real america

Walmart Strike Means No More Cedar Cheese or Those Cakes We Like

Wage thievery Today is a sad day for lovers of cedar cheese and those cakes we like because of the Walmart strike. The Walmart strike has, of course, been covered at length in the Labor section of your local newspaper so you are surely familiar with the details, except HA HA, just kidding! You probably don’t have a local newspaper anymore, and the liberal media doesn’t concern itself with trifling issues like “labor,” and if you are reading Wonkette you are probably not a Real American so you probably have not noticed that your local Walmart is maybe closed. (Yes, you have a local Walmart even though you don’t have a local newspaper.)

Today, for the first time in Walmart’s fifty-year history, workers at multiple stores are out on strike… Walmart is entirely union-free in North America, and has worked aggressively to stay that way…

Interviewed yesterday, University of California labor historian Nelson Lichtenstein predicted that in the event of a Walmart employee strike, public relations would play a bigger role in restricting Walmart’s response than any legal restrictions. If a work stoppage mustered “a substantial number of the workers” in a store, he said, then “a tougher response would be a PR disaster.” … [If] workers at one Walmart store went on strike indefinitely, [he added] “they’d just close the store, period. And it would be open with a whole new workforce in a week or two. And then it would be litigated for the next three years…” On the other hand, he said, “If every month or so, the workers at a Walmart store walked out, like a three-hour walkout, and then they went back in, that would have tremendous impact.” Brief walk-outs have happened at US Walmart stores in the past, but they’ve never involved multiple stores.

Workers are striking for better conditions, asserting that “No one should come to work and endure extreme temperatures, inhale dust and chemical residue, and lift thousands of boxes weighing up to 250 lbs with no support. Workers never know how long the work day will be—sometimes its two hours, sometimes it’s 16 hours.” CLEARLY they have not realized that they should just be grateful to have a job, especially serving people as successful as the Walton family.

About the author

Kris E. Benson writes about politics for Wonkette and is pursuing a doctorate in philosophy. This will come in handy for when they finally open that philosophy factory in the next town over. @Kris_E_Benson

View all articles by Kris E. Benson
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    1. Negropolis

      She's actually teamed up with Walmart to get more fresh fruits and vegetables in them. I guess they've taken the "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em" tactic.

      1. GunToting[Redacted]

        Doesn't WalMart allow overnight plane parking for people traveling our great nation?

    1. ibwilliamsi

      Just because Mitt has never been to Walmart doesn't mean that it doesn't exist. He said the same thing about oral sex. Don't listen to him, a man who doesn't believe in oral sex can't be trusted!

    1. James Michael Curley

      I think there is another called But either is too painful to look at.

  1. hagajim

    I will have to check and see if my Walmart is closed when I go home – just so I can laugh if it is.

    1. Swampgas_Man

      Used to work there. Never again!

      OK, mostly because I got fired for getting sick too often, but still. . . . PRINCIPLES!

    2. Negropolis

      You are a rarity. They've become so ubiquitous that even liberals end up in them from time to time, usually at the behest of a clueless family member that won't go anywhere else, or because they are the only option in some towns.

  2. Estproph

    WalMart employees are expected to be so grateful for their jobs that they should come in to work for nothing.

  3. SpeedoFart

    No snark here, just admiring the huge brass balls of the workers willing to take on the country's largest employer.

    1. Lascauxcaveman

      Brass balls, or just the realization that your work conditions are going to put you in the hospital, with no health insurance?

      Shittiest job in the world isn't much to lose.

      1. SpeedoFart

        When there's virtually no safety net and no other jobs to be had, hell yes it's a lot to lose.

      2. doloras

        "Shittiest job in the world isn't much to lose. "

        Isn't that from the last page of the Communist Manifesto?

    1. tessiee

      Between the ER visits for the employees with no insurance, and the incarceration for the clientele, they pretty much end up costing us tax money.

  4. FNMA

    True story: One of my old friends, a World War II vet and labor guy who, even though he's in his '80s, could kick all of our asses, told me the only time he goes to Wal Mart is to take a shit. If he is out driving around and has to crap, he finds the closest Wal Mart.

    1. BaldarTFlagass

      When I used to travel to Europe a lot for work, I would often have to change planes at Paris-DeGaulle. I would do the same thing as your veteran friend. I hate that fucking airport.

