Speakout is Truthout's treasure chest for bloggy, quirky, personally reflective, or especially activism-focused pieces. Speakout articles represent the perspectives of their authors, and not those of Truthout.
During one of his early morning shifts, Jose Melena stepped into a 35-foot-long oven and began loading pallets of canned tuna at a Bumble Bee Foods plant. Not realizing Melena was inside, fellow employees shut the machine door behind him and turned on the oven. With temperatures reaching about 270 degrees, he was cooked to death.
In what is being called the largest known settlement in California criminal prosecution history for felony workplace safety violations involving a single victim, Bumble Bee Foods was ordered to pay $6 million for "willfully violating worker safety rules." In addition to charging the company, prosecutors filed felony charges against the former Bumble Bee Foods safety manager and company director of plant operations for willfully violating the U.S. Department of Labor's (DOL) Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) worker health and safetyprotocols governing employees and hazardous machinery.
EU trade deals with Canada and the US could endanger citizens' rights to basic services like water and health, as negotiators are doing the work of some of the EU's most powerful corporate lobby groups in pushing an aggressive market opening agenda in the public sector.
Public services in the European Union (EU) are under threat from international trade negotiations that endanger governments' ability to regulate and citizens' rights to access basic services like water, health, and energy, for the sake of corporate profits. The EU's CETA (Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement) agreement with Canada, the ratification of which could begin in 2016, and the TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership) treaty under negotiation with the United States are the latest culmination in such efforts. In a worst case scenario, they could lock in public services into a commercialisation from which they will not recover – no matter how damaging to welfare the results may be.
What's in a prize? The politics of distribution versus growth.
On October 14, in Des Moines, Iowa, the Food Sovereignty Prize will be awarded to the Federation of Southern Cooperatives, run by African-American farmers of the southern United States and to OFRANEH - the Black Fraternal Organization of Honduras (Organización Fraternal Negra Hondureña).
The next day, hundreds of distinguished international guests will also gather in Des Moines, Iowa as Sir Fazle Hasan Abed accepts the World Food Prize in the name of BRAC - the world's largest non-governmental rural development agency.
Both prizes are awarded in recognition of the fight against hunger. That's where the similarity ends and the lesson begins.
Jorge Risquet was like the brother I never had. We had been working together since 1994. He had been selected by Fidel and Raúl Castro to oversee my access to the closed Cuban archives, and he headed the declassification commission that was created for my research on Cuban policy in Africa.
Ours began as a good professional relationship. I appreciated Risquet's intelligence, his profound knowledge of Africa, his sense of humor. It was pleasant to work with him, and it was useful: Risquet was an incisive critic and on many occasions he helped me understand that my analysis of certain aspects of Cuba's policy in Africa was mistaken.
With the passing of time, my respect and admiration for Risquet turned into a friendship that became ever deeper. For more than two decades, for me he became a brother, the only brother I ever had. The void his death has left in my life is immense.
Across the world, women are on the frontlines of environmental and social degradation. Now, with ever-greater strength and resolve, they are standing up to reclaim their position at the forefront of movements to protect Mother Earth and revision and rebuild a healthy, equitable future for all.
On September 29, 2015, women from more than 50 countries joined the Global Women's Climate Justice Day of Action, rising to make it vividly clear that women's voices and leadership are central to just and effective action on climate change.
In the past few weeks, the problem of lead in Flint's drinking water has quickly gone from being a story largely ignored by the mainstream media to a scandal that's making headlines nationally.
Faced with overwhelming evidence, state and local officials who adamantly insisted for months that there was no problem have been forced to admit that their unequivocal assurances were completely false.
For interest groups that sought to influence Washington's thinking on the massive trade package set to bind together 40 percent of the world's economy, Monday's announcement of an agreement on the terms of the Trans-Pacific Partnership was a long time coming.
Over eight years of negotiations, 487 clients paid lobbyists to meet with or contact lawmakers and administration officials to discuss the trade pact, a Center for Responsive Politics analysis of lobbying data shows.
Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton's plan for cracking down on gun violence faces long odds given a Congress that has largely failed to pass gun control legislation for years and receives millions of dollars from gun rights groups every election cycle.
Which is why Clinton - speaking in New Hampshire on Monday after a shooting left 10 people dead at Umpqua Community College in Oregon last week - said she would take executive action if necessary.
September 11, 2001, was a tragic day for the entire world and for me personally. My 25-year-old niece, Katie McCloskey, was working on the 97th floor of the World Trade Center when American Airlines Flight 11 struck the North Tower. My high school friend, Ken Waldie, was aboard that jetliner. Both perished that morning. In the following days, I began to consider how peace might be achieved if people could begin to see each other as human beings.
Cops without guns? Snort. Impossible. Who is going to stop the next mass shooting slaughter?
Well, not so fast. There are a few folks who remain quite cross about police who kill unarmed people. Those unarmed people tend to fall into two categories - people of color or people suffering a mental health crisis.