Lak-O-Tone Recordings announced that a contentious labor dispute at the company warehouse has been settled and conditions have returned to normal.
The dispute did not involve wages, but rather the choice of background music being played to boost employee morale. "It was strictly B'sville," said one employee who didn't dare to be identified. "Uncle Tom Collins, The Three Tobacco Tags, Bogus Ben Covington, Hezzie Johnson, The Texas Rhythm Boys, Vernon Dalhart -- junk like that." Another issue involved the vending machines, which (due to corporate tie-ins) offered only pork rind snacks and NuGrape soda. The dispute came to a head in January, when disgruntled employees locked themselves in the warehouse and began shipping CDs to addresses chosen at random from the phone book.
Irate citizens receiving these recordings swamped the governor's phone lines, so he activated the National Guard. After talking to the employees, the Guard determined that the best way to resolve the situation was to remove Chairman of the Board Jacobus Pike IV (see photo). But both sides refused to budge: the company continued to play the same tapes and daily restocked the vending machines with the same products, while the employees set shipment records after ingeniously reprogramming the random number generator in the computer Solitaire game so it could be used to create shipping addresses. There was some concern among the protestors that the warehouse function might be moved to Mexico, but Chairman Jacobus Pike ruled that out. "Their labor rates are too high," he said, "and importing these CDs might run afoul of United States HAW (Hazardous Artistic Waste) regulations."
The situation was finally resolved when a group of specially-hired contract consultants stormed the building, lobbing tear-gas cannisters and firing taser guns at the weeping employees. Everyone was back to work yesterday. No employees have been fired as a result of the incident. "Who would we replace them with?" asked Director of Human Resources Louis W. (Bud) Claeson, who also asked not to be identified. One bright spot in this otherwise unfortunate sequence of events is that customers will find themselves more strongly affected emotionally by the sentimental songs on Lak-O-Tone recordings, due to the residual tear gas absorbed by the CDs, booklets and cases.