not a pretty girl

a new person with each new experience

Saturday, January 20, 2007

ACORN and workers rights

ACORN is an organization that works in low and moderate income communities working towards social change. They go door to door in these areas finding out what people want changed in there area and setting up branches that will self organize to fight for things such as safer communities, forcing landlords to clean up buildings etc. The organization is run like a union so the member pay dues which allows acorn the freedom to piss off the government and big business since they don't get there funding through them. ACORN is able to get things done and wins battles since it has dedicated safe that are happy to go door to door building up motivation to self organize and they then have the experience to help with things such as setting up meetings, press releases, pressure, appropriate actions etc. The work both on local campaigns in the acorn branches that are specific to areas and they work on more general campaigns are beneficial to all working people. Sound great right. Well yeah if you want to work like a slave, don't care about your own community or family and friends. ACORN bends the rules of labour law. Which is interesting and continues the idea that working for an union is the worst workplace to work for. They seem to target university student activists who are use to giving 100% of there time and energy to campaigns and not getting paid or getting the bare minimum. The things is labour laws here say that 8 hours is the maximum hours to work in one day. This number didn't come from anywhere, it was a long and hard battle and I'm sure a group like ACORN would have been involved in this battle if they were around at the time. But here is the loop hole in the 8 hour day clause. You can work longer if it is agreed in writing. I believe that this clause is there so workplaces have the flexiblibty around crunch times or can allow someone to work longer hours but then less days. But ACORN doesn't use this loop hole for flexibibly its part of the deal 10 hour days for the first 4 days, no choice, thats they way it works. So of course if you start working there and signed your contract they it becomes legal, but I say that they are bending the rules. Then there is the over time rule which is less flexible. 44 is the maximum number of hours that one can work in a week, if you work over that the boss has to pay you time and a half. It is possible to have that be flexible and get time in luei which is very popular in europe. But again over time is suppose to be for crunch times. Again ACORN has bended the rules here. The pay via salary, which although is not that high is livable. But once you take into account that the 8 hours on your 5th day and the 4 hours on your 6th day push you over the edge and you are actually working forced 8 hours over time every week you start to realise that they are not really paying a living wage. For an organisation interested in low and moderate communities they are happy to pay there workers just over minimum wage. (This is assuming of course that they are following labour law and paying time and a half for those forced eight hours of over time.) And with only one day of rest just waiting for there workers to get burn out. People died at the Haymarket Riots for a reason and it was not to use the idea of fighting for the working class as an excuse to exploit your workers.

Belladonnakillz and Dance Yourself to Death

Belladonnakillz at Savage Garden a show to remember. The most important thing to remember was NEVER ever ever go to Savage Garden. It incorporates everything bad that Toronto has to offer. The ability to sub-genre every thing till all gigs are near empty. To give these sub-cultures a sense of self-importance so they are out rightly snub everyone who as not bought into the last trend. Which incorporates the Toronto "I wish I was New York" at its worsts. As Nwodtlem said, even if my favorite band ever was playing I would not go back to that place. The opening band, Ghost Telivision which can only be described as emo goth had the crowd dancing like mad which confused us; is it because they are so bad the crowd likes them or is to dance to bad music the new cool. We stayed at the back making up lyrics for these sad teenagers, watching a goth sci-fi film saying that if only we dressed like them we too could have friends in this pretentious venue and amazed with the combinations the goth ravers have pulled together. Before the lads in the dresses came on, the most entertainment of the evening was walking through the dance floor to ge to the toilet and seeing the odd mixing crowd of the cure like goths, the raver goths, the girls with bright coloured dreads and short skirts, the 30 something IT nerd, and the guy with the gass mask. Finally the croed who had refused to smile, laugh or show any signs of having a good time were forced to deal with three guys dressed in bad drag and playing poppy catchy electro tunes and blended between breakcore soles and our favorite keyboard notes. The crowd filled up with people who smarter then us knew that Belladonnakillz would not be on till midnight. Suddenly breakdancers and young couples broke up the dreary floor with a bit of colour and teenage devotion. I closed my eyes and pretended I was in Dublin, Brighton or anywhere else where people would be dancing like fools and drinking up loving the cheesy mixes of breaks and pop. There were a few moment that made everything ok again, everyone in the crowd including mr. cure himself who stopped his pick the apple dance long enough to sing "I'm in my own movie, and I am the star, I'll never crash and burn Yeah Hell Yeah!"

Dance Yourself to Death at The Gladstone. This night was the one year anniversary party for the Gladstone re-opening its doors for the unique hotel and club nights. The same weekend The Gladstone opened up its doors and gave free tours in each of the individual artistic rooms that they have to offer. This is all part of the gentrifying of Queen West West. Where you can find new lofts, art gallaries, The Drake, Communist Daughter, The Beaver and of course The Gladstone. This area has not only been artistically gentrified it was as been rename Queer West. The night is called Foxhole that is advertised as "sexy singles dance and big gay mixer" which doesn't seem to grab the essence of the night at all. It seems like the crowd that use to go for the alternative queer nights at vasaline but have grown up a bit, have a bit more money, less of a punk style but have kept their edge. Or perhaps thats just because Dance Your Self to Death was playing and they brought with them there fans. But from what I gather they chill there whether they are playing or not. The ladies have style, jen has a brilliant voice that carries the band. Everything about them shouts cool, influenced by the queer rockers of the past. The crowd were dancing away and singing along. And the band was getting loads of props by the supportive community. It is nice to go to a queer event and hear some decent music. DYTD would be defined as Rock and although I think they are great I am not one to dance my self to death for rock, sorry ladies. Thanks for the demo cd though, good to listen to at home chilln'.