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The [Friday] Papers

Inbox, from BerlinRosen:

Last night, McDonald's workers on the frontlines of the COVID-19 outbreak were featured on ABC's Nightline, as anchor Byron Pitts spotlighted the stories of striking food service workers who are saying 'no more' until their voices and demands are met.

"This is life or death," said Adriana Alvarez, a McDonald's worker and leader in the Fight for $15 and a Union who joined hundreds of fast-food workers on strike Wednesday in Chicago.

That rings especially true in Los Angeles: at least three McDonald's workers have tested positive for COVID-19 and one, Sonia Hernandez, is currently fighting for her life on a ventilator.

Sonia's daughter Jenniffer told Nightline, "She's a loving mom. She gave everything for us. She's a single mom. She worked at McDonald's for 18 years."

Like so many low-wage workers across the country, despite feeling sick, Sonia did not have a choice but to report to work. She was not given gloves or masks. An employee at the McDonald's where Sonia Hernandez worked filed a complaint last week with CAL/OSHA regarding working conditions amid COVID-19. Chicago McDonald's strikers also filed an OSHA complaint this week, as filings surged to the thousands across the country.

Fighting back tears, Jenniffer told Nightline what it was like to talk to her mom for the last time before she went on the ventilator. Her mother's last words were, "take care of everyone."

Jenniffer's message to fast-food workers across the country: "Fight for your rights. Today it's my mom. Tomorrow, it could be theirs or it could be them."

Alvarez ended the segment challenging McDonald's executives to think bigger. "If you feel like you're doing the appropriate measures to keep us safe, then come on down and work with us. Come on down and see exactly what we have to go through."

Here's the segment:

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Meat Packing Mess
"Multiple employees at a meat packing plant on the South Side have tested positive for COVID-19," ABC7 Chicago reports.

"In a statement to ABC7 Chicago, Rose Packing's parent company, OSI, confirmed that 21 employees have informed the company they have tested positive for COVID-19."

ABC7 didn't bother to talk to any workers, instead merely repeating the company's assertions that they are acting with an abundance of caution.

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"An anonymous employee contacted NBC 5 and said she and other employees at Rose Packing Company on Chicago's South Side were informed of the 21 confirmed coronavirus cases by plant managers Thursday at a town hall-style meeting," that station reports.

"The whistleblower said the company is now distributing personal protective equipment."

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Also to its credit, NBC5 included this:

"Earlier this week, Smithfield Foods shut down facilities in three different state including it's Sioux Falls, South Dakota location. The plant was shut down after 598 employees tested positive for the coronavirus, as well as an additional 135 people who are not employed by the company, but contracted the virus after they were in close contact with the workers.

"The processing facility supplies 5 percent of the nation's pork supply and the anonymous Rose Packing Co. employee says Smithfield is one of the company's suppliers."

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See also:

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And: Millions Of Essential Workers Are Being Left Out Of COVID-19 Workplace Safety Protections, Thanks To OSHA.

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Some OSI history:

"A Chinese court has fined two domestic units of U.S. food supplier OSI Group up to 2.4 million yuan ($364,875) and handed prison sentences to 10 of its employees over allegations it reused returned food products to avoid losses," Reuters reported in 2016.

"The verdict marks the end of a long-running probe into OSI after a safety scandal in 2014 that hit fast-food giants it supplied - McDonald's and Yum Brands, owner of KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell in China."

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Virtual City Council Reporting
Reader John Kuczaj posted this on his Facebook page about the Chicago City Council's virtual meeting this week and tagged me, so let's address it here:

"The only business was passing legislation to allow future meetings to occur virtually due to the governor's stay-at-home order and to schedule another meeting for April 22 at 10 a.m.," Crain's reported.

Um . . . if it wasn't already legal for the city council to meet virtually and legislation needs to be passed to make it legal, how could they pass that legislation virtually? Doesn't this open them up to court challenges in the future on any business conducted this way?

Good question. Crain's doesn't say, so let's look elsewhere for an answer.

"Rules Committee Chairman Michelle Harris (8th) was recognized and moved that the Council adopt - by voice vote - emergency rules allowing aldermen to conduct substantive city business without meeting in person," the Sun-Times reported.

