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COMMENTARY: Workers ask whose side are you on?

DAYTONA TIMES — More than 2,200 nurses at the University of Chicago Medical Center went out on strike last week, but they are not alone. On Sept. 15, 46,000 hourly General Motors’ United Auto Workers employees went on strike, the first time in 12 years. Striking British Airway pilots grounded 1,700 planes.

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Rev. Jesse L. Jackson Sr.
By Rev. Jesse L. Jackson Sr.

More than 2,200 nurses at the University of Chicago Medical Center went out on strike last week, but they are not alone. On Sept. 15, 46,000 hourly General Motors’ United Auto Workers employees went on strike, the first time in 12 years. Striking British Airway pilots grounded 1,700 planes.

In Republican states like Oklahoma and West Virginia, teachers shut down schools to demand that state legislatures reverse the deep cuts exacted from public education. Marriott hotels were hit with the largest hotel strike in U.S. history, a walkout of 6,000 hotel workers in four states.

Opposition growing

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that a soaring number of workers went on strike or stopped work in 2018 – 485,000 – the most since 1986. The rising number of strikes reflect the reality of Trump’s economy: Despite all his boasting about the “economic miracle,” most workers aren’t experiencing it. Corporate profits have soared, but workers haven’t shared the benefit.

Trump’s tax scam went largely to the rich and the corporations. Corporate promises of wage and investment hikes were largely discarded, with CEOs using the tax breaks mostly to buy back stocks, boosting their stock bonuses and shafting their workers. Gilded age inequality is combined with rising insecurity for working people.

Even now, wages have finally begun to rise, but still are not catching up to soaring costs in basics like health care and education. Just 22 percent of workers have a pension plan of any kind at work. Forty percent of Americans say they would be forced to borrow or sell something to cover a $400 emergency. One in five say they know someone addicted to opioids or painkillers.

 Striking for decency

The GM strike comes after workers sacrificed big-time to help GM out of bankruptcy during the Great Recession. Now GM’s profits are up, CEO bonuses are up, but workers who shared the pain haven’t shared in the gain. They are striking for decency, for higher wages, for strong health care plans, for turning more temporary workers – who get no benefits –into permanent workers with pensions, health care and vacations.

The strike wave last year was led by teachers in deep-red states. In each state, Republican legislatures had slashed spending on education during the Great Recession and cut taxes on the wealthy. When the economy turned around, they didn’t restore the spending cuts.

Teachers sick of futile negotiations with local school boards walked off the job and took their case directly to the legislatures. They demanded not only higher salaries, but in many cases, smaller classes, and greater spending on their students. They got massive support from parents and the community. In each case, right-wing state legislators were forced to respond by increasing spending, although not to the levels sought by the striking teachers.

The wave of strikes is increasingly propelled by younger workers. Fight for $15, the movement to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour, was led by young workers in fast-food restaurants and other service industries.

Young people burdened

Young people, often burdened with college debt, entering workplaces characterized by wages and benefits that don’t keep up with costs, are particularly aware of how the economy has been rigged against them.

Large majorities think CEOs are greedy and irresponsible. Large majorities think politicians have been corrupted by entrenched interests and big money. They are driving the demand for change.

Smart business leaders are waking up to the fact that they are losing the support of Americans, particularly the young. The Business Roundtable, a gathering of some of the most powerful CEOs in the country, recently called on corporations to move beyond a single focus on “shareholder value,” but to also invest in their workers, protect the environment and deal ethically with suppliers and customers.

Whether this is anything beyond a public relations gambit remains to be seen, but the mere fact that the CEOs thought it necessary to publicly release that statement likely suggests that they know they have gone too far. These stirrings are beginning to be reflected in our politics.

A typical Republican

Trump, for all his populist posturing, remains oblivious, wedded to the conservative Republican agenda, opposed to unions, to raising the minimum wage, to investing in teachers, education and getting health care costs under control.

But every leading Democratic contender for president champions worker power, calling for reforms to make it easier to organize, for lifting the minimum wage, for making vital public investments, and for cracking down on the entrenched interests that have rigged the economy against working people. The words of the old union ballad, “Which Side Are You On?” once more echo across the country.

The Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr. is president and CEO of the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition.

This article originally appeared in the Daytona Times.

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IN MEMORIAM International Soccer Icon Pelé Dies at 82

NNPA NEWSWIRE — Sometimes called “Pérola Negra” (“Black Pearl”), Pelé became a Brazilian national hero. According to Britannica, he combined kicking power and accuracy with a remarkable ability to anticipate other players’ moves. 

