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Santa's Workshop Closes Doors After Activists Descend on North Pole
(North Pole) -- The popular toy manufacturing company Santa's Workshop closed its doors today after a flurry of criticism from enraged activists.
Santa's Workshop is best known for dropping off free toys at every house on Christmas night, a business practice supported by a wide variety of investors, including children, Whos, and talking snowmen.
"My business couldn't survive under the attacks of these killjoys," Santa Claus, CEO of the company, said in a statement. "I continue to believe in the mission of Santa's Workshop but the time has come to close shop."
Trouble began about a year ago when sources say AFL-CIO President Richard Troublemaker disguised himself as an elf and began collecting card check signatures to unionize the company's elven workers.
The elves were quickly unionized, even though many claimed they were never given the chance to vote.
"I thought we were just supposed to make toys all day long. I don't even know what a 'worker collective' is," complained one elf.
"I really just want to be a dentist," another elf confided.
Troublemaker filed a complaint with the North Pole government, accusing Santa's Workshop of discriminating against job candidates who were more than three-feet-six-inches in height. He also questioned the workload, which requires employees to manufacture iPods and Gameboys using only hammers and nails.
"This is about standing up for the North Pole's working class which is under attack by wealthy fat cats," said Troublemaker, as he stepped off his Gulfstream jet onto a patch of arctic snow.
Public health groups have also heavily criticized Santa's Workshop for exchanging toys for Oreos, dubbing it a "cash-for-cookies" program. Nutritionists worry that Claus is setting a bad example for fat kids.
"We ran the math and concluded that Claus consumes about 470 million cookies and 105 million glasses of milk every Christmas Eve," said one official from the Fries and Doughnuts Administration. "Unfortunately, too many Americans don't know that this is well beyond the FDA's daily recommendations."
Despite its ability to melt ice, the FDA also banned salt at the North Pole for some reason.
The Center for Silly Public Interference (CSPI), an anti-everything tasty group, lashed out at Claus, accusing him of promoting "candy cane crack" to America's children.
"A study that I just completed found that when I lick a candy cane, I generally want to lick it again," said CSPI President Michael Jacobs. "If this trend goes unchecked, 139 percent of America's children will be morbidly obese by 2015."
Jacobs also filed a lawsuit in North Pole Superior Court to try to get caffeinated energy drinks banned on the job, a move that reportedly infuriated many elves.
"We have to make 1.5 billion toys out of scratch in less than a year," said one angry worker. "How exactly are we supposed to do that without caffeine?"
Economists say that the shuttering of Santa's Workshop will be devastating to the North Pole economy, which is almost entirely dependent on Claus' business and tourism. They also point out that Santa's Workshop had a sterling reputation in comparison to other Christmas businesses, such as those of the Abominable Snowman and the Winter Warlock.
But Claus says his operation became unsustainable, especially after a representative from People for the Eccentric Treatment of Animals (PETA) showed up and started complaining about the treatment of reindeer.
"These reindeer are treated like nothing more than beasts of burden even though they're just like us," said a PETA spokesman. "Many of them eat, drink, sleep, have feelings, fly, and speak English just like the rest of us."
"Some studies have shown that lighted red noses on reindeer are a sign of undue stress," he added.
And Claus said the last straw was when anti-alcohol activists infiltrated Santa's Workshop and discovered that eggnog laced with brandy was widely available onsite.
A spokesman for Misinformed Advocates to Deny Drinking (MADD) defended his group's actions against Santa's Workshop.
"If you want to drink, that's your business. But as soon as you get behind the reins of a magical, flying, reindeer-drawn sleigh, it becomes my business," he said.
Claus reported that he exploded in anger after he went to take the sleigh for a spin earlier this month. He never got off the ground thanks to an alcohol-detection device that MADD had secretly installed on his sleigh.
"I'd had one drink of peppermint schnapps three hours before the flight!" huffed a frustrated Claus.
Asked what the activists had in mind next, Jacobs demurred and offered only a hint.
"Let's just say we're not particularly happy with certain anthropomorphic rabbits delivering baskets of fattening chocolate eggs to little children," he said.