News in Brief: Fast Food Workers to Vote on Joining Wobblies, and More

Thursday, 21 October 2010 15:02 By Mike Ludwig, t r u t h o u t | News in Brief | name.

Fast Food Workers to Vote on Joining Wobblies

On Friday, the often eccentric and low-paid workers at Jimmy John's sandwich franchises in Minnesota will vote on unionizing with the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), according to The New York Times. Most workers make minimum wage ($7.25) and are fed up with uncertain hours and cranky bosses. The local boss, Milwaukee franchisee Mike Mulligan, told the Times that his portion of the fast-food chain is under attack by a "dangerous socialist-anarchist organization." Some of his workers accuse him of red baiting, and he spends $3,000 a day on a union busting firm, according to the IWW. Jimmy John's is a fast-food sandwich chain that often pops up in Midwest college towns and bohemian neighborhoods and is notorious among the youth for subjecting workers to low pay and harassment. The historic IWW union (better known as the Wobblies), currently boasts 1,600 members, and most recently made headlines during an attempt at organizing Starbucks' coffee baristas.

Obama Losing Support of Voters in Crucial Districts

A majority of people voting in crucial midterm Congressional elections say that President Barack Obama either brought no change to America or change for the worse, according to a new poll by The Hill. Only 26 percent of voters in ten competitive House districts say Obama has delivered on his promise to bring change to America, while 41 percent of voters say he has brought change for the worse, and 30 percent say he has made no difference in Washington.

Green Party Attacks Democrats for Shifting Right

A Green Party official told RawStory.com that the Democratic Party has shifted to the right and it's time for liberal voters to consider an alternative. "This is a very opportune moment to tell people that whether you elect Democrats or Republicans, you're basically getting a GOP agenda," said Green Party spokesmen Scott McLarty. The Democrats are moving right on issues like health care and climate change, and have gone along with Republicans by supporting the wars and military spending, according to McLarty.

Tons of Marijuana Burned in Mexico

The Mexican government held a media event and burned a massive 134-ton pile of confiscated marijuana on Thursday, according to The New York Times. The giant pot bonfire in Tijuana is meant to hype a government victory in Mexico's bloody drug war. The weed is expected to burn for days and came from the largest bust in the country's history.

Obama's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" Challenge Is Traditional, Not Mandatory

A recent Huffington Post article explains the legal tradition behind the Obama administration's decision to challenge a federal judge's ruling that declared the "don't ask, don't tell" unconstitutional despite the President Obama's effort to repeal the ban on openly gay military members. The Department of Justice is generally charged with defending laws enacted by Congress. But as a prominent gay rights attorney pointed out on Tuesday, exceptions have been made on the federal level. The Huffington Pos pointed out that the George H. Bush administration's Justice Department refused to defend a 1992 cable television law that the former president originally vetoed because he believed it was unconstitutional.

Mike Ludwig

Mike Ludwig is a Truthout Fellow.

Last modified on Thursday, 21 October 2010 15:12