Friday, April 17, the UUCB Social Justice Committee and the Greater Binghamton Labor-Religion Coalition hosted a forum about current wage theft affecting assembly line workers, university adjunct faculty and teaching assistants and fast food workers. Mandatory overtime (or be fired), changing job/tenure requirements, high temperatures, and diluted wages cause hunger, stress and even physical disability.
Reynolds (Aluminum) has 45 Pactiv subsidiaries in 16 US states (Canandaigua and Plattsburg, NY) that produce the food packaging products and utensils used by Binghamton University/Sodexho, Starbucks, etc. Workers at the Kearney, NJ plant who attempted to form a union at Pactiv were intimidated, fired, and one so disabled she needed metal rods in her back before Pactiv closed the plant to end their democratic rights.
Rank Group/Wells Fargo, the parent company of Reynolds, is a worldwide packaging(Hefty bags) empire under its billionaire owner Graeme Hart, New Zealand’s richest man, $7.3B. Hart has a new yacht built at Kleven Verft in the community of Ulstein in Norway. The yard specializes in off-shore vessels and the 107-meter long yacht is constructed to sail under rough conditions, equipped with helicopter deck, hangar and accommodation for 60 persons, useful at his 2009 bought company called Knight Services (Fiji). The seller of the company, Pacific Islands Partnership (PIP), markets 99-year leases on Fijian islands.
Locally, as reported by several BU students, they have attempted to meet with President H. Stenger to no avail; his Administrative Chief of Staff, Terrence Kane, former State regional director of economic development, barely gave the activists lip service nor listened to their petition to divest from such companies/products.
To learn more: www.aintiawoman.org, www.Pactiv.com, www.boycottreynolds.org/petition, http://www.indeed.com/cmp/Pactiv/reviews
www.nmass.org (national mobilization against sweatshops);