But retroactively? Doesn't say.

"In March, Lightfoot gaveled in the scheduled City Council meeting because the date had been set by statute. Presiding over a nearly empty City Council chambers, she then immediately recessed it until Wednesday," the Tribune reported.

Okay, but . . .

Also not answered by WBEZ or NBC5 Chicago.

Next up, WTTW.

"Lightfoot said the city's Law Department reviewed Gov. J.B. Pritzker's disaster declaration and determined that the City Council could meet virtually to adopt rules permitting that action and to conduct business during the virtual meetings," WTTW's Heather Cherone reports. Boom!

"I can assure you that our proceedings in this matter are completely legal," Lightfoot said.

Mystery solved.

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Virtual Community Porn
Speaking of virtual civic meetings . . .

"Chicago Police held what was believed to be its first online community policing meeting Thursday, and it was marred by racial slurs, porn, cursing and middle fingers," Block Club Chicago reports.

"A serious community discussion on Zoom about how gang members continue to terrorize the Northwest Side also devolved into people throwing gang signs, hula hooping and getting their cat into their Zoom square."

Wow, go read the rest.

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The President's "Plan"
Capitol Fax impresario Rich Miller says, "It's actually a pretty good plan."

Most of his commenters seem to agree.

"Your thoughts?" Miller asks.

I'll just put this here. It's reflective of what the experts are saying:

C'mon, people.

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P.S.:

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New on the Beachwood today . . .

The Beachwood Radio Sports Hour #300: Here's Why Sports Is Not Coming Back This Year
Players aren't going to wear masks and only fans in Red America are stupid enough to attend games anyway. Plus: Michael Jordan Was Singularly Awesome And Also Was (And Remains) A Terrible Person - Just Like Jerry Krause (Though Krause Is Dead Now So He's Only A 'Was' Not A 'Remains'); Time For Wrigleyville To Panic Over Cubs' Bad Start?; The Great Karnak's New Bulls; Our Hapless Athletic Careers; Bears To Sit Out First, Third And Fourth Rounds Of Draft, and more!

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This is a really good show, people! And as always, you can just check out the Show Notes if you want too.

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Only Science Will Bring Back Sports
Another brilliantly observed, funny, sad, infuriating, highly quotable read from our very own David Rutter. Highly recommended.

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The Thorne Miniature Rooms
"By 1940, Thorne and her team of skilled craftsmen made over 100 pint-size 'period rooms.' They constitute a beguilingly timeless bit of child's play: a series of lushly lived-in pasts, chambers haunted by distant presences you feel certain have just left the premises - or are poised to enter at any moment from a flower-strewed side garden, a rear entrance foyer or the top of a lovely front-hallway staircase."

Take a peek!

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& ICYMI: OSHA Isn't Even Trying Anymore
"Even as OSHA has been inundated with COVID-19-related complaints, the agency has issued a series of guidelines that roll back safety standards and virtually eliminate non-health care workers from government protection.

"That poses a serious risk to millions of essential workers, many of whom live paycheck-to-paycheck, safety advocates say. Dozens of workers, including meat cutters, supermarket greeters, airport screeners and bus drivers have died as the disease has spread."

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ChicagoReddit

All CPS schools canceled in-person learning for the rest of the school year from r/chicago

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ChicagoGram

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ChicagoTube

Bus Simulator Ultimate #10 Road to Chicago.

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BeachBook

How Censorship Warped How DC And Marvel Dealt With Heaven, Hell And Jesus.

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The History Of The Hawaiian Shirt.

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Paul McCartney Tells Howard Stern Why The Beatles Were Better Than The Rolling Stones.

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Too Far From Town: The Beloit Snappers.

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Stirling Moss, One Of The Greatest Drivers Of All Time, Dies At 90.

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TweetWood
A sampling of the delight and disgust you can find @BeachwoodReport.

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"Be kind."

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But seriously, a governor having to do this? What an extraordinarily horrible, lethal president.

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The Beachwood Q-Tip Line: Be unkind.



Permalink

Posted on April 17, 2020


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