Do these fries come with extra oil, for my robot waiter?

What’s Going on in the Workforce

CBS MoneyWatch covers the pending automation disruption—including a look at what kinds of white collar workers are most at-risk—and Martin Ford gives a pitch for UBI. Relatedly, Danny Meyer (guy who got rid of tipping in his restaurants) is now experimenting with automation in Shake Shack ordering.

ADP’s purchase of a digital payments company means more workers may soon be getting paid through fee-laden cash cards.

Sharing, Solidarity & Sustainability

Want to support a group of homecare workers who are getting a coop off the ground next year? Contribute here.

I’m pretty proud that I had a small piece of helping the Our Neighborhoods, Our Future put out this Open Letter to Jeff Bezos, regarding Amazon’s race-to-the-bottom RFP for a second HQ.

WA state rep Monica Stonier has a new piece out, announcing her intention to introduce portable benefits legislation in that state.

Reputation, reputation, reputation

Do you know how to protect yourself from doxxing?

Organizing Theory

If you didn’t watch this Mobiliisation Lab Live web discussion last week, on “How Social Ties Scale Modern Advocacy Campaigns,” go watch it now.

Thinking about scaling up voter registration for 2018? Read about this interesting experiment, run by vote.org.

Lots of us are moving to have more meetings via video, with people around the country or in other countries. Here’s a great post on how to make virtual meetings more effective.

From Partners

This is a fascinating paper by the UK Trade Union Congress on how unions should approach automation. If it’s tl/dr, start with Section 5—“What can we expect to happen to work…”

Geeking Out

I’m curious if I know anyone who is working (either for money or love) in an organization that uses Colony. And if it works, does it have to be a big organization? Kinda sounds like it, from this.

Events

Want to learn how implicit bias may be impacting your hiring? Check out this free webinar on November 8th.

“OK, but we’re buying the factory and keeping our jobs here.”

Local Input~ FILE — Workers sew garments at an unregistered factory in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Nov. 17, 2013. American and European retailers and apparel brands committed to improving safety in Bangladeshi factories have divided into two sometimes feuding camps, a result that some say detracts from the overall effort. (Tomas Munita/The New York Times) ORG XMIT: XNYT108

Sharing, Solidarity & Sustainability

“Want to move production to Thailand? OK, but we’re buying the factory and keeping our jobs here.” Provocative piece about how unions could be better at partnering with the cooperative movement.

“We only cary things that people like and buy.” A new grocery delivery startup thinks it can outsmart Instacart & Amazon (but only in the Bay Area, apparently). Meanwhile, Instacart rolls out a new partnership with Costco, so you can get your lifetime supply of paper towels delivered, instead of needing to borrow a truck.

It’s not just Bill Gates—the UK Labour Party is thinking about a robot tax, too.

A new app helps low-wage workers save for emergencies—and take out low-interest loans, instead of needing payday loan sharks.

Organizing Theory

Want to move your state towards a better system of online voter registration? Check out this how-to guide, from Pennsylvania Voice.

Geeking Out

Can you survive as an Uber driver? (spoiler alert—there are no mortgages in SF for $1,000/month). Check this amazing game by the Financial Times, of all places.

What’s Going on in the Workforce

Amazon is testing a new last-mile delivery service that has FedEx and UPS worried.

Most of us would agree that rehab is better than jail, for addicts. But when rehab is a forced labor camp, and there’s no workers’ comp? It’s not better.

Uber has problems with driver retention, and the FT is ON IT. (I guess that’s why they made that game?)

Why all workers should have the same rights

Events

The Aspen Institute is hosting a discussion of Race, Work and Opportunity in America, on October 25th. Livestreaming, if you’re not in DC.

Jobs

The Freelancers’ Union is hiring a part-time social media strategist.

“I definitely do not fit into the normal box”


What’s Going on in the Workforce

“I definitely do not fit into the normal box…” I’m strangely excited to read this paper on people who have multiple work identities, and how they achieve authenticity.

Uber has decided to shut down its car-leasing program, because it was costing the company too much money (not, apparently, because it was costing drivers too much money—although it was definitely doing that).

The New York local of TWU is partnering with worker-coop advocates to push the city to create a worker-owned school bus company.

Reputation, reputation, reputation

The next time you’re rude to your Uber driver (but seriously, why are you still using Uber?) you might get a ding on your OWN reputation.

Organizing Theory

Before you discount it, think about it. Entrepreneur & former VC Kanyi Maqubela on why Y Combinator Core might be a union (b/c, aggregating labor).

Sharing, Solidarity & Sustainability

I don’t have a good umlaut joke when I really need one, but Ikea just bought Task Rabbit.