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Born Edson Arantes do Nascimento in Três Corações, Brazil, on Oct. 23, 1940, Pelé became soccer’s first superstar.
Born Edson Arantes do Nascimento in Três Corações, Brazil, on Oct. 23, 1940, Pelé became soccer’s first superstar.

By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent
@StacyBrownMedia

Pelé, the international star who was instrumental in three World Cup championships with Brazil across three decades and who energized U.S. soccer with the New York Cosmos in the 1970s, has died.

The 82-year-old legend had been hospitalized since November, and his doctors reported that Pelé’s cancer had advanced, requiring care related to renal and cardiac dysfunction.

He has been receiving regular treatment since doctors removed a tumor from his colon in 2021.

“Father. My strength is yours,” the international star’s son, Edinho, posted on social media.

Born Edson Arantes do Nascimento in Três Corações, Brazil, on Oct. 23, 1940, Pelé became soccer’s first superstar.

He led the Brazilian national teams to World Cup glory in 1958, 1962, and 1970.

In 1956, he joined the Santos Football Club, where he played inside left forward, winning nine São Paulo league championships and, in 1962 and 1963, the Libertadores Cup and the Intercontinental Club Cup.

Sometimes called “Pérola Negra” (“Black Pearl”), Pelé became a Brazilian national hero. According to Britannica, he combined kicking power and accuracy with a remarkable ability to anticipate other players’ moves.

“After the 1958 World Cup, Pelé was declared a national treasure by the Brazilian government to ward off large offers from European clubs and ensure that he would remain in Brazil,” Britannica researchers wrote.

On Nov. 19, 1969, in his 909th first-class match, he scored his 1,000th goal.

Pelé made his international debut in 1957 at age 16 and played his first game in the World Cup finals in Sweden the following year.

The Brazilian manager was initially hesitant to play his young star. But, according to Britannica, when Pelé finally reached the field, he had an immediate impact, rattling the post with one shot and collecting an assist.

He had a hat trick in the semifinal against France and two goals in the championship game, where Brazil defeated Sweden 5–2. At the 1962 World Cup finals, Pelé tore a thigh muscle in the second match and had to sit out the remainder of the tournament.

Nonetheless, Brazil went on to claim its second World Cup title.

Researchers said rough play and injuries turned the 1966 World Cup into a disaster for Brazil and Pelé, as the team went out in the first round, and he contemplated retiring from World Cup play.

Returning in 1970 for one more World Cup tournament, he teamed with young stars Jairzinho and Rivelino to claim Brazil’s third title and permanent ownership of the Jules Rimet Trophy. Pelé finished his World Cup career, scoring 12 goals in 14 games.

Pelé’s electrifying play and penchant for spectacular goals made him a worldwide star.

His team Santos toured internationally to take full advantage of his popularity. For example, in 1967, he and his team traveled to Nigeria, where a 48-hour cease-fire in that nation’s civil war was called to allow all to watch the great player.

Pelé announced his retirement in 1974 but, in 1975, agreed to a three-year $7 million contract with the New York Cosmos of the North American Soccer League and to promote the game in the United States. He retired after leading the Cosmos to the league championship in 1977.

Pelé was the recipient of the International Peace Award in 1978. In 1980 he was named Athlete of the Century by the French sports publication L’Equipe, and he received the same honor in 1999 from the International Olympic Committee. In 2014 the Pelé Museum opened in Santos, Brazil.

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COMMENTARY: Don’t Spread Yourself Too Thin: Avoid Burnout with These Simple Tips

THE AFRO — Although it cannot be medically diagnosed, burnout can lead people to lose their sense of self and feel as if they are not accomplishing enough. Since the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic, the American Psychological Association found that the risk of burnout has increased for workers due to extra stress, increased household demands and longer working hours. 
The post COMMENTARY: Don’t Spread Yourself Too Thin: Avoid Burnout with These Simple Tips first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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By Megan Sayles | AFRO Business Writer
Report for America Corps Member
msayles@afro.com

We’ve all heard the age-old saying that “hard work pays off.”  But, sometimes, working too hard can do more harm than good.

“Burnout” is a form of work-related stress in which an individual experiences physical, emotional or mental exhaustion caused by their job’s demands. It can also make workers feel distanced from their jobs and engender negative feelings about them, according to the World Health Organization.

Although it cannot be medically diagnosed, burnout can lead people to lose their sense of self and feel as if they are not accomplishing enough. Since the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic, the American Psychological Association found that the risk of burnout has increased for workers due to extra stress, increased household demands and longer working hours.