      1. Negropolis

        The entire thing smells like piss. I remember flying in there in the early 00's, and it looked straight out of the third world. Maybe it was Orly, but I really think it was DeGaulle.

    2. coolhandnuke

      In a related story, back in High School some wanker thought he'd be clever and laced my bong hit with PCP…that was a nightmarish day. As payback, a few days later I had to drop a deuce so I went out to the school parking lot, found his car–which he poured every last cent into, some bitchin Camaro or Firebird–and I got up on his hood and shat on his windshield. He thought some other dude did it and he retaliated by shitting on his car's windshield which further snowballed into the great Tucson windshield shitstorm of 1981.

        1. coolhandnuke

          And if you have been through Marine Corps boot camp–as I have–you will see firsthand young men shitting all over themselves. The first two weeks is when it really hits the fan.

          1. coolhandnuke

            I believe the Halls of Poetic Justice have been shuttered at Walmart for many a moon…replaced by the bargain book bin of Sarah Palin cookbooks and Nookular Bomb Making for Dummies.

  5. NorthStarSpanx

    But how will our American Motor Home community cope? They don't know how to shop anyplace else for their essentials.

  6. FakaktaSouth

    Workers of Wal-Mart ARE the 47 percent (like almost entirely) and I am tired of how many of them are on public assistance while working way more than 40 hours and getting paid for 30. I wouldn't EVER voluntarily walk into a Wal-Mart ESPECIALLY not for them cakes those people like.

    1. FNMA

      My kid worked at Wal Mart when he was in school and as bad as you think working there is, it's much worse. Wal Mart fucks those people in so many ways, they should make videos of it and post them on Redtube. (I've been told it's some sort of intertubes dealie that posts videos of this nature.) A lot of the people my kid worked with were people who had worked at manufacturers and whose jobs were now in China and Indonesia and other third-world shitholes, like South Carolina. A lot of them were single mothers who, by the time they paid for child care and insurance and transportation to get to work, had about $10 left for the week to feed their kids.

      Jesus, don't get me started…

        1. emmelemm

          Do you live in Walnut Creek, btw? (Just askin'. I've actually been to Walnut Creek, of all the things.)

  7. gullywompr

    Surely there must be some sort of second amendment solution to end this strike? There's always a second amendment solution…

  8. Baconzgood

    I don't want to sound like a political hipster but…I don't think I've walked into a Walmart in 20 years.

    1. Terry

      When I lived down South, you often had no choice. WalMart has driven out the other businesses, so you shop there or you drive more than an hour.

    1. Jimmyone

      Outside a dentist office who is advertising Free Tooth Pulling special…Pull the last one and get a cake for free.

  9. pinkocommi

    The nerve of those WalMart workers! Thinking they have rights to a safe workplace and reasonable hours. Next thing you know they'll be demanding a living wage.

  10. Mumbletypeg

    and lift thousands of boxes weighing up to 250 lbs with no support

    Two hundred and fifty pounds.
    Even a fraction of that — is it *that* encumbering upon you, WalMart exploitatrixes, to budget for some equipment like hydraulic lifts and such?

  11. DerrickWildcat

    I'm about ready to go to Walmart. My pet cats need cat food and I need a case of Steel Reserve and maybe some of those Git 'er Done Potato Chips. I wear Camo Trucker's hats a lot so I fit in pretty good.

    1. DerrickWildcat

      Hey you guys, The Walmart on N. 27th street is open. I didn't see any protestors or anything. They didn't have any of the Larry the Cable Guy, "Git 'er Done" chips, but they did have some Hot Dog flavored Potato Chips. They really taste like Hot Dogs!

  12. LibertyLover

    Mitt Romeny sends his money to the Caymans. The people who shop at Walmart send their money to Bentonville, Arkansas.

  13. ttommyunger

    Remember when Sam Walton was such an Icon? Sort of a cross between "Buy American" and "Be a Great Employer"? He must be spinning in his grave. I sometimes think we, as a Country, are heading in the wrong direction…

    1. FakaktaSouth

      I really DO remember when MADE IN THE USA signs were all over the regular old Wal-Marts, how much better would life be if all the shit they sold there was still made here now? The very first time I went into one as a rather young and fun person, I was WAY less than sober, which I think is the only way to do that, and the fact that they had "waterbed cleaner" completely tripped me out. We could still totally make that here.

