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[Academy RP] The Price of Onions

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“One point six five, that’s my final answer.”

“That’s piracy on the high seas, and you f*cking know it!”

“Bite me.”

Talitha Bat-Simon sighed before she opened the door. “Well, the negotiations seem to be in progress,” she muttered to herself before entering.

To her lack of surprise, her comrade, Ari Kane was leaning over the table and glaring at his opposite number. Normally, he was quite likeable, and always willing to help his fellow workers, which explained his position as one of the United Food Service Workers’ top officials. But the man was also nearly two meters tall and fairly muscular, and frequently used his size to intimidate others, mostly idiotic customers. That glare alone would have immolated most people.

Unfortunately, Jamin ibn Haym of the Union of Agricultural Workers was not most people. A man used to handling cattle was not going to be easily intimidated by a mere human being. He just sat in his chair, arms crossed, doing a very good impression of a large boulder.

However, his eyebrows went up slightly when Talitha entered. He clearly hadn’t expected that the rising star of the UFSW – and the youngest General Assembly Delegate in Mevraqi history – would be at this negotiation.

“Sorry I’m late,” Talitha apologized. “What seems to be the issue?”

Ari turned to her. “This f*ckhead is charging us 1.65 qiteas per kilo for onions. Last year was 1.38!”

Ibn Haym shrugged. “We had a bad harvest. Plus, a lot of our equipment is showing its age. We’re trying to get enough cash to invest in new equipment. Probably from Ioannes Kervos.”

“We’ve even cut our own salaries, but farmers gotta eat too!” Jasmine Chandrekar cut in. She was the third senior Delegate for the UAW. From how she had looked when Talitha entered, this might have been her first statement since the negotiations started.

“So, we’re jacking up our prices. Across the board.”

Ari remained belligerent, but Talitha simply nodded. Few of the Mevraqi unions had much in the way of cash reserves. That the farmers were willing to cut their own salaries showed that they were serious about trying to upgrade. And while Mevraq made a lot of things, first-rate agricultural equipment wasn’t one of them. So jacking up prices to raise cash to buy foreign equipment made sense. But the UFSW couldn’t really afford to pass on those prices to the consumers.

For now…

Talitha sat down, taking a few moments to collect her thoughts. The UFSW didn’t have much leverage to offer the UAW. One downside to a socialist economy was that the UFSW couldn’t really threaten to buy from somewhere else in Mevraq. The UAW represented all farmers in the country and whatever price they offered would be much less than trying to import from abroad.

On the other hand, the UAW couldn’t really walk out of here either. 94% of their production was bought by the UFSW, which controlled every single restaurant, grocery store, and caterer in the country. So eventually, the UAW would bend.

And the UFSW did have one notable asset: they outnumbered the UAW. Significantly. Which meant they had more leverage in the Assembly…

“I think the best solution to our problem is to work together. You need to upgrade your equipment. So do a lot of people. If you keep your prices reasonable, I’ll introduce a bill in the Assembly to invest in upgrading agricultural equipment. We can probably get better prices from Ioannes Kervos if it’s the People’s Republic buying instead of just the UAW.”

Ari raised an eyebrow at her, but his expression was more “huh, didn’t think of that” than “what the f*ck are you doing”. Ibn Haym thought for a few seconds, then shifted his shoulders.

“How does 1.47 sound?”

Edited by Mevraq (see edit history)
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