For Immediate Release
May 27, 2004
Contact: Chris Conry at (612) 221-4852 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 789
Dan Schneidkraut at (612) 870-3483 or email@example.com
Movie Theatre Workers Four Votes Shy of a Union Victory
United Food & Commercial Workers Union Local 789 supports workers' right to choose.
On the evening of Wednesday, May 26th a majority of the workers at Landmark Theatre's three Twin Cities theatres, the Edina Cinema, Lagoon Cinema, and Uptown Theatre decided not to form a Union. Among the 36 eligible voters, turnout was very high with 33 workers showing up at the polls. The vote tally was 20 'No' and 13 'Yes'; a change of four votes from 'No' to 'Yes' would have reversed the decision.
"Obviously, we are disappointed by the outcome. However, we applaud the workers who had the courage to make this happen. They took real risks, hoping to improve their workplace and they deserve recognition for that," said Don Seaquist, President of the United Food & Commercial Workers Union Local 789.
The election is the culmination of a campaign that began on April 14th, 2004, when the Twin Cities movie theatre workers petitioned the National Labor Relations Board requesting a union election. Throughout the last six weeks, workers continued to talk with each other and built massive community support with hundreds of movie patrons signing petitions of support. On Tuesday, May 25th supporters attended the 7:15pm screening of the popular documentary Super Size Me at the Uptown Theatre. Ticket sales more than doubled what's expected on a Tuesday night; concession sales were tripled.
"We wholeheartedly support a worker's right to decide whether or not she wants to form a union. We're glad this campaign went to a vote. We are glad people got a chance to participate in the process," explained Bernie Hesse, Director of Organizing at UFCW Local 789.
The UFCW Local 789 is part of the 1.4 million United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, AFL-CIO. Local 789 has 7500 members and represents workers in the grocery stores, drug stores, nursing homes, meat packing plants, manufacturing facilities, laundry facilities, and the Borders Bookstore in Minneapolis' Calhoun Square.
In September of 2003 Landmark Theatres was purchase by 2929 Entertainment Company which is co-owned by Dallas Maverick's owner, Mark Cuban. Landmark Theatres Corporation was founded in 1974 and operates 57 theatres with 204 screens in 14 states across the U.S.
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"Finally, Roger, let's get something straight. Lynyrd Skynyrd was one of the finest, toughest, rock 'n' roll bands ever. Queen was an overblown, crappy pomposity of an outfit that performed show tunes covered up with a buncha overdubbed guitars and vocals. And as I type this, I sincerely hope that wherever they are ... Ronnie Van Zant is busting a pool cue over Freddie Mercury's skull."
I think I'm beginning to understand Team W.'s logic here. They're telling the American public that the building was somehow karmically tainted by the atrocities committed there by Saddam. It was only this legacy of torture that allowed good, upstanding, Jesus-loving American soldiers to become sadists.
Therefore, if we simply raze the building (and replace it with a SuperMax prison!) no American will ever be induced into acting in such a manner again.
In other words, it's the building's fault!
This Naomi Klein piece brilliantly weaves together multiple threads--about the economy, Team W., and the Abu Ghraib prison scandal--in a way that I've vaguely contemplated, but am far too stupid to articulate. Read the whole thing, but here's my favorite tidbit:
Over the past year, 272,00 manufacturing jobs have been lost. No wonder the President's Economic Report in February floated the idea of reclassifying fast-food restaurants as factories. "When a fast-food restaurant sells a hamburger, for example, is it providing a 'service' or is it combining inputs to 'manufacture' a product?" the report asks.
The World Series of Poker is nearing conclusion at Binion's Horseshoe. So far 26 of 33 events have been completed. Scott Fischman is the top winner at the moment, having raked in $408,360 by finishing in the money in four tournaments. The main event, the $10,000 buy-in, no limit Texas hold 'em tournament--essentially the world championship of poker--gets underway Saturday.
ESPN is taping 13 different events and will begin showing them on June 8th. (Hopefully this means the station will finally stop airing last year's main event, which was on again last night as I channel surfed. Pathetically, I believe I've now watched Dutch Boyd bust out of the tournament on four different occasions.)
For those who can't wait, Poker Pages is posting clips of each final table. I just watched several of the videos. It's a pretty miserable viewing experience, frankly. The action is severly edited down, in most cases to just a few minutes. The camera bobs and weaves. The commentator, some Brit named Mark Napolitano, does little more than continuously update how much money each player has left.
I will say, though, that watching Annie Duke win her first bracelet (in the $1,000 buy-in, Omaha Hi/Lo event) was sweet. (Duke is perhaps best known for making the final table of the main event in 2000--while nine months pregnant.) She jumped into the arms of her older brother, fellow poker pooh-bah Howard Lederer, and then broke down in tears.
(On a related note, the third Lederer sibling, Katy, has written a fine memoir chronicling her odd childhood spent among card sharps, Poker Face. It will be out in paperback in August.)
David Holthouse's harrowing first-person chronicle of rape and revenge:
I bought the gun last April. I had a few firearms in my closet already, but they'd all been purchased legally, in my name, from a licensed firearms dealer. So I flew to Phoenix and went to a gang barrio, where I bought a Beretta 9mm with a homemade silencer and the serial number removed. I took this gun to the local garage gunsmith and had him put dozens of deep nicks and grooves in the Beretta's barrel to corrupt ballistics tests. The gunsmith warned me that this would ruin the gun's accuracy beyond a few feet, but I didn't care. I intended to get up-close and personal.
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