US labor, Big Tech, Apple, Maryland, historic union vote, hurdles
Photo credit: Sharon Hahn / Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

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Maryland Apple Workers Face Hurdles After Voting to Unionize (Maria)

The author writes, “The historic vote by employees of a Maryland Apple store to unionize — a first for the technology giant — is a significant step in a lengthy process that labor experts say is heavily stacked against workers in favor of their employers. Apple store employees in a Baltimore suburb voted to unionize by a nearly 2-to-1 margin Saturday, joining a growing push across US retail, service and tech industries to organize for greater workplace protections. It’s not yet clear whether the recent wave of unionizations represent a broader shift in US labor. But experts say the current shortage of workers for hourly and low-wage jobs means employees have more power than they had historically, especially when unemployment is low.”

Juneteenth Was Finally Recognized as a Federal Holiday. Then Came Commercialization. (Russ)

The author writes, “Juneteenth may be the country’s newest federal holiday, but for many Black Americans, June 19 has long been associated with homegrown community celebrations, if not at least understood as a day to symbolize freedom. ‘For Black folks, there has been a long tradition of commemorating Juneteenth,’ said Amara Enyia, policy and research coordinator at Movement for Black Lives. But now that Juneteenth is a federal holiday, complete with offices and schools closing in recognition of it, the inevitable has also taken shape: commercialism. Box stores from coast to coast are lining shelves with Juneteenth products. Walmart caught the most flack recently for stocking a Juneteenth Great Value brand ice cream flavor, the label touting a trademark symbol. The move prompted questions about who can even own the idea of Juneteenth, and the appropriateness of corporations cashing in on what could be considered a bittersweet holiday, commemorating the end of enslavement and the beginning of a generations-long struggle for civil rights.”

Originalism, the Theory Conservatives Use to Interpret the Constitution, Is Killing Us (Reader Steve)

From the San Francisco Chronicle: “Originalism, the conservative jurisprudential theory that judges should look to the meaning of the Constitution at the time it was adopted, is killing us. On June 3, Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, invoked the Second Amendment and what he saw as its original meaning as reason to oppose a bill that would raise the minimum age to buy an AR-15-style automatic rifle from 18 to 21. … Simply put, there is no constitutional basis for saying that the original meaning of the Second Amendment was to protect the right of 18-to-20- year-olds to purchase a weapon of mass killing that didn’t exist when the amendment was adopted in 1791.”

Leaked Audio From 80 Internal TikTok Meetings Shows That US User Data Has Been Repeatedly Accessed From China (Sean)

From BuzzFeed News: “For years, TikTok has responded to data privacy concerns by promising that information gathered about users in the United States is stored in the United States, rather than China, where ByteDance, the video platform’s parent company, is located. But according to leaked audio from more than 80 internal TikTok meetings, China-based employees of ByteDance have repeatedly accessed nonpublic data about US TikTok users — exactly the type of behavior that inspired former President Donald Trump to threaten to ban the app in the United States.”

White Parents Rallied to Chase a Black Educator Out of Town. Then, They Followed Her to the Next One. (Mili)

From ProPublica and Frontline: “Cecelia Lewis was asked to apply for a Georgia school district’s first-ever administrator job devoted to diversity, equity and inclusion. A group of parents — coached by local and national anti-CRT groups — had other plans.”

Philippines Dispatch: Pigs, Presstitutes, and How Journalists Are Harassed (Howard)

The author writes, “As the messages poured into the spam folder of my Facebook Messenger account, the feeling of dread in the pit of my stomach was oddly accompanied by a sense of irritated amusement: ‘Here we go again.’ Another campaign of harassment had begun. ‘You son of a b— plague sore ass loser! Hope all of your kind in the Philippines and the world disappear!’ It was election season in the Philippines and I had just worked on a report about the long-running, well-funded online historical distortion campaign that helped propel Ferdinand Marcos Jr., son of the late, disgraced dictator, to a landslide presidential victory on May 9. He will be inaugurated on June 30.”

Nigeria’s Owo Church Massacre: Who Are the Victims? (Emily)

The authors write, “Worshippers at the St Francis Catholic Church in Owo, southwestern Nigeria, were celebrating Pentecost earlier this month when suddenly a group of armed men who had been hiding among the congregation opened fire, killing 40 people, including four children. A mass burial is being held in Owo for some of those killed, who included many breadwinners for their families. These are some of those who died on June 5.”

New Hampshire Distillery Turns Invasive Crabs Into Whiskey (Dana)

The author writes, “A New Hampshire distillery unveiled a new whiskey with an unusual key ingredient — invasive green crabs. Tamworth Distilling said it teamed up with the University of New Hampshire’s NH Green Crab Project to develop House of Tamworth Crab Trapper, which is billed as being ‘made with a bourbon base steeped with a custom crab, corn and spice blend mixture.’”


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