [1:07:02] Court Decision overturning election to not unionize - https://openargs.com/wp-content/uploads/Amazon-Bessemer-Supplemental-Decision.pdf
- SOURCE [1:07:22] 71% of Amazon Workers Reject Union, but Liberals’ PRO Act Would Undercut That Right to Choose - https://www.heritage.org/jobs-and-labor/commentary/71-amazon-workers-reject-union-liberals-pro-act-would-undercut-right
- SOURCE [1:09:52] Wikipedia on the PRO - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protecting_the_Right_to_Organize_Act
- SOURCE [1:10:45] The actuall information on that PRO from Congress - https://www.congress.gov/bill/117th-congress/house-bill/842?q=%7B%22search%22%3A%5B%22Protecting+the+Right+to+Organize+Act%22%5D%7D&s=3&r=2
- SOURCE [1:14:31] Union workers get higher pay, if they can join - https://www.reuters.com/legal/legalindustry/union-workers-get-higher-pay-if-they-can-join-2021-07-12/
- SOURCE [1:16:20] Economic Elasticity - https://corporatefinanceinstitute.com/resources/knowledge/economics/elasticity/
- SOURCE [1:16:50] Heart Stents, Coronary Stents - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coronary_stent
- SOURCE [1:19:31] Dictator game from 90s - http://faculty.ucr.edu/~ramiz/papers/BKZ-IJGT.pdf
- SOURCE [1:19:32] Dictator game an article about meta-analysis - https://ivypanda.com/essays/dictator-game-experiment-and-behavioral-economics/
- SOURCE [1:25:32] Starbucks has history of anti-union behavior - https://www.theguardian.com/business/2020/feb/25/starbucks-worker-labor-unions-organizing
- SOURCE [1:27:27] Longshoreman's union made shipping more efficient - https://www.amazon.com/Box-Shipping-Container-Smaller-Economy/dp/0691170819/ref=sr_1_3?keywords=box+book+about+shipping+container&qid=1639633055&sr=8-3
- SOURCE [1:27:57] Starbucks unionizing - https://nypost.com/2021/12/09/starbucks-workers-vote-to-unionize-buffalo-new-york-store/
- SOURCE [1:28:07] Fired brittany Harrison a union organize - https://www.jacobinmag.com/2021/12/starbucks-union-vote-buffalo-elmwood-workers-united
- SOURCE [1:28:14] Has cancer and fired lost health insurance - https://www.reddit.com/r/worldnewsvideo/comments/rf66x3/brittany_harrison_a_former_starbucks_worker_who/
- SECTION [1:38:25] Outro
- CONTACT [1:38:45] Dysevidentia.com - https://dysevidentia.com
- SUPPORT [1:38:50] Dysevidentia on Patreon - https://patreon.com/Dysevidentia
- CONTACT [1:38:53] Dysevidentia subreddit on Reddit - https://www.reddit.com/r/Dysevidentia/
- CONTACT [1:38:55] At Dysevidentia on Twitter - https://twitter.com/dysevidentia
- CONTACT [1:38:57] The Dysevidentia Server on Discord - https://discord.gg/EZtcgdsCDA
- CONTACT [1:38:58] Dysevidentia on Youtube - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBbU3rnK52CXUkK0cJ-o29g
- CONTACT [1:39:01] Dysevidentia by email - Contact@dysevidentia.com
What is Dysevidentia?
Dysevidentia is an inability to reliably process or integrate evidence. This is podcast discusses, contemplates, mocks poor use of evidence.
SQEAKY: Warning. This show contains adult themes and language including solidarity and other adult emotions.
MAKO: Dysevidentia is an inability to reliably process evidence and this is a podcast all about it.
SQEAKY: This episode was released on December 20th, 2021...
MAKO: ...and we are discussing dysevidentia because it is clear millions of billionaire sympathizers are suffering from it.
MAKO: I am Mako.
SQEAKY: And I am Sqeaky.
MAKO: We discuss logic and evidence because math dictates that not everybody can be in the top one percent.
SQEAKY: You can support us by becoming a Patron at patreon.com/dysevidentia.
MAKO: If billionaires are denying you a living wage, you can still like, subscribe, and leave a review to help us out.
SQEAKY: If you have a paper you have written or a small business to plug let us know.
MAKO: Today we are going to discuss...
SQEAKY: Labor relations with Kellogg's, Amazon, major league baseball, and Starbucks.
MAKO: Then COVID for hopefully just a minute.
SQEAKY: You can support us by being rigidly vertical while we're on the second story.
MAKO: Under some circumstances absolutely. I imagine somewhere out there a cheerleader is listening to this and they're like "Fuck yeah!"
SQEAKY: Fn... It's the most wholesome punchline we've ever had in this show. What the fuck is-
SQEAKY: How are you doin'? Are you ready for this discussion on labor?
MAKO: As ready as I'm gonna be.
SQEAKY: You're never ready. Oh-
SQEAKY: That's absolutely fuckin' wrong actually you're always more ready than I am.
MAKO: Just- I'm never as ready as I want to be.
SQEAKY: Oh yeah I show up unprepared and I'm as ready as I wanna be.
MAKO: That's... Actually explains quite a bit.
SQEAKY: I figured we could take some time during this part where we normally put out corrections and discuss a throughline that connects dysevidentia to the idea of labor rights.
MAKO: Yeah. More than just oh yeah some people are saying some things that are wrong- Oh I guess that's actually kinda core to dysevidentia.
SQEAKY: Yeah if some people are saying some things that are wrong even though they think they're true and there's evidence countering them.
MAKO: Well I mean okay there's a counterpoint that can be made for opinions but a lot of the things that in these topics are not presented as opinions.
SQEAKY: Oh yeah it's super hard to get like a good argument whether chocolate or vanilla ice cream is better but like that's not dysevidentia. If someone says chocolate ice cream will kill you and then we present evidence it won't that's dysevidentia.
SQEAKY: That's also vaccine denial. It's literally- Oh my god...
MAKO: Well, I mean someone would come along and be like well look at these people that had an anaphylactic shock in response to eating chocolate and like okay that's weird, how many people have this?
SQEAKY: So, to labor. We're gonna talk about some people who made money. A lot of money.
SQEAKY: And I'm of the opinion that us not being billionaires should uh...
MAKO: Be billionaires?
SQEAKY: If we could be billionaires that'd be nice.
SQEAKY: But we should probably have solidarity with people working as the labor side for these disputes even when they're making a ridiculous amount of money like major league baseball players that we'll bring up later.
SQEAKY: 'Cause they're still taking money from billionaires, they're still working, a lot of them actually don't wind up doing very good later on in life.
MAKO: Yeah they work themselves in some cases literally to the bone in order to entertain people in the fashion that they do.
SQEAKY: Yeah. But even more than just the notion of solidarity, a lot of the rich people in this --so the owners of baseball teams, the factory owners, the shareholders of companies-- they put out intentional misinformation. And people often believe it.
SQEAKY: Like with Kellogg's. The Kellogg's people were saying yeah, some of these workers are making a 100,000 dollars a year.
MAKO: Thirty-five dollars an hour, y'know different numbers and different ways are often presented.
SQEAKY: Yeah absolutely. And if you're making twelve dollars an hour and you hear that somebody else is making thirty-five and they're on strike you could get salty and bitter pretty quick but we should be paying attention to the fact that the Kellogg executives make between five and 15,000,000 dollars a year, so show nineteen for the source on that.
SOURCE [3:57] Episode 19 Striketober - https://dysevidentia.transistor.fm/episodes/0019-striketober
MAKO: Well more than that, like when people condense it down to a single sound bite they tend to miss all the nuance and the details that actually paint a very important picture. Yeah like sure a lot of these people are making thirty-five dollars an hour and not all of them and that's part of the problem for the Kellogg's strike but on top of that they are working in some cases eighty hour work weeks and the divorce rate is super high as a result of this.
SQEAKY: It's fucked.
MAKO: Like... it's deeply deeply fucked. These are not conditions you want to be earning that kind of money in.
SQEAKY: Or when we learned that's not their primary grievance. They're striking to get rid of that two-tier system because the ones that are making thirty-five dollars an hour or a 100,000 a year or whatever, they're striking to get the same payscale put in place for the people who are making fourteen dollars an hour doing the same job.
SQEAKY: Anyway. I guess we'll dig deeper into that. For corrections, did we have any?
MAKO: Not that I can think of.
SQEAKY: Yeah nobody notified us. Maybe we should start offering people like flash drives or something if they- We still have a few of those dysevidentia flash drives if they find a correction in our...
MAKO: Maybe. I mean some of those are still reserved for future giveaways but I think we have a few spares.
SQEAKY: Okay. So, we're just gonna make this offer without planning it? If people-
MAKO: Maybe- Let's not be too explicit here, there's a lot of fuzziness to what we have planned in the future still.
SQEAKY: Okay. So we'll announce a giveaway of some kind in next episode.
MAKO: Oh. Bold.
SQEAKY: And bold would be saying we'll give away a flamethrower right now I think.
MAKO: That would definitely be more bold without a doubt.
SQEAKY: Okay. There are lots of ways to get in contact with us to let us know if you have a correction for us and or if you want to support us so we're open to messages or money on Patreon, patreon.com/dysevidentia. We have a subreddit, r/dysevidentia. You can tweet at us @Dysevidentia. We have a YouTube and a Discord, links for both are in the show notes. And you can email us, email@example.com.
SUPPORT US [5:38] Dysevidentia on Patreon - https://www.patreon.com/dysevidentia
CONTACT [5:41] Dysevidentia on Reddit - https://www.reddit.com/r/Dysevidentia/
CONTACT [5:44] Dysevidentia on Twitter - https://twitter.com/dysevidentia
CONTACT [5:45] Dysevidentia on YouTube - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBbU3rnK52CXUkK0cJ-o29g
CONTACT [5:46] Dysevidentia on Discord - https://discord.gg/EZtcgdsCDA
CONTACT [5:48] Dysevidentia by email - Contact@dysevidentia.com
SQEAKY: Oh and one listener of the show reached out and they wanted to offer a shoutout on their YouTube and to the people that are are listening to them. Uh, a person named Hypnotic, they're making Call of Duty montage videos where they do cool tricks and things in the game and put some uh... some cool music to it. But I just wanted to give them a shoutout 'cause they're a listener of the show and they like it a lot and reached out to us.
SHOUT OUT [5:58] Hypnotic, Call Of Duty Esports - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCT-3oI75RGtrOjWCIk-_iIw/videos
SQEAKY: Alright. So hope everyone else enjoys the discussion on labor.
SQEAKY: You would be if squeezed the volume out of you.
*Mako makes a noise*
SQEAKY: I'll use a vice.
SQEAKY: That's me! You don't get to do that.
*Laughing in the background*
SQEAKY: So about a month ago we went out to speak with a bunch of the people on strike over at the Kellogg's plant.
SQEAKY: We did a fair bit of research into the rest of the Striketober stuff that was going on.
MAKO: And we have some new news about that strike's progression.
SQEAKY: Some of this news is sad and some of it is just goofy as fuck.
MAKO: Yeah there's uh, at least not yet there's not a happy ending to it.
SQEAKY: Yeah. Several sources and we grabbed MarketWatch for one of them, they're claiming that Kellogg's is just going to try to permanently replace all 1400 of the striking workers. They had six back-and-forths where one side would propose a contract they thought the other would agree to and their side hasn't agreed to any of them. So in the most recent one the workers asked for a three percent cost of living raise that they haven't gotten since their last contract and the getting rid of the two-tier system and Kellogg's denied that. Kellogg's just announced one day- And their stock went up when they said it, that they're just gonna get rid of the workers and replace them all.
SOURCE [6:45] Overview of strike situation and Kellogg’s claim of replacing 1400 workers - https://www.marketwatch.com/story/kellogg-to-permanently-replace-1-400-striking-union-factory-workers-11638986331
MAKO: Stock market has some really weird attitudes.
SQEAKY: It's rich people's emotions.
SQEAKY: That's not entirely accurate.
SQEAKY: But it's a component.
MAKO: It's rich people's speculations. They like to see things being stable, they don't like seeing things being unstable, they see strikes as unstable and Kellogg's plan to replace the workers is seen as an end to the strike and return to stability. If I had to guess is almost certainly the thought process.
SQEAKY: That is certainly a coherent model of the stock market. I actually think you're giving it too much credit as a predicted entity. But, as far as picking one specific actor of the stock market who would've made these decisions, yeah I would agree with what you said. To complicate this, immediately Kellogg's opened up four different web pages for hiring people. And we'll have links to these so you can participate if you want but don't say no just yet. I don't think anyone really wants to cross the picket line and stab these hard workers in the back. r[/]antiwork, a subreddit dedicated to dealing with systemic problems in the American and western workforce... I don't wanna say organized, that gives them too much credit...
