Clear It with Sidney | Hillman Foundation

Clear It With Sidney

The best of the week’s news by Lindsay Beyerstein

Clear It with Sidney

Sidney's Picks: Amazon's Internet Soldiers

The Best of the Week’s News:

Sidney's Picks: Lead Poisoning and Amazon BottleGate

Photo credit: 

Vintage lead paint ad. Consumers could send away for this coloring book to teach children about the miracle of lead as an additive. 

The Best of the Week’s News:

  • These reporters became lead inspectors to expose a Florida smelter that was poisoning workers. (Tampa Bay Times)
  • Amazon denied that its employees have to pee in bottles, but emails confirm the company knows about that, and worse. (Vice, Intercept) 
  • The NLRB says Amazon can’t have a company mailbox for union election ballots, but they do. (More Perfect Union)
  • Ian Manuel survived 18 years in solitary confinement, a term that started when he was 14 years old. (NYT)
  • Did CNN air staged footage of a migrant border crossing? (American Prospect)

Sidney's Picks: Organizing at Amazon and Deadly Skyscrapers

Photo credit: 

Jes, Creativre Commons.

The Best of the Week’s News:

The Sidney Hillman Foundation announces 2021 Canadian Hillman Prize winners

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2021 Canadian Hillman Prize winner and honourable mention recipients. 

The Sidney Hillman Foundation announced today it has awarded the 11th annual Canadian Hillman Prize to Grant Robertson of The Globe and Mail for his unparalleled investigation into how Canada’s world-renowned global pandemic early warning system went silent just months before COVID-19. Robertson’s reporting revealed the federal government shuttered key parts of Canada’s highly effective early alert and response system called the Global Public Health Intelligence Network (GPHIN), leaving the country ill-equipped and unprepared when the virus began spreading across the country.

Unknown to most Canadians, the GPHIN had been successfully run for decades prior to COVID by the Public Health Agency of Canada. It played a key role during both the SARS and H1N1 outbreaks. But in the months leading up to global pandemic, the government had diverted funding from the agency. Those decisions prevented doctors and epidemiologists from tracking and issuing warnings about international health threats.

In addition, Robertson discovered that key government officials refused to listen to advice from scientists about COVID-19, that warnings were not properly passed up the chain of command, and that many senior government officials were unable to properly manage the pandemic as they lacked a sufficient understanding of science and public health.

“This investigation exposed a public policy failure of epic proportions,” said judge Bonnie Brown. “Robertson’s reporting struck at the very core of what went wrong with Canada’s early COVID response. It explained why federal officials misjudged the urgency of the situation, and why the country’s pandemic response lagged behind our global peers.”

The Hillman judges also recognized “The Death Report” produced by the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN) and The Hamilton Spectator’s “House of Horrors” for honourable mentions.

“The Death Report” is a deeply moving investigation into the deaths of three First Nations girls - sisters, all of whom took their own lives, and the First Nations’ child welfare agency that failed to protect them.

“House of Horrors” is the shocking story of a Hamilton retirement home where abhorrent living conditions led to the deaths of a quarter of its residents from COVID. It was run by the Martino family, who had filed for bankruptcy years earlier, leaving taxpayers on the hook for $18 million, and yet were still somehow allowed to operate eight more homes. Finally, their licenses have now been stripped.

“We have been shut down now for exactly one year and the losses have been staggering,” said Alex Dagg, Canadian director of the Sidney Hillman Foundation, “But the pandemic has not stopped journalists who despite so many difficulties and the dangers of the virus, persisted, bringing us all the news and information we so badly needed and holding those in positions of power to account.”

Due to the ongoing COVID pandemic, The Sidney Hillman Foundation will host an online virtual Canadian Hillman Prize Ceremony on March 25 at 7pm on our website. Please tune in to hear our judges and winners discuss this year’s outstanding and critically important work. 

Sidney's Picks: Working Class Power & Alleged Feline Hostage-Taking

Photo credit: 

Illustration, Gené, Creative Commons. 

The Best of the Week’s News:

  • How Biden’s support for the Amazon union could build Democratic power in the South. (NYT)
  • The American Rescue Plan is law. Watch for: $1400 checks, extended UI, child tax credits, and more. (Vox) 
  • How the PRO Act would make sure the working class benefits from the push for green energy. (Dissent)
  • A Creature of White Supremacy”: AFL takes aim at the filibuster. (Politico)
  • Right-wing YouTuber’s news site collapses amid allegations of feline hostage-taking. (Daily Beast)

Sidney's Picks: The Amazon Vote, Biden, and Unions

Photo credit: 

Karri Van Kirk, Creative Commons.

Sidney’s Picks:

Sidney's Picks: Deregulation & Amazon Vote-a-Rama

The Best of thte Week’s News:

  • Electricity deregulation cost Texans $28 billion extra over 20 years. (WSJ)
  • The Senate Parliamentarian rules that a $15 minimum wage can’t be part of the COVID relief package. (Rolling Stone)
  • U.S. labor law is broken, but what would an Amazon union drive look like under Canadian labor law? (Nation, Jacobin)
  • Amazon-owned Twitch bans Amazon’s union-busting ads. (Vice)
  • Hillman board member Danny Glover joined voting Amazon workers  in Alabama. (Portside)
  • Amazon accused of meddling with mysterious mailbox and McDonald’s surveilled organizing workers. (Vice) 

Sidney's Picks: Texas Electric Grid, Amazon's Traffic Lights, and Creeping Uberization

Photo credit: 

CIA del foto, Creative Commons.

The Best of the Week’s News:

Sidney's Picks: Pandemic Pain in PA; A Union Future for Amazon?

The Best of the Week’s News:

Sidney's Picks: Amazon Union Vote & Death on the Line

Photo credit: 

The Globe in the New York Daily News Building, Wally Gobetz, Creative Commons.

The Best of the Week’s News: