IFCO profits from immigrant labor
Re “Movement presses on in wake of raids, arrests” (PWW 4/29-5/5): I am a former employee from IFCO Systems – Valley Crating Inc. in Ohio. I witnessed how these people are treated. IFCO herds them around like livestock. In fact the IFCO in Smithville, Ohio, was not raided. IFCO prefers to employ “illegals.” This is their way of doing business — less wages and they get to push these poor people around with the threat of deportation if they talk back or don’t work the 60-hour workweek.
If you go to IFCO as a “legal” American looking for work you more than likely will not get hired, because IFCO would pay $10 to $12 an hour while they can get away with paying $6 an hour for those who aren’t “legal.” Not to mention out of that $6 an hour IFCO deducts $50 a week for rent and $15 a week for transportation to and from work.
When I worked at IFCO I was making $12.50 an hour and working side by side with “illegal” workers doing the same job as me, and even some of them doing a better job than me, and they got paid $5 or $6 an hour.

A former IFCO worker
Via e-mail

Bottomless pit?
How can we as Americans have confidence in this government when we see demonstrations by thousands, young and old, every time an official would visit overseas, the latest by “Dr. Rice” to Athens, Greece. The president is no exception either!
Are we much more informed than people overseas? We have a president who speaks in English grammar equal to a fifth-grader. “I am the decider,” he told us, referring to his “decision” to keep his cohort Rumsfeld!
The double standard of this government is so obvious. The Chinese president is welcomed with open arms while Castro is still shunned. We are in such a huge amount of debt that the number is baffling even to professionals.
Will someone please tell me when all of this will come to an end? Where are we heading as a nation? I hope it is not the bottomless pit!

Jad A. Ghanem
Tucson AZ

On supremacy
Society is rapidly approaching the realization of what harm can come to democracy from supremacy.
During the era of slavery, the nation was forced by Lincoln and the free slave movement to examine the effect of slavery and the denial of freedom for those subject to racist supremacy. For minorities, that has been a continuous battle for freedom to the current day.
Wealth supremacy has been much in the news as our society appears to be governed more by corporate profits and their influence and protectionist policies to insure their survival and maximization, including the huge number of layoffs, and companies and even governments availing themselves of offshore workforces with reduced wages. The effect upon American workers is devastating and they have been most vocal about it.
Likewise, the effect of male supremacy has always been the unique experience of the female sex, one that too long has been the brick wall that few wish to take down. Yet, evidence of its persistence shows how damaging it is for women who are forced to choose between two masters — one at home, and one at work — while trying to raise socially responsible and responsive children.

Pat R.
Boston MA

Suggestion
I am a subscriber, very happy with PWW. Suggestion: Increase coverage of countries in southeastern Europe — especially those not in the EU. Thank you.

Willard Saunders
Washington DC

More on transgender issues
I admire and respect what you do. Please continue. But there are two things that bother me. First, why are you associated with Google, which has already proven its complicity with the fascists. But more importantly, why, if you represent the working class, do you not report more on the continuing efforts by governments across the globe to justify the daily murder of the transgendered community? I would think that if you do indeed represent the people that you would speak of us also … but alas I am disappointed.
Sincerely, proud and trans,

Rosie Schneider
Via e-mail

HR 676 groundswell
Bruce Bostick’s article “Health care struggles sweep Ohio” (PWW 5/6-12) omits information on the groundswell of support for HR 676, a bill introduced by Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) and now co-sponsored by 68 House colleagues that would establish a single-payer health care system in the U.S.
Central labor councils in Cleveland, Toledo, Ashtabula, Lorain and Dayton have passed resolutions in support of HR 676. The statewide conference of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen has endorsed HR 676.
Official retiree organizations of the Cleveland and Ashtabula labor councils have endorsed, as have AFSCME and Painter retiree groups in Toledo and Cleveland. Steelworker Local 1375 in Warren was an early endorser.
Several of the endorsement resolutions have been forwarded to the Ohio AFL-CIO, whose state convention is scheduled for July.
What is fueling this upsurge of support in union locals for single-payer health care, as embodied in HR 676, is the knowledge among trade unionists that the health care crisis is national in scope and will require a national solution. While unions engage in and support a variety of local and state efforts around ending the crisis, there is a growing movement inside labor that sees the complete solution in HR 676.

Walter Tillow
Louisville KY

Fireflies
‘today i’m hiding-out from all of it’ i said to her.
‘from what?’ she asked with an eyebrow raised
‘from all the unreliable, lying news’ i said
her attention left the conversation
‘i feel unable to hear the body count’ i lured her back
‘or the next installment of war propaganda’ i concluded
she was obviously annoyed at my lack of patriotism
she’s just not a mom, i reasoned within my own soul
she can’t see a soldier’s hands and recall toddler fingers
or nervous first piano recitals
or fireflies in jars at nighttime

Jill Pletcher
Via e-mail

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