BULLSHIT SOURCE [8:02] - Definitely don't fill out this application with nonsense that might overburden the Kellogg's Corporate office - https://jobs.kellogg.com/job/Omaha-Permanent-Production-Associate-Omaha-NE-68103/817685900/z
BULLSHIT SOURCE [8:02] - Definitely don't fill out this application with nonsense that might overburden the Kellogg's Corporate office - https://jobs.kellogg.com/job/Battle-Creek-Permanent-Production-Associate-Battle-Creek-MI-49014/817685300/
BULLSHIT SOURCE [8:02] - Definitely don't fill out this application with nonsense that might overburden the Kellogg's Corporate office - https://jobs.kellogg.com/job/Lancaster-Permanent-Production-Associate-Lancaster-PA-17601/817684800/
BULLSHIT SOURCE [8:02] - Definitely don't fill out this application with nonsense that might overburden the Kellogg's Corporate office - https://jobs.kellogg.com/job/Memphis-Permanent-Production-Associate-Memphis-TN-38114/817685700/
SOURCE [8:13] Antiwork subreddit post - https://www.reddit.com/r/antiwork/comments/rcacru/apply_now_kellogg_is_hiring_scabs_online_lets/
SQEAKY: But they collaborated and somebody made a call to start filling out all of these applications with gibberish to the point where their systems stopped being able to handle it.
MAKO: Oh fun.
SQEAKY: We have a pro-labor website, labor411.org, and they've got some reports of it going down and some outside viewpoints. They're still pretty biased but in this case I have reason to believe they're accurate about people automating filling out the form with gibberish and in general getting a huge and popular discussion going about what they can do about it and you can go in and read that people were at least claiming to write scripts and submit things and how to deal with the CAPTCHAs and lack of CAPTCHAs and by every account they're just bombarding these people with bullshit and it's kind of amazing.
DUBIOUS SOURCE [8:38] Kellogg’s Jobs site taken down by online protestors in solidarity - https://labor411.org/411-blog/redditors-crash-kellogg-jobs-site-as-company-tries-to-hire-permanent-replacements/
MAKO: It's uh... Probably more than it really should it fills me with joy to see real world examples of people being chaotic good.
*Sqeaky chuckles and sighs*
SQEAKY: We're gonna have to explain the D&D alignment chart sometimes.
SQEAKY: I don't think we need to go there now do you?
SQEAKY: Okay. People will yell at us if they are unfamiliar with the chaotic lawful neutral good neutral evil thing. Like it's permeated culture from our listeners I think.
MAKO: Yeah I think most listeners will know.
SQEAKY: Okay if you don't yell at us we'll figure it out. So continuing this disorganized labor trend, one of the people went so far as to uh... Beyond automating, went so far when organizing to gather up lists of the email addresses for Kellogg's where you can apply should the online form be down and here's a quote. He says "If you have any questions about the application such as "Has being pro-union-busting served you better than being an anti-nut-busting"...
MAKO: Would you like me to read this?
SQEAKY: Go for it.
SQEAKY: It's so stupid!
MAKO: This is a quote from poster on...
SQEAKY: On r[/]antiwork.
MAKO: Okay. And so they say quote "If you have any questions about the application such as "Has being pro-union-busting served you better than being anti-nut-busting or you could say quote "I'm having a hard time completing the application process, what do you mean by "Employee must be willing to and able to chortle the balls of executive management" end quote, all of this and more can be answered at firstname.lastname@example.org"
SQEAKY: That's USA... hang on, is there a dot there?
MAKO: Yeah, looks like a dot to me.
SQEAKY: Okay. So just remember that email address is email@example.com. Definitely don't spam them with ridiculous questions about...
BULLSHIT SOURCE [10:46] Email to ask about ball chortling requirement and more - firstname.lastname@example.org
MAKO: Chortling balls.
SQEAKY: Of the executives.
SQEAKY: Because that's a mandatory job skill.
MAKO: And being anti-nut-busting. Yeah I'm honestly-
MAKO: I'm a little bit confused is like- So are they... When they say nut-busting, like they might mean the violent act which is clearly bad, or they might mean the pleasurable which is clearly good and I'm unsure as to what they're referencing.
SQEAKY: I just think we need to use context clues here. Do you think the uh... people with solidarity with the strikers, do you think they're doing some consensual S&M stuff with the executives over at Kellogg's.
MAKO: Consensual? No.
SQEAKY: Then I would lean against the sexual nut-busting... I can't.
*Sqeaky struggles to hold it all together*
SQEAKY: Uh... Sorry. Other hypothesized forms of attack against Kellogg's systems-
SQEAKY: -that r[/]antiwork was propsing were "zip bombs" and "general denial of service attacks".
SQEAKY: For people not super familiar with computers, a denial of service attack is anything that consumes so many resources on someone else's computer it's not available for normal service. Specifically, a distributed denial of service attack is when a lot of computers all try to access one computer and because that one computer only has a connection that is so fast to the internet, you can fill up that computer's whole bandwidth making it unavailable. So if several people run the scripts- and we're not advocating that, that actually is a crime.
SQEAKY: Unauthorized use of other people's computers is hacking and lots of police forces don't like that. If enough people are doing that there's doesn't have to be any specific flaw there isn't- doesn't have to be any special way in it's just these computers are all trying to access it so much and each access takes up so many bytes worth of bandwidth and the system only has so many bytes worth of bandwidth when you're using more than it has it's not available to the rest of the world anymore so that takes it offline. A zip bomb is a little more complex. Are you familiar with these Mako?
SQEAKY: Do you wanna go?
MAKO: Zip bomb is... So when you go to decompress something usually when you decompress it there's some reasonable ratio... When you're trying to compress they're not all that compressible so if you do compress it when you go to decompress it it's only slightly larger.
SQEAKY: Yeah so if you have like a one gigabyte zip file you might get a one-point-one gigabyte video file.
MAKO: Oh the margin is even smaller than that but yeah.
MAKO: Yeah, along those lines.
SQEAKY: Yeah. I'm just- I'm keeping it simple for the-
MAKO: But like text files depending on what text is inside it you may be able to compress it a whole lot more but zip bombs try to exploit this ratio to the maximum ability and they put in a pattern that is maximally compressable so when you go to decompress it it's just this giant thing.
SQEAKY: So they might upload a resume.zip along with a plausible looking application...
MAKO: And it looks like it's a few- like maybe a kilobyte if that if it's like I don't know a word document or something.
SQEAKY: Well uh it's entirely reasonable to upload a couple megabytes to these things 'cause they expect pictures and like...
MAKO: Okay put pictures in.
SQEAKY: ...high quality resumes, yeah.
MAKO: And like other graphics stuff- yeah yeah you can easily shoot it up to a couple megabytes like you said.
SQEAKY: Yeah but when you go to unzip it...
MAKO: It becomes terabytes.
SQEAKY: Which is not expected and this again denies people services. That computer was expecting to have disk space for stuff like other resumes, now some sysadmin has to go and clean that shit out and it doesn't do anything specifically harmful other than take up space...
MAKO: Yeah and disrupts the computer like I said in any way where it needs the space.
SQEAKY: And we're not advocating people do this. We're describing this 'cause we both come from strong computer backgrounds and we found this to be hilarious.
SQEAKY: Should I segue into the more serious points here?
SQEAKY: According to our CBS News source, they got in touch with a Rutgers professor, a Todd Vi-chon-i, or Vachon, I'm not sure, but he touches Labor Relations and he had a very simple quote when they asked and he just said that- of course I didn't write down the exact quote, but he just said that replacing 1400 workers in the current climate would be extremely difficult. That's before having all this other nonsense going on.
MAKO: Yeah. So like a lot of these people do try to describe these workers as being unskilled and technically unskilled- If by unskilled you mean you don't need a college degree, okay sure that kind of works but these people do have-
SQEAKY: Like decades of experience sometimes.
MAKO: Yeah they understand the machinery and like this is big dangerous machinery.
SQEAKY: Yeah they were talking about millions of pounds of grains per month, right. These four plants provide all of the frosted flakes for the whole country.
MAKO: People were also talking about people coming in for the first time and sometimes getting injured.
SQEAKY: Oh yeah.
MAKO: So like when- And that's when you have somebody that might be a little bit careless but like if they stop, take the time and like they ask the people who are experienced they can avoid those issues. If you get rid of all the experienced people...
SQEAKY: People aren't gonna know what's actually dangerous, what's efficient, what corners can be cut.
MAKO: Yeah you're gonna get a lot more like injured workers, you're gonna have like a lot more medical lawsuits, you're going to have a higher turnover rate, it's not gonna work. And then you have labor shortage on top of all of this.
SQEAKY: Kellogg's could in theory make this route but it's so expensive. Or they could pay people a living wage.
SQEAKY: And that's why we're all advocating for the living wage side of this.
MAKO: Like in every way for every party, it is better for them to pay the living wage.
SQEAKY: I think so. Except for the millionaires who are deciding to keep the money for themselves. Mmm. Gotta wonder how long the situation can last. 'Cause in addition to this strike and this presumable minimal output of these plants, there's uh... lots of people on the outside calling for boycotts.
SQEAKY: I don't know where the union stands on that if they're calling for a boycott 'cause that can be pretty extreme.
MAKO: I don't think they were when we spoke to them but they might be now I don't know.
SQEAKY: Do you have anything else on Kellogg's?
MAKO: Fuck 'em.
SPONSOR: ABK Kustomz [16:22]
SQEAKY: Hey Mako, why are you cringing?
MAKO: What are you doing? Are you going to break my PC again?
SQEAKY: Yeah. But I think we should skip the pretense.
MAKO: What do you mean?
SQEAKY: All of our listeners already know that we are going to break a computer and suggest they buy a new one from ABK Kustomz.
MAKO: So you are just skipping right to it and pulling out some cartoonish red button?
SQEAKY: Yeah. Come to the window.
MAKO: On the hill across the street, is that blue light-
SQEAKY: Yeah. RGB lights from a computer.
MAKO: Now what?
SQEAKY: Push the button to destroy it.
MAKO: And then we can tell our listeners about ABK Kustomz.
SQEAKY: Yeah. That's abkkustomz.com. Anyway, here. You do the honors.
*Clicking sound then explosions*
MAKO: Are explosions supposed to be bright followed by pitch black?
SQEAKY: No. I can't see either.
MAKO: Thank goodness we can still tell people to use code "evidence".
SQEAKY: Yeah, use code "evidence" at ABK Kustomz to save ten percent off on a new custom computer.
SPONSOR [17:18] Have ABK Kustomz build you next custom PC and use code evidence for 10% off - https://abk-kustomz.com/
MAKO: They are professional and helpful so won't judge after you deliberately destroyed their previous computer.
COVID Minute [17:26]
SQEAKY: So onto the cheeriest part of our show: the Covid Minute. Wait.
MAKO: I'd imagine there are some topics that... y'know maybe the Covid Minute would be cheerier.
SQEAKY: Is people being systematically denied living wages more or less cheery than oh for example one percent of all of our people over the age of sixty-five having already died from COVID?
SOURCE [17:45] 1% of Americans older then 65 have already died of covid - https://news.yahoo.com/1-every-100-americans-over-153535542.html
MAKO: I feel like there are arguments that could be made on either side of that and I'm pretty sure exactly none of them are arguments I'd like to make right now.
SQEAKY: Our source for that one is uh Yahoo News who is citing the CDC but really everything is there in the headlines. It's already the amount of people who died amount to one in one hundred of every American over the age of sixty-five.
SQEAKY: If you look at the numbers for people under the age of sixty-five it's closer to only one in uh... 1400. That's still preposterously high.
MAKO: Spread across three- over three hundred million in the United States, yeah that's... that's a lot of people.
SQEAKY: So yeah our total death numbers passed 800,000 since our last episode. We're still getting about 1300 a day.
SOURCE [18:25] Covid numbers - https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/
SQEAKY: So let's just try to get through these numbers and move on to less disgusting things but as a general forecast, we're- when I say we I mean the United States, we're trending up or kind of holding steady at a relevant peak where I just said we are...
SOURCE [18:36] Covid Trends - https://graphics.reuters.com/world-coronavirus-tracker-and-maps/regions/europe/
SQEAKY: We're getting about uh... 121,000 cases a day and about 1300 deaths a day. Other places aren't doing so bad. Some places are looking kind of steady. Europe is kind of a mixed back. A bunch of the different countries are up or down. Like the UK's up to 51,000 cases a day, which is around 200 deaths per day- fewer than 200 deaths per day. Russia is down in cases but they still have a lot of deaths at 1100 per day. Germany is down to 48,000 cases a day but their death count is gone up to 300-something so it just for comparison where we are at different places in the world, it's still in the y'know single digit percent range of death and still many thousands of cases.
MAKO: So Russia is either very terrible at treating COVID or they have a lot of risk factors.
SQEAKY: I suspect there's both chronic misreporting, lot of authoritarian regimes have a problem with that, but it's hard to misreport on death. Your family member died.
MAKO: So you suspect their case count is much higher.
SQEAKY: I suspect. I don't have strong evidence to confirm that but I suspect.
MAKO: But it does follow given all the other things we know about Russia.
SQEAKY: Yeah their- Russia has gotten better about putting numbers out 'cause they were accused of wildely misreporting months ago and that's gotten better. I don't want to say it's fixed but they're no longer just openly lying about COVID not existing in Russia for example.
SQEAKY: One goofy piece of news is uh... anti vaxxer Marcus Lamb who I would comfortably describe as a mega preacher-
SQEAKY: Yeah... Absolutely. He died of COVID after on his show declaring that the vaccine mandate was... was a "sin against God's word".
SOURCE [20:05] Antivaxxer Marcus Lamb dies of something - https://www.joemygod.com/2021/11/anti-vax-televangelist-marcus-lamb-dies-of-something/
SOURCE [20:05] Antivaxxer Marcus Lamb dies of covid https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/marcus-lamb-anti-vaccine-christian-broadcaster-dies-covid-battle-rcna7139
MAKO: How did he connect these concepts?