      1. ttommyunger

        Jeez. It's been years since I've thought about a waterbed. Not that anyone cares, but I learned early on that I can't fuck in one of them. I can fuck in a VW, on a rock-pile, in public even, but not on a waterbed….Go figure.

        1. FakaktaSouth

          Rock piles ARE more comfy than waterbeds, specially them good old 70s rubber ones that need cleaning.

          1. ttommyunger

            I've been told I'm blacker on the inside than most blacks are on the outside.Sent from the Field, not in Garrison.

        2. tessiee

          Pardon my unladylike phraseology, but:
          Who are you trying to bullshit, tommy?
          You fuck in the back of your El Camino; everybody knows that.
          But you do put an old carpet down first, because you're just classy that way.

      2. Terry

        But recall that MADE IN THE USA could mean being made in the Marianas Island by Chinese ex-pats working for slave wages. All thanks to Tom DeLay.

    2. actor212

      You mean how like he insisted every product in the store be American made? And that all his stores be within a day's drive of a regional warehouse?

      Yea, he probably would cringe…if he wasn't trampled by the Black Friday stampedes

    3. James Michael Curley

      Didn't the first heir resign from the BoD because of the onerous labor practices they implemented after the father died?

        1. James Michael Curley

          Yea, but you’re an honorable man, not the self indulgent yuppie spawn of some poor schmuck who worked his entire life.

    4. tessiee

      My former co-worker who was originally from Arkansas knew Sam Walton slightly and said he seemed like an OK guy who treated his employees decently. I gather he would be appalled by his descendants and the way his company is run nowadays.

      1. Peckerwood_Pete

        That human penis with a microphone comes on the AM station here in my town in SC. I've tuned in before, and IMO, his show is nothing but a 3 hour daily rant against unions and people on food stamps.

        1. actor212

          I've been, on and off, thinking about the phenomenon of right wing talk radio. The best i can figure out, it's the working day equivalent to the Kardashians or any reality TV show.

          Think about it, you get to feel smug and superior to imaginary people because someone made up shit and told you.

    1. tessiee

      Can you blame them?
      If you get caught just mouthing the words to the company song, instead of singing it, you get a whuppin'.

  14. BigSkullF*ckingDog

    My brother used to work for Walmart. He always insisted they were a great company and nobody treated their employees better. On the other hand, my brother is a GIANT IDIOT.

  15. weejee

    Yes, you have a local Walmart even though you don’t have a local newspaper

    In Seattle we has none Walmarts. We must sneak over the troll toll bridge to Bellevue for our stops at Walmart after our double shot of Whole Foods and Nieman-Marcus as nounverb911 noted above.

  16. SaintNixon

    cedar? cheese? cakes? whhaaa?
    what? what? WHAT???

    Is this a JEW thing?

    I'm guessing this is a Jew thing because I don't get those goofs. This headline writer could benefit from a zinger-coach.

      1. SaintNixon

        That's too much work.

        (side note: that glancing factoid about local newspapers killed me. please do everything to keep print alive. please please please do any/every thing to keep print around. get your local newspaper EVERY DAY. commie bonus: most of those d00ds are unionized! win!

  17. SayItWithWookies

    I knew this was getting closer to happening when WalMart opened its first store in China a little while ago. The employees must've been thinking "Wait — where the hell are they gonna get their cheap shit made?" And then the realization set in.

  18. James Michael Curley

    The first Walmart I ever went to had pictures of the cashiers on the wall with big numbers and the wife asked what the numbers were. I said jokingly they were the days remaining before their green card expired. Less than a year later it was one of the NJ Walmart that was busted by ICE. Walmart, of course, alleged they knew nothing and the illegals with phony papers were hired by 'the contractor we retained' etc., etc.

  19. Chow Yun Flat

    Walmart supported some form of the ACA since the health insurance they offer their employees is almost impossible for the worker to qualify for and is worth less than what they pay for it.

    There have been stories about how part time workers at Walmart in Michigan qualify for Medicaid assistance–which means they have little income and no assets.

    Lovely people who run Walmart.

    1. SpeedoFart

      Not just Michigan– here in NY, it's not unusual to see WalMart employees in what few free health clinics that we have. Not to mention the WalMart employees who qualify for SNAP benefits.

