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Great Depression-y

February 1, 2010

Tramping around the web in search of California news, I came across an article from the Bakersfield Californian about the lockout of mine workers at the U.S. Borax mine near Boron, California. The lockout resulted from the failure of company negotiators to reach a deal with union officials. The article is heavy on quotes from invested parties and low on objective statement from the journalist so it’s difficult to what happened during the negotiations but apparently the company offered to increase pay but transform full-time jobs into more part-time jobs in order to spend less on benefits.

A story that makes me think of the Great Depression, complete with bused-in scabs and strike-busting cops. And, perhaps, another demonstration of why we need health care reform: health care costs are part of the benefits the company was trying to avoid paying by changing the jobs to part-time positions.

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