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The Weekend Desk Report

"The final Chicago-made Oreo cookies rolled off the line Friday, ending the iconic cookie's decadeslong run of delighting hometown consumers and providing good-paying union jobs on the Southwest Side," the Tribune reports.

"The Chicago plant will continue to make other products, like BelVita breakfast biscuits and Mini Chips Ahoy cookies."

Which nobody eats. Sad!

"Oreo cookies will continue to be made at three other plants in the U.S. - just not at the brick bakery at 7300 S. Kedzie Ave.

"The shutdown of the Oreo lines is part of Mondelez International's plan to shift some of its production to Mexico where they don't have to abide by the same labor and environmental standards as here in the United States, because Mexican lives aren't valued as highly."

I edited that sentence for clarity.

"Last summer the company said it would be laying off about half of the Chicago bakery's 1,200 workers; many of them are already gone."

Assignment Desk: Where to?

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From the Mondelez career page:

"We are committed to growing and empowering our employees. Because when our people grow, our business grows."

Especially if they grow in low-wage countries!

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"Nabisco's continued corporate policy of closing plants to take advantage of low-wage workers has been a windfall for its top executives and largest shareholders," according to the Bakers, Confectionery, Tobacco and Grain Millers International Union.

"Over the last eight years, Mondelez CEO Irene Rosenfeld has raked in approximately $170 million in compensation. Billions more went to the largest investors in dividends and stock buybacks."

Indeed.

"[Rosenfeld] has managed strident activist investors William Ackerman, who controls 7.5% of the Deerfield, Illinois-based stock, and Nelson Peltz, who has a 3% share and a board seat, by promising to cut $3 billion from the company," Forbes reports.

So let's be clear: Take money from workers (and their communities) to further line the pockets of the already rich.

"Rosenfeld also moved the firm's Oreo factory from suburban Chicago to a newer plant in Mexico, which workers protested.

"When asked by an employee at a recent shareholders' meeting what he should tell his child, she replied in part: 'Explain . . . that business decisions are often difficult.' For the first time, Mondelez shares broke $40."

Irene Rosenfeld, you are Today's Worst Person In Chicago.

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P.S.: "Closing plants is NOT the best way to generate savings," the union says. "In fact, analysts following Mondelez believe the best way to generate impactful savings is for the company to cut its portfolio of products, greatly reduce its suppliers and decrease its advertising budget to the industry norm. Instead, Mondelez continues to foolishly ignore this advice."

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According to Forbes, Rosenfeld as a child wanted to be president when she grew up. Instead, she became president of a "plastic cheese" company.

"She leaves her [$16 million] two-story red-brick mansion before nine each morning in her Lexus saloon to drive the five-mile, 15-minute commute to Kraft's global HQ in nearby Northfield," the Mirror reports.

"Returning home late, Rosenfeld takes to the pristine and safe streets of Kenilworth to indulge her passion for rollerblading . . .

"'Irene and her husband Richard are fantastic neighbors and have been extremely welcoming to everyone who lives on the street,' said Mary Belton, 33, whose husband is an investment broker.

"'They spend a lot of summer time on Kenilworth Beach, which their home backs on to.'"

Hey, that's a public beach, hint hint. Who's with me?

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By the way, the 1% in Kenilworth are black people. (Actually, no; that would be the .3%.)

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Kenilworth history:

"Joseph Sears purchased 223.6 acres in one of the last undeveloped areas near Chicago's lakeshore for $150,300 in 1889. Joseph Sears' specifications for the community included large lots, high standards of construction, no alleys, and sales to Caucasians only . . .

"The first African-American family to move to Kenilworth was met with resistance from some in the community, such as a cross burning and racially charged vandalism."

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Back to Mondelez, formerly known as Kraft before getting Tronced:

"[I]n 2005 - 12 years after taking over Terry's chocolate - Kraft closed the factory in York and moved production to Poland."

Oh, but it's so much sadder than that.

"If there is any lesson to be learned from the acquisition of a national institution by a foreign corporation, it may lie in a snow-covered field just outside the Polish village of Jankowice," the Daily Mail reports.

