Cherubs Strike, Holiday Endangered

New York - Cherubs protesting what they describe as substandard working conditions and wages staged a wildcat strike at St. Valentine Industries (SVI) corporate headquarters today. The protesters, many armed with bows and arrows, clashed several times with riot police in front of the building.

There were several injuries among the cherubs and five SWAT team members were taken to St. Francis hospital after "swooning" from arrow shots that pierced their Kevlar vests. A hospital spokesangel said three cherubs were released after being treated for minor injuries including one torn wing. The SWAT team members are being held for observation.

"Their prognosis is good," the spokesangel said of the SWAT members. "However, they may continue to suffer from a sense of euphoria and a craving for candlelight dinners, chocolate, and roses."

A police spokesperson said the police response was hampered by the cherubs' ability to launch spontaneous air attacks against a police force primarily armed for land-based operations. "The little bastards are swarming all over us," said NYPD SWAT commander Lt. Paddy O'Malley. O'Malley himself was injured a short time later when a member of his team accidentally shot him with a rubber bullet while trying to down a cherub. The cherub rejoined the fracas unscathed.

The strike was staged by Local 637 of the Amalgamated Union of Cherubic Archers (AUCA) after a prolonged contract dispute. The cherubs have been working under an existing contract after five-year years of negotiations fell apart on Monday, just as the Valentine's holiday rush began.

The Down Jones Industrials fell 135 points in after hours trading on news that chocolate deliveries would stall and retail outlets' ability to reduce huge inventories of greeting cards before the holiday will severely impact Q2 retail sales estimates. SVI was the loss leader, losing 73% of it's value while retailers such as Hallmark, American Greetings, and Whitman's Chocolates fell as much as 63 points. Bears and Stearns has placed a solid sell recommendation on SVI's stock and it has been degraded to junk status. NYSE officials warned the company that if its stock value falls further, the Big Board will suspend trading.

In a recent development, SVI officials requested President George Bush dispatch a federal mediator to negotiate an end to the crisis. However, White House aides indicated the President was on an extended crappie fishing vacation at his Texas ranch.

"The request has been made, but the President is studying whether Iran is the cause of this labor unrest. He feels strongly that Iranian labor agitators have infiltrated the union, but would not like to engage in idle speculation or indicate a headlong rush to war," White House spokesman Tony Snow said. "The President is a very careful man and I'm confident that after serious deliberation he will decide - despite any additional information presented - that the Iranians are supplying the strikers with their arrows of mass destruction. It is just one more indication that Iran is a rogue state that must be dealt with forcefully, but fairly. The question is whether that will happen this week or next," Snow added.

Reached in an Indonesian bar, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman, General Peter Pace, said, "I don't know what the hell he's talking about. The President is a complete loon." When asked for additional comment, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said, "He is not. I love the man like I would love any of my fellow cronies. Just ask Brownie."

With both sides at loggerheads, the strike is expected to last several more weeks - more if a federal mediator is actually assigned. "We hold out hope that the President will act soon," SVI spokesman Chub E. Luv said. "With the President on our side, we know we will prevail. When this thing is over, the communist union movement in this country will finally be extinguished. This is a Reagonian moment to act. We may never have a chance to change the landscape of American business again."

Luv added, "Besides, we donate millions of crappie to the President and we expect favorable treatment."

Ex-White House staffers, interviewed under deep background, confirmed that Valentine is a huge Republican contributor and may be a candidate to replace the current Labor Secretary.

The labor flap began when SVI refused to raise the cherubs' hourly wage to $1.35 per hour. Luv said, "Cherubs are classified as agricultural workers under the minimum wage laws. We are under no obligation to pay more and we feel our offer is a substantial value for our workers. It is certainly on par with wages paid to illegal immigrants and we supply excellent working conditions."

Labor spokesman Julio Bastidor de Amor disagreed.

"The company refuses to pay cherubs a living wage," Amor said. "We work from sunup to sundown, making chocolate, printing cards, and shooting diners at romantic restaurants. We have not received a pay raise since 1136 AD."

"This is our due," Amor added. "This great national holiday would be quite impossible without the hard work of our cherubic brethren. We are forced to work in filthy conditions. Our bows and arrows are ancient, and just look at the condition of our wings. It's disgraceful and immoral."

"Our CEO, St. Valentine, is more concerned with his corporate perks than he is with the well being of his employees or the hearts of millions of middle class Americans," Amor said.

The reclusive Valentine is rumored to have made a record bonus during the last quarter, estimated to be as high as $635 billion. He is also rumored to have many high-cost corporate perks, including his own set of gold encrusted wings, a handmade Stradivarius bow, and a quiver of arrows made by master-whittlers imported from the Vatican. His biggest reported corporate perks are a personal key to St. Peter's Gate and an exclusive club membership in the Halfway to Hell Club.

When contacted for an interview, a club spokesman said the club has a very restricted membership list. "I am going to tell you nothing. Zero. Zip. Nada. We are a private club with a very exclusive clientele." Rumored club members include Anna Nicole Smith who is on a provisional membership awaiting final approval by the Bahamian Supreme Court.
The Poobah is a featured contributor at Bring It On!
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Truth Told by Omnipotent Poobah, Wednesday, February 14, 2007

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