In yet another blow to Uber’s international operations, the company is threatening to pull out of Montreal/Quebec rather than comply with new government regulations that require them to provide the same number of training hours that taxi drivers must receive. On the plus side, Uber just introduced a function to teach hearing riders some basic sign language, when they pull a driver who is deaf.

A new company offers to help better connect gig workers to platform-based gigs, regardless of industry sector.

The Economic Security Project has announced their new grantees around universal basic income projects.

~insert witty subject line here~

Personal news

Hey folks, I’m looking for short term consulting work between now and the end of the year. Got an idea for something I could help you with? Let me know. 

Sharing, Solidarity & Sustainability

No doubt, the biggest sharing economy news of the week is that the City of London is taking away Uber’s right to operate there (pending an appeal). In other news, the company has admitted in court that there is basically no relationship between the fare quoted to riders and the fee paid to drivers.

In bad news for Instacart & other grocery delivery companies, customer dissatisfaction with online grocery buying grew this year.

YCombinator has put out some more information about the basic income experiment that they are planning to conduct. And a h/t to reader Stephan Edel, who sent me this request for progressives to oppose neoliberal basic income schemes, on the basis that they increase rather than decrease precarity for the poor.

Lyft is partnering with the AARP and other senior organizations to figure out how they can better serve the senior population—including by giving free rides to seniors (test market: Los Angeles).

Organizing Theory

A hotel chain adds direct lines to Congress, so you can phone your representative from your room and let him/her know your political opinions. What is this life?

Do you need a guide to offering community training on data & technology? Look no further.

What’s Going on in the Workforce

An interesting look at how the world of NYC cab drivers is changing, in the age of Uber.

Events

The Aspen Institute is hosting a discussion of how to improve jobs in the long-term care industry in DC in mid October.

Jobs

Want to help privately owned small businesses convert to worker ownership? Democracy at Work is hiring.

Friends without benefits?

Reputation, reputation, reputation

A bot created by Microsoft has now had billions of conversations with humans, in the guise of a 17 year old girl.

Great piece by Tressie McMillan that breaks down how your drug store loyalty card might be influencing the kinds of loans you can get—or education you can access.

Sharing, Solidarity & Sustainability

Bloomberg imagines the journey of a pair of sneakers, from manufacture to end consumer, after the entire supply chain is automated.

From Partners

Our friends at NELP put out this guide to receiving disaster unemployment insurance, in the wake of Harvey & Irma.

The Century Foundation and National Domestic Workers Alliance partnered on this report about how to improve retirement savings among some of the most vulnerable workers in our society.

Geeking Out

Interesting look at how organizers in Barcelona built a platform for civic participation—and how they are dealing with the digital divide.

h/t to my colleague Stephen Boykewich, for pointing out this article about a new way to learn economics.

The Perils of Trumpism

There’s rarely good news out of the Department of Labor these days—but they have just announced grants to help workers dislocated by Hurricane Irma.

Events

In Denver? Check out this event next week, featuring friend-o-the-blog Nathan Schneider.

This is your brain on the 4-hour workday

What’s Going on in the Workforce

Maybe there’s some scientific evidence behind the idea of moving to a 4-hour workday.

Larry Summers advocates pro-worker labor law reform. No, really.

“The dependence of the market on state planning is fundamental; the jobs you have are ones that the state has allowed to exist.” In other words, does a basic income make any less sense than forcing everyone to work?

Over the weekend, my phone refused to stop blowing up, thanks to some amplification that my friends at the Fight for 15 & Jacobin Magazine provided. I guess this Pizza Hut franchise owner didn’t have a very much chill during the run up to Hurricane Irma. My crazy Twitter obsession is vindicated.

Organizing Theory

The Intlawgrrls blog makes a good case for why workers’ rights protection—particularly around compensation for on-the-job injuries—should be included in free trade agreements.

Sharing, Solidarity & Sustainability

Interesting piece by Civic Hall Labs on the lessons they’ve learned in attempting to create a culture of “pro bono tech.”

Last week, Airbnb launched their Living Wage Pledge, asking hosts to publicly declare whether they pay their house cleaners (if they use them) $15/hour. In other Airbnb news, they also became the first tech company to announce that they would keep employing Dreamers, even after their work visas expire.

Universal healthcare? There’s an app for that. And a VC firm, too.

Can behavioral science help non-profits deliver more services to the poor?

The labor of recovery

Sharing, Solidarity & Sustainability

Lots of last week’s news was, of course, about the devastation brought by Hurricane Harvey (and, to some degree, flawed human planning for such a disaster). Here’s a good piece about how civic tech folks in Houston worked with all kinds of volunteers to create technology to inform rescue efforts. Text-messaging app Hustle also announced that it would be giving 30 days of free access to groups involved in fundraising or organizing around Harvey rescue & cleanup.

Shareable reports on a new nurses’ coop, launched by members of United Health Workers West (SEIU).