SQEAKY: Um... Well he didn't use logic or evidence.
SQEAKY: He used religion.
SQEAKY: Which lets him say anything he wants.
MAKO: But like- I'm not saying that the connection needs to make sense but usually people need some connection.
SQEAKY: So I didn't actually see that part of his broadcast, I tend to avoid televangelists because they're generally vapid and empty.
MAKO: Sometimes people report on it.
SQEAKY: The common way people make these kinds of connections is saying that the plague is punishment sent by God so good pious people won't get sick.
MAKO: Oh so by that mentality they want everybody to get sick, they want everybody to be a superspreader.
SQEAKY: When your normal business is selling a cure to a problem you fabricated, if you can then sell an imaginary cure to a real problem that makes business look better. Donations actually kind of remain the same or go slightly up when times get hard. People feel the need to be more generous and they think donating to a church helps somehow. Oh on that! This guy got some three or four million dollars in PPP loans-
SQEAKY: -then bought a private jet the following week.
MAKO: Of course.
SQEAKY: Two sources for this guy, we have joemygod.com. Haven't referred to them before but everything cross-checked out when I looked at other sources including nbcnews.com.
SQEAKY: And I guess segueing out of-
MAKO: Oh real quick.
SQEAKY: Oh. Yeah?
MAKO: According to your notes, did he ask people for prayers on his illness as he was dying?
SQEAKY: I'm sorry not him, his wife.
MAKO: His wife.
SQEAKY: Yeah. Once he was put on a ventilator it gets hard to preach with a tube in your throat.
MAKO: Well if you're on Twitter you're not gonna get a whole sermon on that anyway and just be like hey, got COVID, pray for me.
SQEAKY: If you condense the sermon down to its key points you can get the whole sermon plus a hundred spare characters in there.
MAKO: Oh my god.
SQEAKY: No um his wife, who largely seems to be a victim here, she was making what appeared to be genuine pleas for people to pray for him and for people to pray the COVID pneumonia away and pray for oxygen to re-enter his lungs and she made several deeply emotional pleas.
MAKO: Oh yeah.
SQEAKY: But in the end, not being vaccinated being of an age where it's highly lethal and not taking any precautions and exposing yourself to lots and lots of people like at a megachurch, kills you.
SQEAKY: Okay. One fucked up thing that I saw that I looked into because of our conversation last week on COVID.
SQEAKY: There's a woman in British Columbia- so that's Canada for people here in the midwest who might have our common geography sense, that's neither British nor Columbian.
SQEAKY: She had a bad reaction, like a legitimate bad reaction to the AstraZeneca vaccine, one of the vaccines that isn't approved here in the US. And she had multiple doctors including a hematologist confirm it. She can't get a medical exemption.
SOURCE [22:33] British Columian (Canada) woman fights for for medical exemption - https://www.msn.com/en-ca/news/canada/covid-19-bc-woman-who-says-she-nearly-died-from-vaccine-fights-for-exemption/ar-AARMxqC The Deputy Provinsional Health Officer, Dr. Bryan Emerson, said that no medical exemptions have been issued so far in the entire province.
MAKO: If they won't issue a medical exemption- You said that AstraZeneca is not approved here, is it approved in Canada?
SQEAKY: Yeah it's approved in Canada.
MAKO: So if they have an approved vaccine and a known harsh reaction as a result of that vaccine... I can't speak to the Canadian government but from when we covered it before, like the CDC explicitly said if this happens it's good grounds for an exception.
SQEAKY: Oh yeah. Yeah, the- My take when reading about this is that they simply haven't gotten to the point where they're actually issuing exemptions. Remember when we did the research it was a very small number of real- There was a very small number of cases for real medical exemptions.
SQEAKY: The vast majority of people requesting them are like people with terrible claims that they had COVID already without any evidence supporting. Obviously just trying to dodge the vaccine.
MAKO: Yeah the bullshit thinks that that's not how any of this works but yeah.
MAKO: Anaphylaxis to- especially in response to one of the vaccines, is like the one documented case where it is valid for- to have an exemption.
SQEAKY: Oh yeah. She's had some ongoing things and what happened with her is she had some anaphylaxis when it happened, and then she's had some ongoing clotting and blood issues.
SQEAKY: So it might be that one of the issues in the AstraZeneca vaccine was lingering in her system for a little while, like it wasn't being filtered out or something, and her immune system kept attacking it or something. But since it's only her, my thought process is can she get a different vaccine.
MAKO: Maybe. I mean if you can't say with confidence what in the vaccine is causing it, I can understand like legitimate hesitation over getting the other vaccines.
SQEAKY: Yeah. But this is why medical exemptions exist because real people do have real problems-
SQEAKY: -and the rest of us need to vaccinate for those people.
MAKO: Yeah nobody's expecting one hundred percent vaccination rate that's just simply not achievable because among other reasons things like this.
SQEAKY: Yeah. There was some asshole I was speaking to on LinkedIn just earlier today and he was just making shit up. He said that like two of his family members died to the vaccine and he was saying nonsense about the VAERS database, he was saying that it said there was 16,000 deaths and 700,000 medical complications from the vaccine.
MAKO: Yeah no, that's true.
SQEAKY: Yeah I agree it's bullshit. But even if it were true, we've given out like 5,000,000,000 doses of the vaccine.
SQEAKY: And that was last episode even, it might be more now.
MAKO: And with boosters being talked about as much as they are now, it almost certainly is a good bit higher.
SQEAKY: Yeah. But that's uh... two- 3,000,000,000 people vaccinated? If there's 16,000 deaths and 2,000,000,000 people given a thing, that makes it much safer than COVID 'cause we have not had- maybe we have had 2,000,000,000 cases of COVID, but even if everyone had COVID that would be three times as many COVID cases as there were vaccines, there's 5,000,000 COVID deaths that have happened way more than three times 16,000 deaths. So even by this guy's numbers, if the vaccine had killed six- the vaccine. If the five or six different vaccines that we have had killed 16,000 people, that's still so much safer than COVID!
SQEAKY: It's obviously the right choice to do that. 'Cause if I get COVID, I have one or more risk factors, I have a one percent chance of just fucking dying if I catch it, versus 16,000 in a billion. The fuck is that number?! Ah fuck it. Calculate the goddamn number.
*Sqeaky types vigorously*
SQEAKY: I'm gonna go 2,000,000,000... 0.0008% of people taking his version of the vaccine would die compared to a one percent death rate of COVID among the average population, more like twenty percent among people older than a certain age.
MAKO: That's a pretty big difference.
SQEAKY: Alright. One other thing I put in here that I wanted to discuss that's related to this because people hate these 'but sometime' situations and it segues right into this with this guy's terrible logic. I picked this video from Tech Connections because he perfectly highlights this other problem that we have a good solution to that's way less contentious.
SOURCE [26:47] Imperfect Solutions are better than no solutions - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GiYO1TObNz8
SQEAKY: But he talks about traffic lights. They let traffic flow a lot faster, if it's green you can just go you don't risk crashing into people generally. But they are kind of wasteful. They're incandescent bulbs- they used to be incandescent bulbs, those get hot, they waste a lot of electricity, they burn out, they're not exactly cheap. And newer LED ones fix almost all those problems. But sometimes 'cause these LED ones are so much more efficient they don't get hot, but sometimes snow hits them. If the wind is blowing just right at just the right angle, that little shroud that little cover on them holds the snow in instead of keeping the snow above it.
SQEAKY: So the first generation of these that they started installing ten, fifteen years ago, sometimes would get caked in snow. Now in practice this wasn't really a huge problem but there were one or two news articles, he even covers it and he cites a source on it this, but in practice when there's a horrible blizzard like this 'cause it needs snow to be horizontal, uh, not a lot of people are driving anyway so it's generally not a real issue and we have solutions.
MAKO: Well, okay.
SQEAKY: Sorry yeah.
MAKO: I'm sure the solutions will cover what I'm about to say but the argument not a problem anyway 'cause there's less traffic seems kind of weak to me 'cause there's still traffic, emergency services are still presumably happing they still need to navigate, other people are going to be ignoring the weather, potentially to their own peril, they still need to be able to navigate.
SQEAKY: It's my understanding that no fatalities can be tracked back down to this and it's my understanding that every jurisdiction here in the US where we have deployed LED lights also mandates that people know what to do when a traffic light breaks. 'Cause incandescent bulbs break all the time.
SQEAKY: I mean I've driven up to a traffic light where the light was out. Or even a month or two ago, a major intersection here, Dodge Street, is like one of the major streets in Omaha. It and 120th, the light was just out.
MAKO: And you're not wrong about any of these things, but solely trusting people to... to doing these things has its flaws and accepting more points of failure has its flaws.
SQEAKY: I acknowledge that, yeah. This is- this is the backup plan.
MAKO: But you have solutions.
SQEAKY: So, two things. There's a specially shaped shroud that when the wind blows at just that right angle, this little shroud also makes the wind turn and blow across the the light and clear the snow out. And then you can also just strap heaters to these things, and they did. You can buy these things- actually they're cheap, I looked at them. You can buy a stoplight heater for like home use I guess.
SQEAKY: But the rating and the way these things are set up, it just has like the lines from like the back of your car, right, and like the the the rear defroster and they put that on there with a little temperature probe where if it gets below a certain temperature it just turns on and even that is still way more energy efficient because the light plus the heater consume about half of the electricity and it completely solves the problem.
SQEAKY: And this Tech Connection guy really hits this point where it's like the 'but sometimes' argument is just terrible because every municipality that's switched from these incandescent bulbs to the LED bulbs, none of them are going back, they all love it, and this one sensationalist news story that's talking about this blizzard, it's not a real issue. Yeah we don't want to have that risk there, but no one's died for national level deployments and as far as we can tell the people who did get in crashes were being wildly irresponsible and breaking the rules already. And even then we had the ability to go look for solutions.
SQEAKY: It's like-
MAKO: Yeah that's the one part that gets me the most when people try to argue but what about this other thing. And it's totally fair on the surface of it to ask these questions, these questions do need to be asked. The problem I have is often when people do ask these questions they do it in a disingenuous way.
SQEAKY: Yeah they're not asking questions in good faith, they're shooting these questions like barbs at the progress of the future.
MAKO: Yeah. They trying to say well there's this problem therefore this can't be worked on and it's like no you're right there's this problem but it absolutely can be worked on so let's work on it.
SQEAKY: Yeah. And the 'but sometimes' argument is what he's calling it, and I really like that label of 'but sometimes'. Well y'know what, even in... even in traffic situations, but sometimes shouldn't hold a lot of sway. Yeah we should discuss it, but leave that shit to the experts. 'Cause the experts found a solution that made these lightbulbs cost- or these uh, lamps for the street cost like three dollars more and it's fixed. And they're still a fraction of the price of the old ones and they last better, they work longer, they use less- Ugh, just- Like the Daft Punk song, it's harder faster better str- Keep throwing adverbs at it, it's these lights.
SQEAKY: Did I say that right or are they adjectives?
SQEAKY: Don't trust me on grammar I don't fucking know.
MAKO: Let's just say these lights fuck.
SQEAKY: These lights fuck. These lights have big dick energy. Wait that's not good. I don't know about zoomer slang.
SQEAKY: Is big dick- Big dick energy's good or bad?
MAKO: Big dick energy is good.
SQEAKY: Big di- Okay I thought big dick energy is why you bought a Ford F-150 if you don't need to haul anything.
MAKO: No, big dick energy is synonymous with confidence.
SQEAKY: Okay okay yeah, then LED street lamps have big dick energy.
SQEAKY: Boomers buying F-150s have small dick energy.
SQEAKY: Okay. That was my confusion.
MAKO: There ya go.
SQEAKY: Okay. Uh, links to all of our sources for all of these things are in the show notes. The Tech Connections video, I really enjoy all of his videos. He just explains everyday technology, joemygod and NBC News on Marcus Lamb's passing to COVID, Yahoo News and the CDC on the one percent of Americans older than sixty-five, MSN, Reuters, and Worldometers for COVID numbers and the unfortunate woman in British Columbia with the adverse reaction.
SPONSOR: WREN [31:11]
*Beeping and people noises in the background*
MAKO: Can you see yet?
SQEAKY: Just a little.
MAKO: Neither can I.
SQEAKY: This time recovering in the hospital sure has given me time to think.
MAKO: Please don't.
SQEAKY: Doesn't destroying these computers just for our ad spots emit a bunch of carbon? Are we major contributors to climate change?
MAKO: You should consider Wren.
SQEAKY: What's Wren?
MAKO: They offer carbon offsetting. You can pay them to have carbon captured and your pollution mitigated.
SPONSOR [32:41] Offset your carbon footprint and support pollution mitigation with Wren - https://shareasale.com/r.cfm?b=1701593&u=3056050&m=105790&urllink=&afftrack=
SQEAKY: Like planting trees and shit?
MAKO: Yes. Like planting trees and shit. Important stuff like funding clean energy for people who might burn a lot of fossil fuels just to get by or research into future projects.
SQEAKY: That sounds like it could be complicated.
MAKO: It's easy! Just click the link in the show notes and use the online calculator. They can help you figure out how much carbon you emit and what it would take to offset.
SQEAKY: Oh. Let me see.
SQEAKY: Hmm... Maybe my eyes aren't better yet, but I'm not seeing thermite bombs in their carbon calculator.