      I just don't understand the huge corporations that didn't speak out in favor of some kind of healthcare reform (I only recall the CEO of Ford saying that single payer would be swell)– I mean, it's less cost to them and they get higher productivity out of the deal. What's not to love?

  20. CrunchyKnee

    Trailer for sale or rent
    Cardboard boxes to let fifty cents
    No phone no pool ate the pets
    I ain't got no cigarettes
    Ah but, 3000 hours of pushing broom
    Buys an eight by twelve four bit room
    I'm a man of means by no means
    King of the road

    1. tessiee

      Countin' flowers on the wall
      that don't bother me at all;
      playin' solitaire alone
      with a deck of fifty-one…

  21. prommie

    Man now is when I just sob softly knowing that my fondest dream, of a general strike, will never ever ever fucking happen in this fucked country. Fucking lumpenproles ruin every fucking thing.

    1. FakaktaSouth

      From the googles I see that lumpenproles also encompass the brothel owners. One with such as your avatar should like those people.

      1. prommie

        You see it perfectly describes those there deluded rednecks who think they share the same interests as the Romneys. I am really more a Trotskyite than a Marxist Lenninist, for sure.

          1. James Michael Curley

            Hmm! I’ve got a partially read copy of The Motorcycle Diaries right over there on the desk. Don’t tell me how it ends.

  22. elviouslyqueer

    From the Star Tribune linky: when nearly 14 million Americans are unemployed, complaining about work hours is grossly self-indulgent


    No, it is FUCKING NOT "grossly self-indulgent" to expect employers to accord workers a smidgen of respect and some small expectation that they won't be treated like they're errant, ungrateful children. It's precisely this type of contemptuous, dismissive attitude (from a newspaper editor, no less!) that makes me want to get out my axe and go all Faye Dunaway in "Mommie Dearest" on these assholes' rosebushes.*

    *metaphorically, of course. Or "with votes," also.

    1. FakaktaSouth

      THIS has been the same shit they were talking with the teachers' strike. It makes me CRAZY. When did "hey, you wanna a job at all, be happy with the shitty one you got, don't be trying to actually LIVE off them wages and such, it's for the job creators to provide and you to suck it" become the way we do things? Just gimme the axe handle when you get tired. I'll finish up here.

      1. James Michael Curley

        There can be no economic growth in a country which stifles the initiative of its working class. The decline of real wages over the last thirty years, even without inflation adjustments, is as much a cause of the economic collapse of 2008 and the paltry recession as any other reason.

    2. tessiee

      Or hey, here's a crazy idea… since they're making people work all those hours, they obviously have more work than they have people to do it… hows about they *hire more people* and actually BE jerb creators, instead of just keep saying it?

      Naaaah, that's just crazy talk, right?

  23. proudgrampa

    Question. Do they sell liquor in Wal-Mart, outside of Utah (Utah only has State-run liquor stores)>

    Because if they did, I would totally go to Wal-Mart for my Bombay Sapphire.

    1. iTuna

      Depends on the state. I think, for example, California and Florida both allow hard liquor to be sold in grocery stores. Here in Texas, however, you can't.

      1. actor212

        The only WalMart I've ever been to, in Oneonta NY, did not, but they did sell beer and NY state wines, like any other supermarket could.

        However, they carved out a little niche outside the doors and put in an "independent" liquor store

      2. shelwood46

        Yup, in NJ alcohol of any type can only be sold in separate licensed liquor stores (or bars with carry licenses). PA is similar with their State Stores. Makes me fondly remember buying beer by the can in convenience stores in WI.

        1. iTuna

          I regularly walk to the gas station 6 blocks away and buy 3 24-ounce PBRs- one for the walk home, one to drink while having a cigarette on the porch, and one to finish the job. For all its faults, Texas is pretty cool sometimes.

    2. BaldarTFlagass

      I know they sell liquor at the Walmart in Shawano, Wisconsin. I hated going there, but had no choice. Walmart, that is, not Shawano.

  24. CindynEncinitas

    I would like to care about this but all of my attention has been arrested by the glorious police force of Pago Pago. Many hearts to the right-thinking jailers who let their "guests" go on beer runs for them. God bless America and its protectorates! I'm packing as I write this.