Organizing Theory

Million Hoodies just launched a “We Keep Us Safe” network, to enable everyday people to stand up for their neighbors.

Facebook for the labor movement?”

What’s Going on in the Workforce

Interesting piece about an employment classification lawsuit against Grubhub, which unfortunately contains an unrelated auto-play video about Uber. You’ve been warned.

Ford & Domino’s pair up to study self-driving pizza delivery.

Georgetown University has convinced Nike to make a major concession around workers’ rights monitoring in their factories.

The gig economy’s workforce could benefit from understanding the experience of independent workers in Hollywood.

The Perils of Trumpism

The Guardian reports on new efforts by right-wing forces to defund the labor movement.

A robot tax for robot taxis?


Sharing, Solidarity & Sustainability

SF Supervisor Jane Kim wants the city to consider the country’s first robot tax.

A Seattle city councilwoman just asked Jeff Bezos to convene gig economy platform companies to talk about ethical employment for gig workers.

Reputation, reputation, reputation

“…if you don’t have the data to begin with, you can’t be compelled to supply it..” great piece by Ben Werdmuller on how developers need to re-think their data collection, in the wake of authoritarian regimes like Trump’s.

Organizing Theory

Super-interesting presentation about using Facebook Live during actions to amplify your message.

From Partners

Check out this new website, that allows grantees to anonymously review foundations.

Geeking Out

This advice columnist was asked for advice by a woman who wants to unionize—though her boyfriend is her boss. Bonus points for an answer that includes the word “rentier.”

What’s Going on in the Workforce

Interesting piece from TechCrunch on what 1099-employing businesses can do to help independent contractors save for taxes—and understand that they need to do so in the first place.

“…a worker who has been ignored at his time of need in his old workplace is unlikely to sign up in his new one.” Ukrainian workers’ rights activists are struggling to define new ways of organizing workers.

Disgruntled MTurkers are working with Stanford academics to develop a worker-friendly competitor to Amazon’s Mechanical Turk.

Jobs

The Freelancers Union is hiring a benefits & member services manager.

Know a smart digital organizer? Coworker is hiring.

No killer bots

Robot of the Week

Elon Musk & 115 other roboticists are asking the UN to ban killer robots.

Organizing Theory

Here’s a piece I wrote (not for HtU) about why investing in community organizing is the best way for progressives to win elections & build real power.

Sarah Jaffe’s interviews with organizers are one of the things getting many of us through this difficult time. Here, she talks to my long-time friend Jeff Ordower*.

Reputation, reputation, reputation

Uber for advertising? A new app lets you leverage your personal “brand” (i.e.—demographics + social media profile) to get paid to stand around at new restaurants or clubs.


Sharing, Solidarity & Sustainability

Well, AirBnb may still be destroying the rental market in certain cities, but at least they’ve agreed to ban white supremacists from using their service. I’ll be looking for the launch of ConfederateBnB soon.

Americans have reversed a long-term trend—that of people from low-wage states moving to high-wage states—in part because the cost of rent is too damn high.

Geeking Out

Brilliant campaign to fight the TX “bathroom bill” mocks up school backpacks that display birth certificates.

What’s Going on in the Workforce

The Brookings Institute’s Hamilton Project released this detailed look at non-workforce participants (aka, people who don’t have jobs) in the US—including a better understanding of how they make ends meet.

Food co-op workers in Minneapolis are joining unions in record numbers.

Great investigative piece by Michael Grabell, about how immigrant workers are being turned in to ICE, after applying for workers’ comp due to on-the-job injuries.

*ps–Happy Birthday, Jeff!

Lower unemployment means jobs go unfilled, in the gig economy & in the fields

What’s Going on in the Workforce

Gig economy companies are struggling to find workers, as the overall economy improves, & fewer people want a side hustle. Instacart will try to close their employment gap by offering cheap cell service to their workers.

The Trump Administration shut down some guestworker visas—Vice took a look at what kinds of conditions exist as Americans try to take shrimping jobs. And here’s a look at what Trump’s immigration policy is doing in Wisconsin’s dairy industry.

Uber has decided to shut down its controversial car-leasing program.

London’s black cab drivers have launched an app to compete with ride-sharing companies like Uber & Lyft.

Boxed’s CEO gives equal access to benefits to the workers who pack goods in the company’s warehouses—including things like paying for weddings and tuition.

One of the earliest on-demand delivery services just shut down, stranding their Los Angeles workers without complete paychecks.

Organizing Theory

South Korea has introduced what some are calling the first “robot tax,” to address issues around workforce automation.

Sharing, Solidarity & Sustainability

It’s not every day you see a billionaire start a petition against tax cuts.

If you’re gonna mention the problems with wages in the restaurant industry & not even MENTION the tipped minimum wage? Maybe you should talk to ROC.