This makes it even more important for people to know the signs of burnout and the strategies to combat it.

Natasha Charles is the founder and CEO of Intuitive Coaching with Natasha Charles, a comprehensive life coaching and consulting firm. She created the business after gaining 20 years in senior administration roles.

Charles was motivated to open the firm in 2018 out of a desire to create a business focused on inspiring continuous improvement. There, she works with individuals and executives to create lives that they love and offers them personalized solutions to address critical work and business challenges.

“It’s really about thinking about you, the person, and all that you are,” Charles said. “People tend to be very focused on one aspect of their life, and a lot of times, it’s about their career, so it’s really about making space for all of your goals and all of your dreams.”

When someone experiences burnout, Charles said they could be actively doing their job while simultaneously worrying about their other responsibilities and priorities, whether personal or work-related. She also stressed that burnout can be experienced no matter what profession you are in and what you are being paid.

Aside from the physical and mental impacts of stress, burnout can impact finances if it causes an employee to take extended periods of time off or miss work, according to Charles. It can also reduce their productivity.

In the beginning of 2022, the term “quiet quitting” emerged, and for some, it’s being used as a method to avoid burnout. It involves individuals meeting the minimum requirements of their job descriptions, investing no extra time or effort than what is mandatory.

For Charles, quiet quitting is a signal that a person is not fulfilled by their job and may need to think about changing workplaces or careers.

“I get that people are not always able to up and quit, and it can take time to find what that next role is,” Charles said. “I would come from a space of encouraging the person to start thinking about what that is. What is it that you ultimately desire to be doing in your life and seeing your work?”

One of the most important steps in reducing and preventing burnout is educating yourself about the syndrome, so you can be aware of the warning signs, according to Charles. She also said it was crucial for employers to talk to their employees about it.

Awareness can help prevent the shame and guilt that comes with burnout and allow people to give themselves grace.

After a person has weighed whether they are experiencing burnout or not, they should think about how they want to confront it. This could include engaging in self-care, asking for extra support at work or home, and creating stronger boundaries between their personal and professional lives.

When burnout is impacting your performance, it’s time to consider making a career change, Charles said.

To ensure your work life does not invade your personal life, Charles said people need to assess the goals they have for all areas of their life. Once you’ve set goals, it’s easier to devise a plan and set the necessary boundaries to achieve them.

Charles also said it’s important to carve out time for yourself where you’re not constantly checking your phone or email for work reasons.

“There is life beyond your work. There is an entire world out there to be discovered,” Charles said. “There’s a world within us to be discovered as well, and I encourage everyone to invest in discovering those pieces.”

This article originally appeared in The Afro.

The post COMMENTARY: Don’t Spread Yourself Too Thin: Avoid Burnout with These Simple Tips first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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Tory Lanez Found Guilty in Meg Thee Stallion Shooting 

NNPA NEWSWIRE — The case fired up social media and highlighted the misogyny that still reigns in hip hop. Many on Twitter routinely attacked Megan, accusing her of lying among other vicious vitriolic comments.
The post Tory Lanez Found Guilty in Meg Thee Stallion Shooting  first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent
@StacyBrownMedia

Canadian rapper Tory Lanez faces more than 20 years in prison and deportation after a jury in Los Angeles found him guilty in the 2020 shooting of hip hop star Megan Thee Stallion.

Lane, 30, was found guilty of three felony counts, including assault with an unregistered semiautomatic weapon, carrying a loaded gun, and discharging a firearm in a vehicle with gross negligence.

The case fired up social media and highlighted the misogyny that still reigns in hip hop. Many on Twitter routinely attacked Megan, accusing her of lying among other vicious vitriolic comments.

The 27-year-old Megan, whose real name is Megan Pete, testified that Lanez offered her hush money and didn’t care about her injuries and pain suffered because he shot her.

Lanez, who declined to testify, claimed there was another shooter, Pete’s friend who was also arguing with the hit maker as they drove home from a party.

“[Lanez] told me to dance,” Pete told the jury, adding that he also cursed at her following the shooting.

Sentencing for Lanez is scheduled for Jan. 27.

“You showed incredible courage and vulnerability with your testimony despite repeated and grotesque attacks that you did not deserve,” Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon said, referring to Pete.

“You faced unjust and despicable scrutiny that no woman should ever face, and you have been an inspiration to others across LA County and the nation.”

The post Tory Lanez Found Guilty in Meg Thee Stallion Shooting  first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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