by Lindsay Beyerstein
How our blog got its name
Sidney Hillman was a powerful national figure during the Great Depression, a key supporter of the New Deal, and a close ally of President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
When the rumor spread that President Roosevelt ordered his party leaders to “clear it with Sidney” before announcing Harry S. Truman as his 1944 running mate, conservative critics turned on the phrase, trumpeting it as proof that the president was under the thumb of “Big Labor.”
Over the years, the phrase lost its sting and became a testament to Hillman's influence.
It's hard to imagine a labor leader wielding that kind clout today, but we like the idea—and we hope Sidney would give thumbs up to our blog.
Foxconn Admits it Had 14-Year-Old "Interns"
Looks like the unpaid internship scam has gone global. Electronics manufacturing giant Foxconn admits that it discovered underage "interns" working in its factory:
BEIJING (AP) — Electronics manufacturer Foxconn said Tuesday it found underage interns as young as 14 working at one of its factories in China. Foxconn Technology Group said the interns were found by a company investigation at its factory in the eastern city of Yantai and were sent back to their schools. China's minimum legal working age is 16. Foxconn, owned by Taiwan's Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., is best known as the manufacturer of Apple Inc.'s iPhone but said the Yantai factory had no connection with its work for Apple.
The labor rights group China Labor Watch said in a statement that Foxconn was remiss for not verifying the ages of its interns.
Local authorities have long been accused of colluding with Foxconn to steer cheap labor to the factories. The fact that the underage interns came in through a "vocational program" run by a local school adds weight to these suspicions.