MAKO: Nor should you ever.
SQEAKY: Oh! Well then I'll- I guess I'll click the link in the show notes and see what it takes to carbon offset twenty-three computers we've destroyed at a rate of one per episode.
SQEAKY: I think this podcast could really use a breath of fresh air.
MAKO: Oh fuck you. You know exactly what's coming and you make a fucking pun like that.
SQEAKY: Is that bad enough that I have to edit it out?
MAKO: Six people died!
SQEAKY: Fuck I'm not making fun of them it's just a tornado thing. We have 'em every fuckin' year here in Nebraska.
MAKO: Fine. We used to have severe weather, y'know to the point where we had to seek shelter every year here but we haven't really had seeking weather kind of severe weather in a while.
SQEAKY: We didn't have it this year but uh, back when I worked at Air Force Weather there actually was a point where they locked us in the basement. It's the only time- no, one of two times I've seen tornados with my own eyes but uh, I saw... I saw an F1 on the flight line at Offutt Air Force Base.
MAKO: Hmm. I remember hearing about that.
SQEAKY: Yeah they uh... The safety personnel and all the military personnel were like everyone get away from the windows and all the weather scientists went straight to the windows.
MAKO: Oh yeah. Glorious!
SQEAKY: Then the military personnel were like no we insist, you're going to the basement and then the weather scientists were like fine you have all the guns we'll go to the basement.
MAKO: Yeah like on one hand like don't be near a windows, debris can be crashing in through the window at any time but then the weather scientists were like yeah that's a statistical thing, I wanna see a tornado.
SQEAKY: You say debris, we say data.
MAKO: It's not good data when the data flies into your face and makes it concave.
SQEAKY: I think one of those guys had safety glasses.
MAKO: That's not gonna help! If it breaks the window it's going to break the safety glasses.
SQEAKY: Apparently that day there were some F-16s and it's not like Offutt Air Force Base is an F-16-
SQEAKY: -base right but planes come and go, they were being moved to some other place.
MAKO: It's a military base so yeah.
SQEAKY: And I guess one of 'em flipped over.
SQEAKY: And it's a big- for its size they're lightweight right they have big wing things they're designed to lift themselves into the air and...
MAKO: They are in fact aircraft, yes.
*Sqeaky chuckles and sighs*
SQEAKY: I didn't see that though. I wasn't at a good angle. Didn't have my glasses either. It was blurry but scary.
SQEAKY: This actual tornado was a big one. Some people are saying F5 but actual rated numbers so far are F3...
MAKO: F3. The National Weather Service rated is preliminarily- okay I gotta add that caveat, preliminarily as an F3.
SQEAKY: But it's... it's- It was a big deal though right. Because first it's December, tornados are a spring thunderstorm type thing, right, what the fuck it's doing in December, and then it crossed some vast distance?
MAKO: Yeah. So and also it was part of a system that was dropping tornados over and over and over. I think there was like... I don't actually know, uh...
SQEAKY: But there was a number of other wind-related events-
SQEAKY: -and little F1s and F2s spun off.
MAKO: Dozens of touchdowns.
SQEAKY: Oh goodness.
MAKO: Yeah. As a part of this system as it was passing through the whole area.
SQEAKY: What was that area?
MAKO: Like... I'd have to pull up a map, let me see if I can find it.
MAKO: Make me look things up...
SQEAKY: How dare I?
MAKO: Yeah. What is this, some kind of evidence-based podcast?
SQEAKY: I think the Wikipedia source actually has a map and they have like ninety fuckin' sources it's ridiculous.
MAKO: I can't find the map but I mean the general area is like Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois... It covers a lot of that area.
SQEAKY: Hang on. I posted a map in the climate change chat.
SQEAKY: I'm gonna see if we can have Qeldaar put the map in the YouTube video but for people who are audio only, the Wikipedia page is tornado outbreak of December 10 2021 and we'll make sure there's a link in the show notes you can follow to get there easily.
SOURCE [36:47] Wikipedia now has maps of these tornado - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tornado_outbreak_of_December_10%E2%80%9311,_2021
SQEAKY: So Arkansas, s- Yeah it was just south of Illinois, looks like it just barely touched Ohio, but it went the whole length of... is that Kentucky?
SQEAKY: Yeah that's Kentucky. It just stomped right over Mayfield and Brennan. But yeah, this tornado.
MAKO: So this is one of many tornados. We still haven't even gotten to the main point of any of this. Okay, main point. An EF3 struck an Amazon fulfillment center in... Edwardsville? Yes, Edwardsville, Illinois. Holy shit I remembered that. So, preliminarily rated an EF3 and there was actually multiple weather alerts that happened during the day because this was an ongoing storm system that went over them multiple times 'cause it's just the system as a whole is that large.
SOURCE [37:13] Gov. Pritzker issues disaster proclamation - https://abc7chicago.com/tornado-illinois-amazon-edwardsville-il/11333315/
SQEAKY: Yeah it looks like it started uh in Arkansas December 10th 4 PM and concluded in Ohio 2 AM December 11th.
SQEAKY: So that's a long period of time over a huge area.
MAKO: Yeah. So the first time they had a weather event they they did take shelter and it passed by and then they went back to work and then the second time was when the tornado hit and some people took shelter, some people did not, and we're still trying to figure out the details here. And I've already seen a few details here being said about this. I've seen some people claim that these people were... like they were denied the ability to use their cell phones which pre-pandemic was a policy of Amazon and they... Official Amazon spokespeople have said that that's not currently the case not that I would trust the spokespeople at face value.
SQEAKY: Yeah. And if the rules were changed it might have been in a very technical sense where every ship supervisor was-
SQEAKY: -telling their employees not to but technically they were allowed.
MAKO: But one of the victims that did die in this tornado hitting the warehouse, they were actually texting their loved one up until twenty minutes before their death. So, I mean they clearly had a cell phone. So like the argument some people are making that they didn't have access to cell phones at least based on that not so much the case. They...
SOURCE [38:49] Woman claims Amazon told boyfriend to stay for tornado that took his life - https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/amazon-warehouse-worker-tornado-illinois-b1974778.html
SQEAKY: It's possible some of them might not have had access but as a group, as a whole, some of them had. Okay.
SQEAKY: So the misinformation on this could go either way. If someone's trying to categorically say that all these people had the right to have cell phones that person's probably full of shit and if somebody said these people categorically none of them had cell phones that person's definitely categorically full of shit, it was a mixed bag. Some of these employees probably thought they couldn't have it and we don't know yet the state of enforcement of these rules and Amazon isn't a reliable source for that.
SQEAKY: So we need to get an outside investigation before we know. And anything less is we need to say we don't know.
MAKO: And the people that were found and recovered from the rubble, there were people that were not in the shelter and it's unclear why they weren't at the shelter when that the whole thing collapsed and that's also an ongoing investigation. Some people I've heard say that the workers were expected to continue working throughout the entire storm and that- there were workers in the shelters so that is demonstrably false but that does tie into another thing that happened. Because again this is a massive massive storm system and it covers multiple states. There was another factory in Mayfield, Kentucky. This factory creates candles of all things and at this factor, people- like they heard the weather alerts and they heard the sirens going off and they wanted to leave and take shelter in their own homes and the- a number of workers by the one article that I read, five workers said that they were explicitly and directly told that if they left they would likely be fired. Other workers have said that they were not told this directly but that they did overhear the conversations around these managers saying that they would likely be fired and a spokesperson from the the Mayfield factory said that that's absolutely not the case, they have this policy where workers can leave at any time come back the next day, it's not a deal and it's like well....
SOURCE [40:31] Factory workers threatened with firing if they left before tornado, employees say - https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/kentucky-tornado-factory-workers-threatened-firing-left-tornado-employ-rcna8581
SQEAKY: Yeah. There's the policies on the books then there's why you're firing people.
MAKO: Well I mean that policy as stated on face value doesn't make much sense because that's... that's the type of thing that these people would be constantly concerned about abuse from so there has to be caveats and they're not like bothering listing them and it's like-
SQEAKY: I don't think the rules matter here. Kentucky's an at-will state. So, whatever the rules are, there's gonna be a subtext and there's gonna be an implication that if you make the bosses angry they're just gonna fire you.
SQEAKY: And it's candle-making. I'm gonna go out on a limb and say that these aren't hard to replace workers.
MAKO: Probably not.
SQEAKY: They probably don't have a union so it's like yeah policy says you can go home and when you do stay there wink wink.
MAKO: Yeah. But yeah I'm not saying that the rules matter as a defense to these people, I'm picking apart the rules to demonstrate how disingenuous they're being.
SQEAKY: Ah, I see. Yeah, yeah. So-
MAKO: So yeah... yeah. To how that ties into the Amazon thing. Well on its own, workers at this factory clearly were not given y'know basic workers rights. They should be allowed to leave the factory and take shelter in their own fuckin' homes in the middle of a weather emergency.
SQEAKY: At a minimum the factory should have a tornado shelter.
MAKO: Uh, yeah.
SQEAKY: 'Cause really if there's a tornado and they're far enough south that I wouldn't call this tornado alley but clearly tornadoes can happen there.
MAKO: Uh allegedly their restrooms were tornado safe but they didn't have any kind of dedicated tornado shelter and I don't I think they had enough of the restrooms to house all hundred-and-ten people in the factory at the time.
SQEAKY: That's a lot of toilets.
MAKO: Yeah no, it would be. So I haven't had that confirmed, I'm a little fuzzy on that particular detail but that is my understanding of that situation. But I have heard people trying to say that yeah the Amazon workers weren't allowed to leave...
SQEAKY: And that sounds plausible we just don't know yet.
MAKO: Yeah there- Well there was one person who died in the Amazon workhouse- or warehouse blah. There was one one of the victims that died in the warehouse, he-
SQEAKY: I think you meant sweatshop.
MAKO: Sure. He did uh try to leave and they're like well you can leave after the storm blows over and I mean that is close to it what people are saying, people I've heard claim that yeah the Amazon workers had to keep on working and no most of them were in shelters, they were not expected to keep working through the storm but a lot of these other details aside from that, this is still a very fresh event, and an investigation has already been launched by OSHA, OSHA says that they're going to be investigating for six months and they will release their findings after that six months.
SOURCE [43:12] OSHA investigating after 6 killed in Amazon warehouse collapse - https://www.kmov.com/news/amazon-speaks-out-on-safety-policies-amid-deaths-caused-by-tornado/article_9946367e-5c3f-11ec-bec1-af08e8cedc1c.html?block_id=990662
SQEAKY: It's odd to declare that you're going to be investigating for a fixed length of time and I guess it makes a little bit of sense if there's constantly new information to be digging up but if feels like once you have the truth in hand you you'd be able to publish that.
MAKO: I would imagine that this is just like a preliminary thing like for people that like want answers, you can satiate them somewhat by saying yeah this is when you can expect them.
SQEAKY: I see.
MAKO: But like I would imagine that number is flexible depending on what they find.
SQEAKY: Okay that is unfortunate that we'll have to wait such a long time for answers related to the death of people.
SQEAKY: I do think it's fair to say that no matter how you spin it, Amazon could have done better here.
SQEAKY: Amazon has built big complex systems for moving goods across the country efficiently and reliably and they have probably hundreds of facilities across the country?
MAKO: Okay so while I was researching this, I... stumbled onto an article that I initially thought was like wait, that's weird that doesn't sound- I think they might have made a mistake here then I look more closely, they did not make a mistake, exactly this has happened before.
SOURCE [44:23] Officials ID two men killed when tornado hit Amazon center in Baltimore - https://www.baltimoresun.com/maryland/baltimore-city/bs-md-ci-amazon-collapse-day-2-story.html
SQEAKY: A tornado came through an Amazon warehouse under questionable circumstances and killed people?
SQEAKY: Okay. So I was just gonna say Amazon has so many facilities that eventually it's going to happen but Amazon already knew that eventually it was going to happen. It's like every place that I have worked anywhere near the Great Plains had a tornado shelter.
SQEAKY: When I was in Columbus, Ohio, we didn't see tornado shelters anywhere but Des Moines? Hah. Omaha, Offutt, all the places around here, there were dedicated tornado shelters so it's like it's not even expensive right. You just find the safest, most basement-like place in your building and most people building up to code just include one of these.
SQEAKY: It's factored into the cost but if you're making a building you get one of these things. Or a parking structure. Most parking... uh, most parking garages are just big concrete things and you go in there and you lay the fuck down in the shitty oily fuckin' ground and it sucks right and you're dirty for a day but you survive.
MAKO: Yeah, you get better.
SQEAKY: And it's... it's... it's just Amazon- Nobody should be dying at Amazon facilities from tornados. Yeah they're a little bit unpredictable but you should have rules in place that say yeah if you don't come to the uh... If you don't come to the tornado shelter when this sound happens when this thing goes off, we fire you. And if Amazon corporate is saying we fire you for ignoring the tornado warning, then they'll fire the middle managers. And I know a lot of the time these unethical pressures happen in the form of the corporate leadership saying one thing but then demanding good numbers from middle management so middle management ignoring them. Like fast food restaurants. They'll often say oh yeah, our french fries are replaced every half hour but then they'll demand from middle management that the french fry budget and the french fry waste be under a certain amount so the middle managers are uh... encouraged to keep the french fries around longer than half an hour, maybe forty-five minutes, an hour and there's this tension. And that's where the whole Amazon piss bottle came from. Officially, Amazon workers had the right to go to take a fuckin' piss, in practice if ya did so your numbers would hurt enough that you couldn't go take a piss, you pissed in a bottle.
