Friday, April 22, 2005

BIlly Joel and Hershey's Kisses: Foiled Again

I just walked over in front of the main admin building (Allen) here at Duke.

There is a protest. Students Against Sweatshops is protesting the fact that a subcontractor employs people from a firm that has (allegedly; I am willing to believe it) abused union organizers.

The SAS activists have wrapped parts of the building in aluminum paper. The symbolism? They want to "foil" Duke's complicity in this heinous labor abuse.

The company in question, Angelica's Coporation, is guilty of trying to run a business (laundry) where margins are REALLY thin....what am I trying to say.....foil thin? They have been charged with some safety violations, including (this is from the Duke students' literature) "allowing 200 lb bags of dirty laundry to fall 15 ft onto workers."

Some questions:
1. Does it really matter that the laundry was "dirty"? Or is the idea of actual work so repugnant to the students that the real protest is the fact that anyone has to handle dirty laundry at all?
2. Foil: WTF? I mean, you had all sorts of "Duke's dirty laundry," or union-bashing, to work with. Instead, they wear foil hats and hand out Hershey's kisses (wrapped in foil, doncha know).
3. Billy Joel? When I walked by, Billy Joel's famous nonprotest song, "We Didn't Light the Fire", was playing. Seemed too perfect. Some lyrics, for the "we are so bored, we'll protest anything, just so we feel better ourselves, and even if there is no purpose or impact" generation:

We didn't start the fire
But when we are gone
Will it still burn on, and on, and on, and on...

(maybe they got the idea to use the song here?!?)


Anonymous said...

Duke and Angelica Corporation Need to Clean Up Their Dirty Laundry!

< Wow! I love the black clinch fist symbol of the 60's on the Union movement to clean up the act at Duke. In fact, I was so impress, that I rush out and purchase 14 truck loads of clothes pins to hang the dirty basketball shorts of Coach K and the team along with the Union movement all over the Cameron Hall for the next year. Where do want the clothes lines?

Max.."Power to the Jocks"

Anonymous said...

Why don't we pay them more money and forget about paying for books for the library! After all, Duke is a social welfare state, not a university!


Dave Munger said...

People working in sweatshops would be SO much better off with no jobs at all /sarcasm

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