"This is where Terry's Chocolate Oranges have been made since 2005 when Kraft ended 250 years of confectionery making in York and moved production to the former communist state to cut costs.

"Unlike York, where the Terry's factory was woven into the fabric of the community, the Polish plant, 20 miles from the city of Poznan, is an anonymous, security-fenced building whose workers know nothing of the iconic nature of the fruit-flavored chocolates they produce."

They also don't even get to buy them; all the product there is exported elsewhere and not sold in Poland.

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"In 1993, Terry's, then owned by United Biscuits, was sold to Kraft, which amalgamated it with Jacobs Suchard. The writing seemed to be on the wall in 2000 when the 'Terry's of York' imprint was replaced with 'Terry's'.

"But the biggest blow came when Kraft closed the plant next to York Racecourse, axeing 300 jobs and causing immense damage to the local economy. The machinery was sent to Jankowice and workers were hired in Poland, which by then was an EU state.

"GMB regional organiser John Kirk, who led the union negotiations with Kraft over the closure, said: 'I would call it death by stealth. There was a range of nine or ten products and every year they would move one to another site, either in the UK or abroad.

"In 2004 Kraft told local management that they were looking for a new purpose-built site in or near York. But later that year they announced that the entire line was being moved to Poland.

"'For us, it was confirmation that Kraft's American owners had been misleading us for a considerable period of time. Moving to Poland was all about saving on employment costs.

"'Kraft are there to benefit their shareholders and they don't care where or how their sweets are produced so long as they get the best return on their investment.'"

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Destroying Terry's was just a warm-up, though. Here's what Rosenfeld did to Cadbury's - this is Your Weekend Must-Read.

The article summarizes an episode of the British investigative show Dispatches. I couldn't find the show, but here's the trailer.

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And now she's coming for Hershey's. God save us all.

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Beachwood Photo Booth: Skyway Sculpture

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Beachwood Sports Radio: The Glorious Pending Bulls Disaster That Will Be The 2016-17 Season
Bulls steal the show. Plus: Defending Kevin Durant; There Are No Mediocre Players In The NBA; Jordin Tootoo Is Not An Eskimo; The White Sox Are Winning Series'; The Cubs Turned Into A .500 Team Months Ago And Everybody Missed It.

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Obama's Favorite Weapon
By Ammo.com.

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The Week In Chicago Rock
Featuring: Mordatorium, The Roots, Donnie Trumpet and The Social Experiment, Chance the Rapper, Elle King, and Guster.

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Magic Chicago Black Girl
The new Iron Man. Plus: Oak Park's Little Free Library War; Slow Roll Cartoonist; The Life and Times of Bigfoot.

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Fantasy Fix: Fantasy All-Stars
Are all those Cubs All-Stars deserving? Let's be honest: No.

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The Sound Opinions Weekend Listening Report: "The London-based quartet Savages made a stunning debut with Silence Yourself in 2013 and established a reputation as a formidable live band. On the 2016 follow-up Adore Life, the brooding post-punk band tackles something new: love songs. Savages joins Jim and Greg for a conversation and live performance. Plus, reviews of the new albums from Maxwell and DJ Shadow."

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Weekend BeachBook

Comcast Data Caps Are Coming To Chicago.

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Theatrical Company Files Latest Lawsuit Over Navy Pier 'Haunted Barge' Sinking.

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The Trusted Grown-Ups Who Steal Millions From Youth Sports.

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Weekend TweetWood

If Trump would just pretend to be someone else for awhile I could forget everything he's ever said and "get there."

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Retweet by local TV reporter who doesn't watch her own station, news at 11.

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They're dressed for Lollapalooza.

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Then they'll go back to this.

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The Weekend Desk Tronc Line: Dressed for monetization success.



Permalink

Posted on July 9, 2016


MUSIC - The Weekend In Chicago Rock.
TV - Slow TV Chicago.
POLITICS - Dangerous, Low-Wage Industries Depend On Immigrants, Refugees.
SPORTS - Wrong Foot Louie vs. The Fireball Kid!

BOOKS - Meet Chicago's American Writers Museum.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Meet Limo Bob.


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