SQEAKY: And that, that tension just shouldn't exist for goddamn tornados because they fucking kill people immediately and rapidly and Amazon had it happen once already. They should fucking know better and have had a solution in place.
MAKO: So the details to this.
SQEAKY: Lay it on me.
MAKO: This happened on November 2nd, 2018. So pretty recently.
SQEAKY: So f- Three four years ago. Three years almost.
MAKO: Three years ago.
MAKO: A little over.
SQEAKY: A November tornado, still pretty uncommon.
SQEAKY: That's really late in the season.
MAKO: This happened in Baltimore.
SQEAKY: Baltimore, Maryland?! That is not where I go for tornados.
MAKO: Yeah, I don't think it's like Baltimore proper because these fulfillment centers are usually on the outskirts of cities from my understanding.
SQEAKY: Makes sense, they're big ass warehouses. You just put them near the freeway and they gotta be big.
MAKO: Yeah. I mean it's in the Baltimore area, November 2nd, 2018, an EF1 tornado hit the fulfillment center.
SQEAKY: An F1?
SQEAKY: That's like a really big dust devil but okay.
MAKO: Yeah well it's enough that it collapsed the walls and killed two people.
SQEAKY: Oh god that's terrible. I suppose if you're in an area that doesn't have tornadoes you don't need to build to certain wind restrictions but I'd imagine- Well actually Baltimore is pretty far north they don't have to worry about hurricanes normally do they?
MAKO: Not normally, no.
SQEAKY: Wow. So they just weren't ready for wind, an F1 came along, pushed a wall over, I could see how that could turn into a few people dying. And being that far north they might not have practiced for tornados.
SQEAKY: I wonder if that lulled management into a false sense of security. But either way, they should have these policies. We went out to a few Amazon facilities just to look around to see if we could talk to some of the employees. We struck out, we went to three places, one didn't have the Amazon facility anymore, one still had an Amazon facility but it was empty, and the third was under construction so we just don't know where Amazon's located here in Omaha but when we were driving around we saw signs. One of the signs said uh... uh... any trailer coming on site needs to meet these restriction requirements, see Amazon rule code and some rule numbers...
SQEAKY: And if we have a decent soundbite I'll see if we can include it here.
SQEAKY: TOM team trail inspectors will be conducted on all Amazon trailers prior to moving witinn the Amazon yard. Tag the trailer appropriately using red tagging, yellow tagging policy. Inspection to include the following: Tires, mud flaps, breaks, marker lights, bulkhead, airline- air electric line check, kingpin sidewall check, landing gear, placards, skirt inspection, door light check, registration check, bumper and international component check, trailer door securement. Pursuant to Amazon policy 54730 visual trailer inspection.
SQEAKY: And clearly they have like procedures down to like specific things you're supposed to check and do. Okay do that but for tornado safety.
SQEAKY: What sources did you use to learn what you learned?
MAKO: Uh a bunch of 'em. So I used ABC7 Chicago to get the basic information about the EF3 tornado that hit Edwardsville, Illinois. I used uh kmov.com to provide the source for OSHA launching its investigation. independent.co.uk for the Amazon worker that texted to his loved one prior to dying. I linked to Baltimore Sun for the EF1 that hit the Baltimore fulfillment center three years ago. Uh nbcnews.com for talking about the Mayfield candle factory and a wkrn.com for providing images of the Mayfield tornado destruction as well as providing the details that the search is ongoing and that they've recovered ninety-four- or recovered or accounted for ninety-four of a hundred-and-ten workers.
SQEAKY: Well that's good. I saw another article that clearly was wrong where they said that there were forty people who died or were unaccounted for but if they found most of those that's good but still.
MAKO: NBC News uh, article that I linked claims that eight are confirmed dead.
SQEAKY: That's unfortunate.
SQEAKY: Wish I could do something for them. Mmm. Well, we'll look for charities or things, see if there is anything we can do to help.
SQEAKY: Irresponsible... Irresponsible during natural disasters make what could have been inconvenient into tragedies. So yeah I'm not gonna say that losing a candle factory would've been a good thing, but we didn't need to lose the candle factory and eight lives.
SUPPORT [50:23]- There is a GoFundMe for Mayfield Kentucky Tornado Relief - https://www.gofundme.com/f/mayfield-kentucky-tornado-relife
MAKO: Yep. Candle factories can be rebuilt. People, less so.
SQEAKY: Okay well thanks for sharing stuff about this tornado and the labor issues around it. I believe we just have a grab bag of random labor occurrences up next.
SQEAKY: Zipper noises. Zzzzz.
MAKO: What's the zipper?
SQEAKY: I'm pulling the button from somewhere. It's like a bag or something. Breathing noises.
*Sqeaky gives us breathing ASMR*
SQEAKY: Give me a little breathing noise, c'mon.
*Mako pants like a dog*
SQEAKY: It's like you're walking fast.
*Mako sounds like an injured video game character breathing*
SQEAKY: Okay. Like a puppy dog breathe, what the fuck.
*Mako breathes like a puppy dog*
SQEAKY: Hypervent- I'm gonna cut that out and use that later.
*Mako changes pitch*
*Sqeaky makes monkey noises*
MAKO: That's the Esports breathing.
*Mako does "Esports breathing"*
SQEAKY: What the fuck is Esport breathing?
MAKO: Things get tense and you need to breathe a lot for maximum oxygen.
SQEAKY: Okay. I'll get some stepping noises.
MISC LABOR [51:16]
SQEAKY: So we have a smattering of other labor disputes to discuss. Anything you wanted to start with?
MAKO: Well you explicitly mentioned uh... supporting the labor side of people who are earning millions and in the-
MAKO: -intro of all of this-
SQEAKY: Make me uh... Yeah make me put my evidence where my mouth is. Okay. Major league baseball is having a lockout. Sort of the opposite of a strike. It's where the management comes in and shuts the factory down and says nobody can get any work done until we solve some problem. Usually they think the workers are getting paid too much. So now's sort of the offseason, it's gonna be a while until the players get maximum leverage, with COVID nobody's really doing much or playing much anyway, it's kind of an ideal time for management to strike and I'm not big on baseball so if I get the terms wrong and I confuse it with a football please forgive me.
SOURCE [51:37] MLB owners Lockout - https://openargs.com/oa549-greedy-billionaire-mlb-owners-stage-lockout/
SQEAKY: But the MLB commissioner who is some official not attached to a specific team, but he put out a letter and you can read it and we'll link to it and I originally heard about it from the Opening Arguments podcast, that podcast with a lawyer who describes random legal stuff, they went over this and this letter makes it clear that this commissioner is trying to make it sound like this is for the good of the game and that they had a hard time reaching an agreement with the players and this is just like the other labor disputes we had where the management says one thing and just it's clear something else is true. As soon as the contract expired they immediately claimed they couldn't come to an agreement, no communications have been exchanged, it was actually a legal precedent and actually a clause in the contract that said once the contract expires the contract applies until a new one is agreed to by both sides or it's... there's some active rejection process that can be undergone.
SOURCE [52:13] Shitty letter to baseball fans - https://www.mlb.com /news/featured/a-letter-to-baseball-fans
SQEAKY: The idea is to allow for a good faith negotiation between the union and the managers. In this case the laborer is the players and they're people making millions, but you gotta consider the owners of the teams. We're talking casual billionaires, like these people are preposterously wealthy. As big as the wealth gap is between the Kellogg strikers and the millionaires running the plants, the same category of wealth gap exists between the players who are millionaires, some of them actually make a lot less. Some of them in major league ball make as little as 300,000 a year which is really good money I wouldn't turn that down, but that's like high end software development money, that's not get famous money.
SQEAKY: If you're making that much, and you save it up and you're frugal you'll become a millionaire after a few years but you'll never get to be a billionaire, you'll never get to the point where you can casually own a team and get your own private jet. Just different levels of money. And they're doing the exact same things that the Kellogg's management are doing to the Kellogg's employees, they're trying to control the situation to maximize the amount of wealth they can extract, so I don't know exactly know how the draft and how trading players works, but having gone through this it's clear that they're trying to say that management needs more control for the good of the game, but they haven't really said how it helps anybody except themselves.
MAKO: Yeah I was gonna say like how do these concepts connect. It's like that question I find myself asking a lot.
SQEAKY: So I will defer people to the letter and to experts on major league ball. I bring this up primarily to address the hard point. We need to have solidarity with labor even if they're already making a lot of money. There's no amount of money a professional ball player can make that will significantly- not even significantly. There's no amount of money a professional ball player can make that will impact our ability to make money. If anything, it gets more money out of the hands of people who will sit on concentrated wealth. Whatever your job is, you're just not going to be selling to that many billionaires because there just aren't that many billionaires. For everyone out there who's writing software, laying bricks, laying pipes, being a doctor, making coffee, making cereal at a Kellogg's plant, for all of these people you can sell to way more major league ballplayers than you can millionaires. And the more money is out there, the more money that is out of the hands of billionaires, the more customers your business can have, the more your business can afford to pay you. This just comes down to the fundamental concept of wealth and equality. We can't have a healthy economy where billionaires have all the wealth.
SQEAKY: And this isn't the ideal mechanism to get wealth away from billionaires, but it's a mechanism. But every time there's a legal precedent set in a contract negotiation in a court case for these major league ball players, the same court precedent, the same laws, the same things are going to be used against labor in other areas. So we need unions to be strong, we need these labor disputes to resolve in a legally sound and ethical way so that way whatever legal precedents do happen don't wind up fucking people who have a much less desirable union.
SQEAKY: Like maybe Amazon shippers.
MAKO: Yeah that's definitely the more popular one.
SQEAKY: I would much rather be in the pro ball- actually y'know I probably wouldn't. If I were somehow in the pro ball league I would be deeply fucked.
SQEAKY: 'Cause like I'm fat and slovenly. Whatever, if I got out on the field could you imagine me swinging a bat? Like pretending like I know how to play baseball?
MAKO: I mean swinging a bat, I think you'd do okay but it's almost everything else, like sprinting around the bases comes to mind...
SQEAKY: I mean I could sprint relative to my own speed.
SQEAKY: I'm pretty sure most of these players could job faster than I could sprint.
SQEAKY: I honestly don't think I'd do good at swinging the bat either. I mean like honestly I can swing a piece of wood, but the people I've ever played baseball with, they're not throwing hundred mile an hour fastballs.
SQEAKY: They have a skill, they get paid for it, I guess that's another thing that differentiates labor from uh the wealthy. The people who own these teams aren't being paid because they're deploying some specific skill, they're getting paid because they own this thing that differentiates wealth. And that thing is the access to the skill of all of their workers. Blah. Anyway I was trying to segue over to Amazon. You did some research on that?
MAKO: Uh, a little bit. There was a vote to unionize at a fulfillment center in Bessemer, Alabama back in April. This vote failed.
SQEAKY: This was one of the things that instigated our first discussion on not labor specifically but we talked about a universal basic income and welfare and things like that didn't we?
MAKO: I think so.
MAKO: But yeah the vote had 738 people for and 1,798 against out of about 6,000 people that worked at the fulfillment center. That was the result of the vote.
SQEAKY: It's my understanding that there were about 3,000 total ballots-
MAKO: Roughly, yes.
SQEAKY: -and the difference between that was the challenge ballots, about 500 of 'em.
MAKO: The challenge ballots goes to the other point that I was going segue, I was just going to establish-
MAKO: -results of the vote that is the the immediate- or I should say- yeah immediate result of the vote right there. Some people were like okay, the workers have spoken, they don't want to union, and the last time I got deep into unions I brought up I believe this exact circumstance and people were trying to make that argument but there-
SQEAKY: Just to clarify. We've had arguments with people about unions and a common point that we think is made by dysevidentia sufferers is that people are saying Americans don't want unions-
SQEAKY: -and then they cite poor union performances pretending that the only reason a union might perform poorly is that people don't want to support it.
MAKO: Yet union attendance is like has been declining for the last few decades and they're like clearly people don't wanna be in unions otherwise why would union participation decline.
SQEAKY: Yeah that has nothing to do with active union-busting.
MAKO: Yeah they don't acknowledge union-busting all that much and it's actually shocking how lacking in context that conservative sources for this kind of information are. Building on that, very common... It is very very common for employers to deploy union-busting techniques I mean forever ago I remember reading all sorts of things about the lengths Walmart would go to in order to union bust. Amazon is also guilty of union-busting- In fact so many companies union bust there are other companies that do nothing but outsource union-busting. Successful companies that exist that that's all they do and they're hired by places like Walmart and Amazon.
SQEAKY: So some day when we have a giant office and hundreds of researchers and journalists and researchers working on the Dysevidentia Podcast, we can hire a consultant to prevent them from unionizing?
MAKO: That is possible, yes.
SQEAKY: That's disgusting and we won't do that. I'll help them unionize against me. I would much rather be there. Holy shit.
