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UPS sent a memo to its employees informing them that they chose to remove 15,000 spouses of non-union employees from its healthcare coverage. Like many corporations these days, UPS is blaming this money grab on Obamacare.

Warning, the above link is to a local Fox station in Texas which of course blames Obama. Nearly all the articles in mainstream media, including NYT, Bloomberg, and the SF Chronicle, include a business "expert" (read apologist) who talks about why this is OK and these poor, poor corporations have no choice because Obama. Interestingly, in all three articles, the "expert" is from a big corporate consulting firm called Mercer. Obvious corporate spin is obvious. Corporate media has been very successful in treating huge stories in the world of labor as "ho-hum who cares" back-page space fillers when they should be front page.

Also note that UPS's thousands of union employees are exempt from this. This is another example of why workers need unions now more than ever. Corporations with deep pockets have carte blanche to take benefits from workers who earned them unless they have to power to collectively bargain.

As with other companies who are slashing employee benefits, pay, and hours, I will no longer use UPS for my Ebay transactions and other things. They blame Obama but the real monster here is out-of-control greed. Our paychecks are getting smaller and the cost of living keeps rising. Worker pay stays low and corporate profits skyrocket. I hope most folks can look through the spin and see that.

Full text of the memo (it's long and tedious corporatespeak, with the details buried.)

Update: There's already a much better diary about this. But I'll leave this one up because not enough attention is being paid to matters that affect American workers.

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Yeah, that'll help America's standing in the world.

Lindsey Graham wants Snowden to pay. No news here, hawkish Republican, wants to punish whistleblowing nerd. That's what Republicans do: stick up for the surveillance industry and the national security state.

The measure introduced by Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., demands the State Department coordinate with lawmakers on setting penalties against nations that seek to help Snowden avoid extradition to the United States
When I read that Graham was introducing this bill, I brushed it off. It won't get anywhere in the Democratically controlled Senate, right?

Right?

A U.S. Senate panel voted unanimously on Thursday to seek trade or other sanctions against Russia or any other country that offers asylum to former spy agency contractor Edward Snowden,
Unanimously??!

All of them. Every member of Senate Appropriations Committee voted to ruin our diplomatic relations with some countries, to punish the economies of those countries, just because some guy embarrassed them.

So farmers in Siberia and Venezuela will have to suffer because one guy thought that collecting the data from every phone call made in the United States was, maybe, wrong in a free country like ours, and decided to say something.

Way to go. Glad you thought this was the #1 issue you should tackle. I guess congress can form bipartisan consensus.

Here's the Democrats who thought this was a great thing to do:

Barbara Mikulski, Maryland, Chair
Patrick Leahy, Vermont
Tom Harkin, Iowa
Patty Murray, Washington
Dianne Feinstein, California
Dick Durbin, Illinois
Tim Johnson, South Dakota
Mary Landrieu, Louisiana
Jack Reed, Rhode Island
Mark Pryor, Arkansas
Jon Tester, Montana
Tom Udall, New Mexico
Jeanne Shaheen, New Hampshire
Jeff Merkley, Oregon
Mark Begich, Alaska
Chris Coons, Delaware
Way to partner with forward-thinking Republicans like Lindsey Graham and Mitch McConnell to protect our 4th Amendment rights.

I know Snowden brings out mixed emotions in people, from "Hero!!" to "Traitor!!" to "Meh." But this is putting a strain on America's position in the world. We were already embarrassed when the plane carrying the president of Bolivia was diverted because maybe Snowden was possibly on it. Now they want to pass broad-brush measures to punish whole countries because they're mad at one guy. So much for building alliances and making friends.

Is the best thing to do right now to jeopardize our already fragile relationship with Russia and other countries just to exert authority?   Because this is really what this anti-Snowden push by our government is about. It's not about protecting people or saving lives.

It's about authority. It's about being the big dog. Woof.

Links:
Washington Post article quoted in this diary.
List of Senate Appropriations committee members from Wikipedia.

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