      1. CindynEncinitas

        Crap. All these years I wanted to go to Pago Pago and it's not really called that. I suppose Tripoli isn't really Tripoli, either.

    1. tessiee

      I'm just about ready to go with you, even knowing absolutely nothing about Pago Pago, because how cool would it be to say you lived there?

  25. owhatever

    Arrest these ingrate commies and hire real American workers because Freedom. The Chinese condoms from Wal-Mart are a little small, but they last forever but I won't stop buying a new pack every six months.

  26. Mumbletypeg

    Adding to my earlier mention of the heavy lifting labor — From the summary of Ehrenreich's published book on the tedium of living low-wage:

    "Foremost, [Ehrenreich] attacks the notion that low-wage jobs require "unskilled" labor. The author, a journalist with a Ph.D. in cell biology, found manual labor taxing, uninteresting and degrading. She says that the work required incredible feats of stamina, focus, memory, quick thinking, and fast learning. Constant and repeated movement creates a risk of repetitive stress injury; pain must often be worked through to hold a job in a market with constant turnover; and the days are filled with degrading and uninteresting tasks (e.g. toilet-cleaning and mopping). She also details several individuals in management roles who served mainly to interfere with worker productivity, to force employees to undertake pointless tasks, and to make the entire low-wage work experience even more miserable."

    1. SayItWithWookies

      Sure, but since the average middle-class American makes a quarter of a million dollars a year according to Mitt Romney, if they saved just a little of their money they'd be able to start their own business — labor is just a step on the ladder to economic freedom enjoyed by the vast majority in this country.

      Then again, maybe I'm just getting delirious from not having had a raise in four years.

      1. Mumbletypeg

        on the ladder

        I kept hearing Obama use that word last night, as I tuned in/ out of the show.

        Freedom to thrive if you're born in the right circumstances. Then the ladder is built-in, not an ''added bonus.''
        Freedom to fail is a 'privilege' of the vast majority, one that's easily rejoindered by the 1% when pressed with "Why too big to 'fail'?" Their ladder is anchored in concrete. For us remaining percenters, it's where the concrete sidewalk ends.

        ETA: so now who's delirious? (read: sleep-deprived)

    2. prommie

      Nickled and Dimed was as fucking relentlessly depressing as Cormac McCarthy. Or even Angela's Ashes.

      1. Mumbletypeg

        as fucking relentlessly depressing

        When DokZoom referenced it a number of posts ago, I went and dug up my copy. Opened at random but was mainly interested in her account of the housecleaning-team gig, Merry Maids or such.
        That episode had been preceded, I had forgotten, by a stint at a retirement home, serving and cleaning up after the meals to the senior citizens. Some welcome comic relief in those intervening pages! I will admit I was surprised and it's not to contradict you — the bulk of her message is sobering, yet I was revisiting it again and found I kept turning the pages. Her prose makes it go down easier; along with a dose of, "Yeah she's confirming what I've suspected all along"~

        1. CindynEncinitas

          When my husband left me (unemployed, destitute, carless) there was a retirement home within walking distance, so I got a job there. My most vivid memory for the month I lasted was cleaning shit off the carpet next to the bed of a demented former airline pilot. And when I got my paycheck for 42 hours, I almost had a nervous breakdown. So I went back to the legal field where I clean shit up for substantially more.

          1. prommie

            The thought of going back to the legal field is relentlessly depressing to me. My new motto, therefore, in an effort to be cheerful, shall be "It beats cleaning up demented pilot shit."

          2. CindynEncinitas

            You fucking rock, Prommie! I'm picturing that in a nice cross-stitch, framed, maybe with a nosegay of daisies… That will be hanging on the wall of my room at the old folks home.

    3. tessiee

      Conversation between myself and a former co-worker as we passed in the hallway:
      Bob: Never a dull moment, eh?
      Me: Plenty of dull moments, Bob; never a FREE moment.

      PS. A month or two later, Bob requested vacation time that he had accumulated, and was approved. When he returned from vacation, he was informed that he no longer had a job at Screw Boss.

    4. tessiee

      "several individuals in management roles who served mainly to interfere with worker productivity, to force employees to undertake pointless tasks, and to make the entire low-wage work experience even more miserable."