MAKO: So union-busting is a very very real thing. Like if there's an industry around it where companies can be established and be successful, yeah it's a fucking thing and when talking about union votes, there's always accusations of people being intimidated in some way shape or form or being coerced or at best incentivized and that's still like a vague form of manipulation, I guess depends on the incentive- like if people are being like okay guys we don't want you to unionize we are going to increase your pay by ten percent, okay that's still an incentive but if that's what they were arguing for in the first place then why would they want to be unionzied then fine, fine, that's a valid reason to be like okay we don't want to unionize anymore but-
SQEAKY: Yeah that's a magical fairyland level of-
MAKO: Yeah that doesn't- that doesn't happen. But hypothetically if it did then okay fine that would be legit.
SQEAKY: Now what we have seen is places promising one-time bonuses to prevent the formation of a union.
SQEAKY: 'Cause unions have a long-term impact and a one-time bonus is a cost that can be absorbed.
MAKO: Yeah it's a very calculated thing and then they can say okay we're going to be set back this much and we'll be able to recoup that by this point in time and we're just better off from that point on and they can do all of that math up front and everyone else is just like well shit, I can put- depending on the size of the bonus they could be like I could get a new car or I could put a down payment on a house and like they they think-
SQEAKY: And it is hard to gauge that one time bonus. If you're making 30,000 dollars a year and they're going to offer you a 15,000 bonus, that's a life-changing amount of money.
SQEAKY: But if you unionize, maybe you'd get a 5,000 dollar a year pay bump, maybe you'd get health insurance, maybe you'd get these things that over a year or two would add up to that and then in ten years you've gotten four or five times that. But it's this psychological thing. We're very good at maximizing short-term gains and we're very bad at understanding the real cost and benefit of long-term...
MAKO: So yeah. Union-busting and like anti-union rhetoric is a common thing. Like for every single union vote, you're going to find some evidence of this happening. Now like exactly how much evidence you're going to find and like how effective those efforts are going to be, that's what varies from case to case. And in the case of the Bessemer, Alabama vote, it was contested based on like a number of objections and-
SQEAKY: Do you want me to go into the balance test?
MAKO: In a sec...
MAKO: NLRB, National Labor Review Board, they threw the results of the votes out and they said that you need to do another vote because of numerous objections and yeah.
SQEAKY: And to piggyback on that thought real quick, that was a regional national review board?
SQEAKY: So the National Labor Review Board is this federal agency and they have different reasons but the regional one overturned it and said yeah you have to have a new election. Amazon appealed that to a national level is a better way to say that. Yeah, a national level national review board- to a federal level national review board.
SQEAKY: Provided Amazon loses that appeal, there'll be a new election. And that looks like it's what's gonna happen.
MAKO: Because of how many things they fucked up.
SQEAKY: In legal proceedings, sometimes there are cases or situations where judges have to decide which right matters more on balance. Sometimes it's cut and dry where somebody owns a thing and somebody else stole it, other times nobody started off owning the thing and other people have reasonable claims to it and these balance tests typically ask a number of questions and you provide answers for each of these questions and they let you see one way or the other if it was valid or invalid in this case. Some of the tests in this... in this balance test were how many people were influenced. So we could imagine that if only one or two people were intimidated, that's unlikely to affect the outcome.
SOURCE [1:02:44] Opening arguments discussion on why the union election was overturned - https://openargs.com/oa550-oxford-shooters-parents-charged/
SQEAKY: Amazon fails this one miserably because everybody was affected by the alleged intimidation tactic. All 6,000 people were exposed to the implication that their vote wasn't going to be private, that their vote wasn't anonymous, that they- the management was expecting a no vote, there's how close to the election was the alleged infraction. 'Cause if it happened a year ago and then they cleaned up their act, that indicates something. It indicates that the company is operating in good faith. But Amazon kept the stuff running up until the day before the election. And there's a number of things like that. Do you want to describe the thing Amazon was doing or do you want me to lay out some of the things Amazon did?
SOURCE [1:04:02] Union accuses Amazon of illegally interfering with vote - https://apnews.com/article/business-general-news-fe02363fede1e67b57d673260d7f07d4
MAKO: Well the big one that I read about was that they had a mailbox in one of their parking lots.
SQEAKY: Yes, and to to confound that to. All of these ballots were supposed to be mailed in, but the day after it was decided that this was going to be a mail-in election, Amazon worked with the post office to get a mailbox installed in their parking lot the next day.
MAKO: And there was... So that on it's own gave some workers the impression that maybe Amazon was conducting the vote, on top of that allegedly there was a security camera that was pointed at the mailbox...
SQEAKY: Which is one of those implied threats. It was well-known that anybody delivering their mail to this box was on camera. That removes the sense of anonymity that would normally exist with mail-in ballots.
SQEAKY: Now people could still take them home, but Amazon was being quiet about that so that's another thing that was tainted. The process... Does the process enforce anonymity or reject it, it was clearly they were attempting to reject it.
MAKO: Yeah. So people were concerned that yeah they wouldn't be anonymous, they wouldn't be private, and there would be retaliation for their vote.
SQEAKY: They apparently had a small tent placed over the mailbox with a big banner... I'm trying to remember what the banner said but it was a make your voice known or something, but inside the tent they had a small desk or like a folding table where they had managers and Amazon representatives passing out swag like no stickers, little teddy bears that said vote no on unionizing, and they were monitoring people as they were putting ballots in the mailbox.
MAKO: Oh my god.
SQEAKY: If you wanted to vote yes, you had to talk up to someone with the capacity to fire you, put your ballot into a box, and you kind of had to take no sticker with you, 'cause they would know if you didn't take a no sticker at a minimum. And it was unclear how much extra pressure was placed on these people at this point.
SQEAKY: So it might have been to the point where- and there's no allegations of this, but it's not unreasonable to presume that some of the people took the ballots, tried to gauge whether or not it was a yes or a no, and then discarded some of the yeses. 'Cause of the 6,000 people again, only fifty percent voter turnout, or about 3,000 ballots out of the 6,000.
SQEAKY: Some other confounding things that are technically legal that technically don't violate any of these things. Amazon was also mandating that people attend classes. Now this is legal as long as they're paid for it, but in these classes they were shown extreme anti-union propaganda. They did this all the way leading up to the election. So these people have to work so hard and so constantly that they have no time to unionize but have time for propaganda.
MAKO: So feels like just about everything that you can do. We haven't explicitly described intimidation.
SQEAKY: There was no threats of violence. There was the constant implied threat of-
MAKO: Yeah. Okay, so yeah.
SQEAKY: And at this stage is also not the place where we'd get allegations of people getting fired. There's separate court proceedings for that if you are fired for trying to unionize, can file a claim with the NLRB and start a legal proceeding there for it. That's considered a separate matter. So if there were people who were being leaders, then that wouldn't have come up during this proceeding. You can read the whole thing, we have a link to the PDF, the Amazon Bessemer Supplemental Decision PDF. We'll go ahead and include that.
SOURCE [1:07:08] Court Decision overturning election to not unionize- https://openargs.com/wp-content/uploads/Amazon-Bessemer-Supplemental-Decision.pdf
MAKO: As a counterpoint, like an understanding of what other people might say about some of the individual points we make here in particular about unions, I decided to go over to the Heritage Foundation.
SQEAKY: Oh they're always reliable-
MAKO: No they're not.
SQEAKY: -for misinformation.
MAKO: Yeah well okay fine sure.
MAKO: You faked left! I've been thwarted.
SQEAKY: They are full of shit.
MAKO: Bamboozled. Okay, but yeah the Heritage Foundation is a shitshow. They are terrible, abysmal- I remember like the very first time after I found out about the existence of the Heritage Foundation, first thing I did is go over to their website and I look at space. 'Cause I'm like how can- like what even is the right-wing view of space. This is something that should be nonpartisan and the first fucking thing I see is a bunch of articles about how people want to weaponize space. They're like yeah no control of space is a national security issue, we need to arm it.
SQEAKY: The solar system should have more guns, how else can it defend itself from tyrannical stars?
MAKO: Okay. On one hand I understand the argument of well if we don't do it someone else is going to do it, we should be prepared. But like how the fuck is that at the forefront of what you have to say about space. Like, there are so many other better things to cover, I'm not saying you shouldn't have that discussion but that shouldn't be at the fucking forefront. Fuck you Heritage Foundation!
SQEAKY: Do you have any other specific egregious examples of them picking nonsense points of view?
MAKO: Oh you know I do. So...
*Sqeaky whimpers in excitement*
MAKO: Sorry. Brief trip down memory lane. That was my first experience with the Heritage Foundation. Fuck 'em. I decided to go over to Heritage Foundation during the course of the research for this episode and I wanted to see their opinions on unions so I just go over to the search bar, type in "union", and one of the top results that I get is commentary --at least that's what the URL suggests that it is-- where they're talking about the Amazon fulfillment center unionization vote that we were talking about in Bessemer, Alabama. This was posted I think two days, maybe three days, after the results of that vote were initially posted and most of this article of the commentary they're talking about the PRO Act, the Protecting Right to Organize, so it enhances the ability for workers to form unions.
SOURCE [1:09:20] 71% of Amazon Workers Reject Union, but Liberals’ PRO Act Would Undercut That Right to Choose - https://www.heritage.org/jobs-and-labor/commentary/71-amazon-workers-reject-union-liberals-pro-act-would-undercut-right
SQEAKY: Okay so is that accurately named? That's like a liberal piece of legislation that's accurately named or is it Republicans making a thing that's a lie.
MAKO: That is the actual name according- I mean I have the Wikipedia link right here.
SOURCE [1:09:49] Wikipedia on the PRO - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protecting_the_Right_to_Organize_Act
SQEAKY: Okay and it actually does that. Okay.
MAKO: Well the summary that's provided by Wikipedia would amend the National Labor Relations Act of 1935, the Taft-Hartley Act and the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959. It revises definitions under labor law, permits labor unions to encourage participation in secondary strikes, and prohibits employers from litigating against unions which conduct such secondary strikes. It revises the definition of employee, supervisor, and employer to broaden the scope of individuals- Okay, this is taking too long. It does a lot of things and superficially they look like they're good.
SQEAKY: Okay so it's not just a Patriot Act situation where like the Patriot Act sounds like ah I'm a patriot lets do good things and it turns out to be government spying and setting up totalitarian bullshit.
MAKO: Yeah well-
MAKO: The intent appears legitimate.
SQEAKY: Awesome, awesome.
MAKO: And we have links to the Wikipedia article about the PRO Act as well as the congress.gov page that has the full bill. We're gonna provide both of those so anybody that does want to get a closer look at the PRO Act they can absolutely do that.
SOURCE [1:10:47] The actuall information on that PRO from Congress - https://www.congress.gov/bill/117th-congress/house-bill/842?q=%7B%22search%22%3A%5B%22Protecting+the+Right+to+Organize+Act%22%5D%7D&s=3&r=2
MAKO: And this guy at the Heritage Foundation spent probably like three quarters of his article talking about the PRO Act, making all sorts of weird dumb claims, tried to argue that ninety-five percent of people who are in unions don't want to be in unions and they're like even with regards to the union vote he just accepted it as absolute fact that the... it was struck down and was legitimate and just kind of move on and didn't really take time to consider any of the intidimidation. That didn't stop him from trying to argue that the intimidation is something that unions do which okay sure I'm willing to believe that there's a non-zero amount of that but...
SQEAKY: We haven't seen any evidence of that going into this. I mean I'm-
MAKO: They actually do provide sources on unions intimidating people.
SQEAKY: Oh the Heritage Foundation prov- I'm sure these sources will be flawless.
MAKO: Eh, I didn't look too closely at it 'cause it- The further I was going the more kind of outside the scope- Like I don't really want to pick apart the Heritage Foundation although I probably could. I just didn't have the time for it. I just wanted to get an idea of the dissenting view and it's gloriously devoid of nuance, detail, or any kind of objectivity. They just- they make a bunch of claims, some of them are sourced, a lot of them are not, and they just- they gloss over context that would be important that would change the interpretation of certain bits of data, even the claim that they made about like ninety-five percent of people in unions don't want to be in unions is based on like I actually tried to follow the chain of sources and it comes back to the Heritage Foundation's own data collection. So they functionally cited themselves for that claim and it's like...
SQEAKY: At least when we cite one of our other episodes, our other episodes cite sources. Gah.
MAKO: I didn't go super deep into it and it just-
SQEAKY: It's okay. What do you think their opinions is?
MAKO: Well they think unions are a terrible idea. They tried to make the normal conservative rhetoric where like oh yeah, labor unions take money away from you and they didn't acknowledge any of the benefits that you get in return for having- just paying union dues. They talked about people not having the choice to be in a union, they tried to make it sound like that's just a thing all the time, people are sucked into unions against their will which is no, that is not the case. And they tried to say unions won't protect you from certain things, they tried to make the argument that you're better off working directly with your employer, unions are anti-freedom, y'know... All that.
SQEAKY: It's all these talking points that are baseless. 'Cause if people were just better work- The Heritage Foundation is super right-wing and funded by very wealthy people. Why should we trust very wealthy people that say you're better off talking to us directly than going through an intermediary. What kind of ridiculous nonsense is that? And if that were the case, why would the rich people be trying to constantly get rid of the unions? If the workers would get better pay without the union, why would Kellogg's be trying to constantly get rid of the union? It's just- It's so obviously and transparently bullshit.
MAKO: And on that topic, someone who's looking at this potentially for the first time, they're like okay well maybe some groups intimidate over unionizing or not unionizing and it may be some of these things happen but why should I care about being in a union. And so I- again time constraints, I didn't quite collect all the sources I wanted to but I did find one particular source from uh Reuters, the differential pay gap- uh weekly pay gap mind you, changed from uh between non-union workers and union workers in 2013, the average pay-weekly pay gap was twenty dollars. In 2019, that pay gap is now fifty dollars.
