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Cramm for 2/11/21
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THE HIGHLIGHTS

Amazon has its mind on unions. 

 

THE BACKGROUND. 

Put simply, a union is an organization of workers who get together to do a number of things. Think: improve safety standards, secure more favorable working conditions, negotiate benefits...you get the idea. There are unions for all kinds of trades and bizes - and they can be incredibly powerful. 

 

THE HAPPENINGS. 

Enter: Amazon. For forever, the biz has been pushing back against attempts to unionize. But lately, it looks like those attempts have been intensifying. Hint: in a suburb of Birmingham, Alabama, warehouse workers have begun voting on whether to form a union. You read that right. 

 

THE REACTION. 

Amazon is not a fan of the idea. At all. Already, they’ve hired a consultant whose firm specializes in “maintaining a union free workplace.” They’ve also pulled workers into meetings letting them know that Amazon believes unions are an unnecessary expense - not to mention sent text messages and posted anti-union signs in bathrooms. They even tried to delay the vote by demanding it be held in-person - to which the National Labor Relations Board said ‘not happening.’ But not everyone at Amazon’s leadership likes these tactics. See: a group of more than 70 Amazon investors is urging the biz to tone things down and stay “neutral.”

 

THE TAKE. 

If these workers do form a union, it’ll be the first in Amazon’s 27 year history. TBD.


THE ACTION

TRUMP: Yesterday was Day 2 of Trump’s impeachment trial. As always, a lot went down - mostly having to do with the prosecution trying to provide evidence that ex-prez Trump incited violence at the Capitol. Intro a seven hour presentation linking videos of Trump to some never-before-seen footage of the Capitol attack. Either way, it looks like most Republicans are sticking with their plan of voting against a conviction. In other news, Georgia’s Fulton County hasn’t forgotten about that phone call between Trump and Georgia’s sec of state, Brad Raffensperger. Yep, that’s the one where Trump urged Raffensperger to “find” enough votes to win him the state. Now, Georgia’s DA is opening a criminal investigation into the call. 

 

WORLD: All eyes are on India and China. Reminder: for forever, China and India have been fighting over who gets what part of their border, which passes through the Himalayas. Cue a truce in 1962 that established a 2,100-mile long Line of Actual Control - a truce that didn’t exactly cut the tension. Case in point: over the summer, at least 20 Indian soldiers were killed in clashes during violent clashes with Chinese soldiers at the border. Later, both sides reassured everyone they wanted peace - and recently, they followed up on that promise by agreeing to pull troops back. Stay tuned. Meanwhile, Prez Joe Biden just ordered sanctions against Myanmar after the military took over in a coup. Suspense, thick. 

 

CORONAVIRUS: The UK variant is continuing to spread throughout the US, even as overall cases fall. At the same time, more and more states are loosening virus restrictions. Outside of the US, German Chancellor Angela Merkel is warning that the new strains could “destroy” any progress they’ve made against the virus. Reassuring. Meanwhile, the Centers for Disease Control has some news. First off: they’re now rec’ing tight-fit masks or double masking to protect against the virus. The agency says everyone doing so could decrease transmission of the virus by up to 96.5 percent. And in other news, the CDC says people who’ve gotten both vaccine shots don’t have to quarantine if they’re exposed to someone with the virus. 


WHAT TO KNOW

TikTok:” what’s no longer being sold. Guess we really did leave some stuff in 2020. 


SAY WHAT?

“Pigs can play video games with their snouts, scientists find” - an actual headline. Another edition of totally useless facts we didn’t need to know. 

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