      It's as I suspected; they HATE us. They're not just content to squeeze every nickel out of us; their day isn't complete until they've ground a heel into some poor schlub's windpipe.
      Having it confirmed strangely does not make me feel better.

      1. Mumbletypeg

        Yeah… the bit you highlighted there. How does one derive satisfaction from contriving piddly busywork-tasks for others, unless one has really gotten not only desensitized but dehumanized, in service to a more machinistic-like mentality that acts to guarantee preservation in status quo, by and *only* by means of quashing others — since that is, after all, how a vertical structure of success works? Triumph of the few at the expense of (the broken backs of ) the many.

  27. decentcitizen

    True story: I once represented a client who had fleeced two brothers out of a lot of money in a scam. These brothers amassed over a million dollars in profit sharing from working for Walmart from when it was just starting out over the course of 25 years. That was when Walmart had profit sharing. And wasn't the corporate piece of shit it's become. I hope these workers get some concessions such as Walmart agreeing to obey the law.

  28. Guppy

    a tougher response would be a PR disaster

    When have they ever cared about PR, or had reason to?

    I expect them to send in Blackwater Xe Academi by the end of the end of the month.

      1. Guppy

        Even better idea: cut costs by hiring undocumented Mexicans to do it. Undocumented Mexican women at that.

        Again, Walmart's motto is "Fuck the PR."

  29. johnnyzhivago

    Walmart's closed??? How the hell can I pick up a box of wheaties, a prepackaged salad, a can of insecticide and some 9mm ammunition without going into 4 different stores???????????

  30. bibliotequetress

    No snark.
    Just good for them. Walmart has had such a shit labor record for so many years now I don't really remember them ever being a good employer– although I do remember when they used to have mandatory prayers. I thnk they did stop that. Unfortunate that the defacto slave labor in Burma and China and wherever else cranking out the barely-worthy-of-the-name Levi's and other garbage Walmart sells can't strike too.

  31. DahBoner

    Nothing says 'prestige' more than whipping out your Walmart MoneyCard to pay for art, champagne or hookers…

  32. Geminisunmars

    It is hard to show solidarity with the workers of an establishment that I already boycott.

  33. Ruhe

    I have occasion to go into the local Wal-Mart once in a while and it's always depressing…and crowded. The marketing/merchandising genius of the current Wal-Mart corp. is that they are giving a very large portion of the population exactly what they want. Sad.

  34. ThundercatHo

    I really hope that hell for the entitled assholes such at Mittens, et al, is a permanent position at Walmart and living in a trailer park in tornado alley. A bunch of screaming, snot-nosed brats should frost that cake quite nicely.

  35. fuflans

    my fav on the cedar cheese list:

    popcikles + honey cooked ham turkey

    makin that tonight and mr. fuflans can either eat it or just go hungry

  36. tessiee

    "Today, for the first time in Walmart’s fifty-year history, workers at multiple stores are out on strike… "

    So, America hasn't been completely crushed after all?
    *perks up*

  37. tessiee

    "Walmart is entirely union-free in North America, and has worked aggressively to stay that way…"

    That's putting it very mildly, indeed.

    The same can be said of McDonald's, by the way, which is one of many reasons I haven't spent a penny in either place in decades, and wouldn't even if I *had* a penny.

  38. CivicHoliday

    Mitt is now proposing a new tax cut for these fantastic job creators! So that they can hire more slave labor!

  39. Biff

    I live on the outskirts of one of those towns that got a walmart, and not long after, the expected happened–bye bye, competition. We managed to hang onto our hardware store because they sold lumber, and had a truss factory. Now it's gone too, because Home Depot. Since it's at least 65 miles to the next town, I find myself occasionally having to shop there. A few months ago, I noticed they got rid of all the greeters. Must've gotten all uppity, or something. Anyway, it would be nice to see it go, but it's now the biggest employer in that godforsakentownthattimeforgot so it would cause real pain.

    A story: I was at an automobile race at Laguna Seca recently. One of the competitors was Rob Walton, driving a virtually irreplaceable Shelby Daytona coupe. Somewhere out of my view, he crashed it into another competitor's also extremely valuable Shelby Cobra roadster. To Walton, no big deal–he made more money than the car cost him in the time the race took to complete. The other guy? Maybe that was his entire nestegg. Both were reparable, luckily, but they're only original once…

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