SOURCE [1:14:46] Union workers get higher pay, if they can join - https://www.reuters.com/legal/legalindustry/union-workers-get-higher-pay-if-they-can-join-2021-07-12/
SQEAKY: So the average union employee makes fifty dollars a week more?
SQEAKY: So the average union employee, presumably working forty hours a week, makes an extra... an extra dollar an hour. Okay.
MAKO: Something like that, yeah. So you just get paid more. And they also made the point that union workers are on a more predictable schedule. They do tend to work more hours overall, I mean due to their schedules being less volatile.
SQEAKY: Well also, there's a whole class of workers that are underemployed.
SQEAKY: I mean there are a lot of people that want to work long enough to get full-time benefits and often employers like fast food places or retail outlets will intentionally short-change these people and schedule them for twenty hours a week and full-time in that state kicks in at thirty so fuck them.
MAKO: Yeah. And yet being in a union allows you to protect yourself from that kind of shenaniganry. The same article goes on to say that sixty-five percent of Americans view unions favorably, and workers have won seventy-two percent of all union elections held in the past five years which is encouraging.
SQEAKY: That's a pretty big percentage.
MAKO: Yeah. There is a general upward trend for union participation as of recently.
SQEAKY: Since Striketober or since the pandemic?
MAKO: Uh, a little bit before the pandemic but I would imagine the pandemic really caused it to pick up steam.
SQEAKY: Yeah. A whole bunch of people leaving the labor force that are predominately old and had the highest pay and highest skills leaves a gap to be filled that makes sense. There's a very narrow band over which the demand for labor is elastic-
SQEAKY: -and I know I'm using some economist terms here, but the price of a good is considered elastic when it directly responds to supply and demand. 'Cause some things do, right? You don't have to have apples specifically. Like the fruit. So if the price for apples goes up, some percentage of the population will decide to eat less apples. And if apples become much more plentiful, suppliers are likely to try to undersell other apple producers which will create more sales by decreasing the price. But then on the flip side, healthcare. Heart stents. Right, if you need a heart stint it's a little thing they stick in your heart so you don't fuckin' die, right the price for that is inelastic. If you need one, you will- you will get it. It does not matter what it costs 'cause the alternative is death.
SOURCE [1:16:21] Economic Elasticity - https://corporatefinanceinstitute.com/resources/knowledge/economics/elasticity/
SOURCE [1:16:52] Heart Stents, Coronary Stents - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coronary_stent
SQEAKY: So they could cost a million dollars or one dollar and you would buy the same number of heart stents. Labor is somewhere in the middle but closer to inelastic. And there's this very narrow band where negotiation actually exists. If there's two workers for every job, clearly the... the the job providers get to dictate wages, but if there is two jobs for every worker, clearly the workers get to decide. And there's this really narrow band around like two percent unemployment where it's almost perfectly balanced where negotiation actually matters and works. But you tilt a little bit in favor, like you tilt a little bit in favor of people either way, so if you get up to like six percent unemployment, that's almost the same as having two jobs- I'm sorry, two workers for every job. 'Cause six percent unemployment means if I'm an employer I can find somebody else. And on the flip side if you're at a hundred percent employment, it's I better hang on to every single worker I have, functionally there are zero employers out there. Even at two percent, 'cause like what are the chances I'm gonna find an employer with an appropriate skill set, I'm gonna have to pay a lot of money for that if I am an employer. So there's this really narrow window where anything like normal supply and demand matters. And the pandemic just took a ton of people out of the job market by killing them or scaring them away from COVID and yeah, it's- we're experiencing elasticity right now and it's different and frightening for a lot of people. It could go either way in the future. Sorry, I totally took your point and ran somewhere weird with it.
MAKO: Nah it's fine.
SQEAKY: You were saying about pay gaps, union benefits I think?
MAKO: Well just why you want to be in a union and pay is the big one. They talk about union dues and okay yeah sure, when you're in a union you are going to pay dues, but you are going to make more than that. Like potentially a lot more than that depending on the specifics of the job from just the negotiating power you get from being in the union.
SQEAKY: Yeah if you gotta pay twenty dollars a month to be in a union and you get an extra fifty dollars a week, that's a no-brainer you do that.
MAKO: Yeah. You might get butthurt over somebody saying that you get twenty dollars less a month, but honestly get the fuck over it, you're still making more, more is good.
SQEAKY: It's like the people who say I don't wanna make more money 'cause I'll get taxed more.
MAKO: Progessive taxes, people forget how those work.
SQEAKY: Yeah every time you make more the new money is taxed at a higher rate, you'll never wind up being in a situation where an extra dollar will cost you two dollars in taxes, that just doesn't exist.
MAKO: Yeah. It doesn't exist at all and anyone trying to argue otherwise is a fucking liar or a fucking idiot. Full stop.
SQEAKY: Or foreign. We don't know the laws in all the places.
MAKO: I heard about this psychological test-
MAKO: -where... So you have two people, person A and person B, and person A receives money. Let's say a hundred dollars. And they have to make a proposal for how that money is split between them and person B. And person B gets to decide yes or no.
SOURCE [1:19:46] Dictator game from 90s - http://faculty.ucr.edu/~ramiz/papers/BKZ-IJGT.pdf
SOURCE [1:19:46] Dictator game an article about meta-analysis - https://ivypanda.com/essays/dictator-game-experiment-and-behavioral-economics/
SQEAKY: And if they say yes, both of them get the money and if they say no all the money is discarded?
SQEAKY: Okay. I've heard of similar experiments. But there's lots of conclusions and lots of people who ran them so what happened in the one you're recalling?
MAKO: From what I read there was a surprisingly- a surprising number of people that when things skewed heavily towards person A, like say person A says oh lets do an 80/20 split and A keeps eighty and B gets twenty, then B- and even when it skews even heavier towards A especially, B starts saying no a whole lot. And they're both out money, but like the by just the raw logic of it, even if it's 99/1, B is still getting one extra dollar they wouldn't get otherwise like...
SQEAKY: So I've seen that conclusion. I've also seen the one where they bring in people from different cultures. 'Cause the result you're talking is what happens when you expose Americans and Europeans to this. But you expose Africans and Asians you get slightly different results. The non-western cultures are much more tolerant and they propose the ninety-nine to one logic that you described where if you're just looking myopically at this one decision, I think the American and European spite defense where it's like fuck you I'm not taking thirty when you're taking seventy, I think that notion is a cultural response to this kind of unfairness.
SQEAKY: And if that spite response is well developed and omnipresent in society then maybe, hopefully you'll have fewer- less wealth inequality 'cause you'll have less unfair deals? I don't know.
MAKO: But I see this particular thought experiment as being similar to how a lot of conservatives are reacting to the idea of union dues. They're like you're taking my money, fuck you, and they're not thinking that like well sure, but like look at all the benefits you're getting including monetary. You're still walking away with more money and you get all these other benefits.
SQEAKY: Okay I see how you're connecting it. That makes sense where they would rather accept less money instead of building a relationship and getting more money even if they have to pay a little bit of money for that relationship.
MAKO: Because it's being framed as it's something's being- that you earned is being taken from you.
SQEAKY: Yeah and the conservatives who feel that way also pretend like they earn all the money that they get from the job that all jobs are a team effort. If you're making money all by yourself, what you have is a sole proprietorship, not a job. And even then you're not earning all the money by yourself, you're a member of society. You didn't invent the concept of money, somebody else did that at a minimum. But whatever you buy, that is your product. If you're a plumber right, you need to buy pipes and fittings and tools, you didn't make those. No man is an island. We all exist in this interactive interdependent thing and the people who hold that logic, that thought process that you just said, they skip that in my experience.
SQEAKY: I don't have good sources for that, that is just my personal experience dealing with people that say that type of shit.
MAKO: Yeah it reminds me of people talking about taxes and how they don't want to pay them and then...
SQEAKY: Like any idiot who fuckin' says taxation is theft.
MAKO: Yeah those people.
SQEAKY: I hear that shit constantly and then I'm like well don't you like having roads? They're like I could pay for toll roads and I'm like no you fucking couldn't, no you fucking couldn't.
MAKO: Wasn't there a really good post somewhere, maybe it was Reddit, where somebody who was like okay I propose that we give the corporations the ability to not pay taxes but in exchange they can't interact with anything from the government. And like they start off by saying okay well that means you're no longer allowed to use the court system. If you have-
SQEAKY: That's amazing.
MAKO: -a legal complaint to make, you're not paying taxes you're not allowed to use this. You can't have us arbitrate any of your problems.
SQEAKY: That's amazing.
MAKO: And like okay emergency things. Your building catches on fire? Well I hope you have your own subcontractor that's a fire department because the municipal fire department is not going to come to your aid.
MAKO: That one's a little more extreme 'cause death is involved. I mean they listed off a really long list of all the different things-
MAKO: -that the government does and they're just like nope.
SQEAKY: Yeah it just doesn't make sense to have some of these things operate in a free market. We talked about elasticity and inelasticity for just a few minutes. The free market doesn't function adequately for inelastic goods. Like justice. Justice isn't a good you can buy on the free market. You have to have a court system and a police system separate and distinguished from the market or just shit doesn't work. And then these people will sometimes try to compromise with you on this and be like why don't we have taxes and you just pay for the ones you wanna use.
MAKO: Oh my god.
SQEAKY: Fucking idiot. You- It- It's not how risk aggregation works. We all need to pay for the fire department because if you just pay for your shit when you have a goddamned fire, no one will be able to afford it. Your fire is gonna cost you a fuckload of money per instance, so we all pay a little bit of taxes all the time constantly to be able to handle it when it does happen. And otherwise there just wouldn't be a fire department.
SQEAKY: I don't know what a fire engine costs. But I know it costs enough that you can't make a phone call and get one. Right if you're building is burning you can not go buy a fire truck and extinguish your burning building in a timely fashion. Somebody has to have the fire truck ready all the time and primed and going, so at a minimum it has to be some sort of insurance-like setup where it's going on constantly but these hyper capitalists always wanna dodge insurance too. They're interested in saving money now and keeping the benefits. It's always hypocrisy. It's never a genuine point. And the people who do put it out there genuinely, they just haven't thought it through. They're not- they're either operating with dysevidentia or they're probably a little bit stupid. Most of these people.
MAKO: That lines up with my individual experience with other people trying to make these claims.
SQEAKY: Yeah the vast majority know that that shit wouldn't work and they're just hypocrites.
MAKO: Yeah. We people being weird about these things.
SQEAKY: We are way off in the weeds.
MAKO: Yeah we are. I'm trying to think how we-
SQEAKY: We did touch on all of our labor points though didn't we?
MAKO: I don't- I think we missed one or two so far.
SQEAKY: Um Starbucks was one we missed.
MAKO: Yeah Starbucks, yeah go for Starbucks.
SQEAKY: Yeah Brittany Harrison. Okay, so many of us have heard recently that Starbucks had their first store in the U.S. successfully vote to unionize. That's like one Starbucks location. I don't know how big it is, could be a dozen, could be a fifty people, but they agreed to form a union to ensure their safety and fair wage and some scheduling concerns during the pandemic. Because they were having to deal with people that were unmasked, not socially distancing, not keeping clean, all the general stresses that come with working in a fast food environment and none of it was good. It's not a good place to be, you're not getting paid a living wage, and you can go on with those level of complaints. And they were getting help from Brittany Harrison who was a manager of Starbucks from California and Arizona, she worked in different places at different times, and she was fired from Starbucks while she had... well cancer. She lost her healthcare 'cause healthcare's tied to our jobs in this country. And her and the other people were generally not making a living wage so some of these people involved in this were having to work multiple jobs. Some people were making as few as- or as little as ten dollars an hour, I don't know if you've seen what you can get for ten dollars an hour but it's not a great- it doesn't set you up to live in a high-quality living situation, it doesn't get you high-quality food, doesn't get you a good car.
SQEAKY: So you're not gonna be a good employee, you're not going to be highly functional, you're not going to be living in a two-story house with a car that's made in the last decade, you're just going to be barely getting to work and you're going to be working your ass off to pay for a closet to live in. And I'm not trying to be derogatory, I mean I've had those small apartments before, but it's not where you wanna be. These workers and their votes still need to go through the National Labor Review Board to verify the vote so of course Starbucks will challenge it. But these people will probably have a better life for themselves in the coming years and months once this contract negotiation completes once they have a union, and Starbucks was fighting it every step of the way. Starbucks said they didn't want it, Starbucks said that their employees were paid well enough, they said that the price of the food and the things would go up, but if you look at the unionized things that we have, shipping internationally on boats is entirely unionized. It's cheap.
SOURCE [1:27:30] Longshoreman's union made shipping more efficient - https://www.amazon.com/Box-Shipping-Container-Smaller-Economy/dp/0691170819/ref=sr_1_3?keywords=box+book+about+shipping+container&qid=1639633055&sr=8-3
SQEAKY: We know this 'cause we order things from China all the time. They come on those boats. Frosted Flakes are cheap. We know that's made by a union. Just every good like that is cheap and effective and the people who have it make a living wage, and the CEO of Starbucks, a man named Johnson, makes 15,000,000 dollars a year and he's trying to tell me it's okay that one of his workers is making 10.25 and was fired for trying to unionize even though he needed a second job to keep himself from being homeless or back to Brittany Harrison, this woman, who had cancer and was fired for trying to unionize after she was systematic- I don't want to say systematically abused but systematically mistreated where she either abused her employees or she couldn't make her metrics. This is... yeah, I'm not going to side with the millionaire on this. If my coffee costs an extra something more, so be it. But it won't. It will probably get cheaper because that's how this usually works. The business usually gets more efficient when the employees care about participating in the business. That's not the main point here, it's these people deserve a living wage.
SQEAKY: Ah my sources for that one. I cite the New York Post for the basics of the story, The Guardian has some details for people that were fired for attempting to unionize previously. Jacobin Magazine and a video on Reddit made with the participation of Brittany Harrison have details about her life and her story and some of the internal documents she captured from Starbucks going all anti-union on these other people.
SOURCE [1:27:57] Starbucks unionizing - https://nypost.com/2021/12/09/starbucks-workers-vote-to-unionize-buffalo-new-york-store/
SOURCE [1:28:41] Starbucks has history of anti-union behavior - https://www.theguardian.com/business/2020/feb/25/starbucks-worker-labor-unions-organizing
SOURCE [1:28:41] Fired brittany Harrison a union organize - https://www.jacobinmag.com/2021/12/starbucks-union-vote-buffalo-elmwood-workers-united
SOURCE [1:28:54] Has cancer and fired lost health insurance - https://www.reddit.com/r/worldnewsvideo/comments/rf66x3/brittany_harrison_a_former_starbucks_worker_who/
MAKO: On the topic of unions. There's... There are some negatives that can be said about unions. Uh, probably the biggest most glaring negative- and actually depending on how you look at it it can be viewed as a positive as twisted as that may sound, but the we touched on this last time we talked about unions, specifically police unions exist. They are very very strong, they do a lot of good for the police officers, and even to the point where it starts being questionable like letting murderers get away with murder.
SQEAKY: Yeah if unions are so bad then why do police officers have 'em? Just that question right there. That's really damning to a lot of conservative viewpoints on this.
MAKO: Yeah. So, letting people get away with murder is pretty shitty but it speaks to the strength of unions when they work.
SQEAKY: And somehow I don't think the Starbucks and the Amazon union is going to aid and abett murder.
MAKO: No... no definitely not. But the police union example is a grossly exaggerated- well still accurate, but exaggerated to the point that I do want to bring up is that sometimes unions are capable of protecting people that shouldn't be protected. And if you have enough union jobs, you are probably going to stumble upon someone that you feel shouldn't be protected by the union. They are a liability, they drop morale, maybe this is... In some cases I imagine this is a matter of judgment where you think that someone has a particular problem that makes them unemployment but judgements like that, they can be flawed. Something that's a little less susceptible to the issue of judgment. Maybe... Like I've heard stories of people in unions being protected after they sexually harassed women in the workplace. That's something that should not happen. I personally have interacted with- I mean I wasn't in the same union working the same job but I was interacting with people who were in said union working this job but like in a college, there was a secretary for a particular office. She was a bit lazy and college students would occasionally come to her to give her paperwork to be passed along in order to complete their coursework... coursework's a bad word. To complete what they need in order to get their degree.
SQEAKY: To complete like the procedures.
MAKO: Yeah. And being lazy she would just stuff it into one of her desk drawers and then just not touch it. This was found out later by one of the other secretaries when one of the students came looking for answers and the... yeah. They did a search, they managed to find this paperwork and they found that it was never passed along, it was never filed. And nothing was ever done about it. And this was months after the paperwork was handed in. And this other student was denied their degree as a result of this laziness. She was not fired because she was protected by the union.
SQEAKY: Denied their degree or their degree was delayed?
MAKO: Well up to that point their degree was denied. Uh, but I don't know what happened to them after the fact. And I don't know what other rules was there, I don't know if that delay incurred extra issues, I don't know I didn't really stay interacting with these people for long enough to figure out what happened after the fact but I will say at a minimum, delayed by months as a result of laziness. That kind of negligence on the job should get you fired. That person should not have been defended. And unions in some cases can defend people that don't deserve defending, that can be demoralizing to the other workers as well as the employers and yeah, that's shitty. Do enough union jobs, talk to enough people that are working union jobs, you're going to find somebody that has a story like this. But despite that, being in a union is just better for most people.
SQEAKY: My response to that whole anecdote is that we have so few people in unions right now that I don't know anyone in that situation and if we had more people in unions, we would have more people with things like living wages, we would have less homelessness...
SQEAKY: ...more healthcare coverage, then when we're there we'll have more time to discuss what we'll do about the problems that that better situation creates. This is exactly 'but sometimes' that I mentioned in the beginning of the episode.
SQEAKY: Because but sometimes unions fail in this corner case. Well when we get to that corner case we'll come up with a solution. I don't know what the strap-on heater for this solution is to melt the snow of this person's shittiness away, but we can come up with one.
SQEAKY: As a society we are very smart. We can figure this out.
MAKO: Nitpicking at your phrasing, the people that have these anecdotes, they're suffering the problem now, but that's secondary to just the benefits from everything.
SQEAKY: Yeah. And the the amount of people suffering from these problems is both much bigger and the problems are much larger.
SQEAKY: The problems from not having unions is many thousands or tens of thousands more people are homeless than should be. Millions of Americans are drastically underpaid. People are dying. This Brittany Harrison woman might die because she tried to organize a union. Just she wanted fair pay for the people she worked with and that's going to get her killed so. And-
MAKO: Compare that to suffering a shitty coworker like honestly quit your bitching is what it comes down to.
SQEAKY: I don't wanna say that callously, I'm acknowledging that's a real problem.
MAKO: Well yeah it is.
SQEAKY: But yeah, it's- it is- we can't solve that problem until we've solved the much more severe problems because that will free up a lot of resources. As a societal thing we can't solve everyone's degree being delayed until we have- and we don't have to have it perfectly solved, but we need to largely have these other basic equality problems solved because we need more people to deal with things to build these efficient systems. Whatever this woman was doing with this paperwork, we can probably just obviate her position by replacing it with a piece of software.
SQEAKY: But half our fuckin' software developers are poor and homeless 'cause they can't good jobs 'cause they're replaced every six months by whatever contracting bullshit is out there at the moment. Well we're not gonna get that. And same with police unions. If we had more unions we could probably have more people negotiating on behalf of the victims of police brutality.
MAKO: They'd certainly have more resources to pursue more court cases. Absolutely.
SQEAKY: Yeah. I'm not saying that's some magical ideal solution, wherever we're going we'll have new problems. It's just these other problems are so big we have to solve them. We'll have to solve wealth inequality in a fundamental way. And once we solve that maybe the new problems that we have look totally different but they certainly won't be worse than the problems we have.
MAKO: Yeah it's difficult to imagine problems worse than people literally dying, literally being homeless, unless the problems result in more death, more homeless, but like from all the unionization we've seen so far that's just not the case. We have no reason to think that it's gonna go there.
SQEAKY: What if uh... What if they make a homeless union? They're gonna fight for structural homelessness?
SQEAKY: I don't know. Just being contrate. No I- There's no evidence to indicate that would happen. There are... unintended consequences, and knock-on effects are a real thing-
SQEAKY: -but again, if we do somehow discover that unions are that much worse, we will have passed through a better place and then we can pass rules that limit the unions at that point. So if we learn that having eighty-percent of our workforce unionized is somehow terrible economically, fine. We'll pass laws or something that cap that somewhere. Whatever. We'll find that solution then. We can't solve the problems we don't have right now. And we'll be changing the environment so much getting to that new place maybe this problem won't exist. Maybe just having better regulation and better oversight of the unions will make these people that are protected by the unions go away. I don't know, maybe the problem will get ten times worse. But certainly that will be better than having 27,000,000 Americans without healthcare 'cause they can't get proper full-time employment.
MAKO: Just wanted bring up the-
SQEAKY: The naysaying that we will get?
MAKO: The naysaying that I've already gotten but yeah.
SQEAKY: Did a listener bring that to your attention?
SQEAKY: Oh that's good. I'm glad we're getting more feedback from people. But sounds like you're just getting feedback to argue with people.
SQEAKY: I'm getting people that just want to swap shoutouts and you're getting arguments.
MAKO: Well it's not really arguments they're just like yeah you guys make good points but you're not considering this viewpoint it's like oh, it's-
SQEAKY: Yeah we did miss like one on the gun episode. Remember that uh... We had one listener that came back to us who's like uh but I need to shoot feral hogs and I'm like is this a fucking meme? Like nah, seriously sometimes I have like thirty to fifty feral hogs I gotta shoot like you know what, I guess guns are the right tool.
MAKO: Yeah, yeah. Well part of the problem with things like this union discussion it's not that we didn't think of it, it's that y'know we have finite time and if we try to take the leave no stone unturned tactic to it then suddenly our one to two hour long episodes become six to twelve hour long episodes so I mean yeah focus on the big things.
SQEAKY: We could easily have a podcast- not a podcast episode, a whole podcast series on nothing but the pros and cons of unions. It is a very nuanced and in depth topic.
MAKO: So we tend to start out just focusing on the big obvious details and then when we come back and revisit topics like now we will cover some of the more nuanced details and that's just, that's how we do. It's not that we don't really consider it, it's just how we've decided to format the show.
SQEAKY: Yeah. Alright so I guess thank you all for listening.
MAKO: Thanks for listening!
SQEAKY: You do that on purpose?
SQEAKY: Super goofy happiness?
*Sqeaky and Mako make weird noises*
MAKO: Only when we start recording do I realize how noisy my mouth is.
*Mako makes a mouth noise*
SQEAKY, with extra mouth noise: Moist.
MAKO, with extra mouth noise: Moist.
SQEAKY, with extra extra mouth noise: Moist.
*Sqeaky makes mouth noises*
*Mako makes noises*
SQEAKY: Thanks to Qeldaar for video and graphics work.
MAKO: And thanks to AlphaWolf294 for transcription.
SQEAKY: Thanks to all of our Patreon supporters. Our supporters at the Evidence Investigator level or higher include Jarod, DuktTape, Qeldaar, Steven Larabee, and Kaiju Halina.
MAKO: Thanks for listening and don't forget to like, subscribe, leave a review, or tell a friend.
SQEAKY: If you aren't sure where to do that you can read the show notes, read the transcripts, and listen online at dysevidentia.com. Support us financially at patreon.com/dysevidentia. Participate at our subreddit, r/dysevidentia. Tweet at us @Dysevidentia, chat on our Discord server or watch us on YouTube, or email us at email@example.com.
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MAKO: Copyright 2021, BlackTopp Studios, Inc. Intro music was Slow by Pit X, used with permission.
SQEAKY: I suspect lots of streamers are talking at a normal voice like I am. Which is loud for a normal voice, but it's not obnoxious.
MAKO: Eh... Maybe- Well definitely some of them. But I can think of a few that that's not the case for.
SQEAKY: You can also have a really quiet environment and totally crank the gain.
MAKO, gain cranked: I suppose.
SQEAKY: But I just mean you see these wavy lines here?
MAKO: No, the roll of paper towels is in my way.
*Sqeaky smacks them out of the way. What were they doing there...*
MAKO: Yes I see them.
SQEAKY: The microphone picked up me just batting it aside. But you can see how when I talk quiet there's a little bit.
SQEAKY: And when I talk in the announcer voice I'm getting real waves. And this is on 2X zoom. This is ready for people to be talking right up to the limit which I am not comfortable with because I want to have some dynamic range.
MAKO: Dynamic range is good.
SQEAKY: But you don't have any, you're just fucking quiet.
MAKO: I just tried to be loud there and my lines are nowhere near yours.
SQEAKY: And your gain is much fucking higher.
MAKO: Yeah I-
SQEAKY: Maybe not much higher. Your gain is like ten percent higher than mine.
MAKO: Okay well fine.
SQEAKY: I mean I can ca- I can max your gain but then we start getting background noise.
MAKO: Yeah artifacts and bullshit, yeah yeah. Been there.
SQEAKY: How close are you to the mic?
MAKO: Like my nose is slightly pressing in the pop filter.
SQEAKY: Yeah that's how we should be doing it with our setup.
SQEAKY: Okay. You just need to practice be-
MAKO, loud: Being loud!
SQEAKY: You can be loud without being PANICKED!
MAKO: Can I? CAN I?!
SQEAKY: Most humans can. So maybe. We have established you're hologram, haven't we?
MAKO: You've established question mark?
SQEAKY: I've asserted you're a hologram.
MAKO: There we go.
SQEAKY: I don't know if we've verified this in any way. I've never found your holo emitter. I presume you treat it much like a lich would treat their phylactery. Kept it hidden.
MAKO: That's just the responsible way to go.
SQEAKY: So you admit it. You're a lich.
MAKO: Holographic lich?
SQEAKY: A hololich? Keep your holographic emitter phylactery hidden away and anytime anyone kills you your projection just reappears?
MAKO: I mean, yeah. Can destroy the projection but not the emitter. That logic flows.
SQEAKY: So every time we fight you nothing happens and you can't really hurt us either because you're made of light, but UV light does give us cancer so after thirty years you win by default.
MAKO: I'm a winner!
SQEAKY: I don't see where the "Yay!" put you. There it is, it put you at minus fifteen. This is some bullshit.
SQEAKY: You ready to start doing some recording?