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.

What, me worry?

What’s Going on in the Workforce

Quartz takes a look at 500 years’ worth of worrying about the Future of Work.

Uber Freight has announced they are starting to schedule freight truck delivery in 6 new states.

Geeking Out

Just like your favorite teenager, self-driving cars will need to learn human “rules of the road” before they are unleashed in the wild.


From Partners

Here’s an interesting civic tech project—looking to help folks automate sending their daily change to pay bail for those who can’t afford it.

Check out NELP’s latest publication—for employers of immigrants, what to do if ICE comes to your workplace.

Sharing, Solidarity & Sustainability

FoxConn may be bringing a factory to Wisconsin—but will it hire humans? or robots?

We’ve heard a lot about ride-sharing companies making life more difficult for disabled travelers—here’s a good piece explaining the issues around home-sharing platforms.

Reputation, reputation, reputation

A Facebook app that fights depression, by checking in to see how you’re doing on the daily.

Get on the Bus!

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What’s Going on in the Workforce

The Independent Drivers Guild just launched an accident insurance program for their members, who drive for UberMore robots = less social mobility, according to this new study.

The Transport Workers Union wants to create a worker-owned school bus cooperative, in New York City.


Reputation, reputation, reputation

Cathy O’Neil has some interesting thoughts about how to regulate algorithms, which affect us more and more at-and away from-work.

Organizing Theory

Good interview of three Southern labor organizers, on organizing around race, class & gender in the South.

Sharing, Solidarity & Sustainability

Yet another venture capitalist calls for us to start figuring out basic income, in the face of increased automation. Guess he’s worried about our lack of social mobility?

Is worker-ownership the solution to the economy’s problems?

Sharing, Solidarity & Sustainability

Senator Warner penned an op ed for Fast Company on why the US needs portable benefits.

New York City is poised to have a discussion about whether the city should help retiring business owners sell to their employees, as Forbes wonders if impact investors will embrace ESOPs.

Organizing Theory

Elana Lavin from (among other places) Organizing 2.0 led a Twitter chat recently about the Wonder Woman movie, and how activists are incorporating it into their work and campaigns. Check out some of the discussion here, and read Elana’s blog post on why she thought it was important to focus on this cultural touchstone here.

Great post from the Mobilisation Lab on what they’re learning about building apps for NGOs.

What’s Going on in the Workforce

Add Florida to the list of states where it is now legal for delivery robots to use public sidewalks and crosswalks.

Whole Foods workers express fears about Amazon acquisition, according to story that doesn’t quote a single worker. And while we’re on the topic of grocery delivery—London is testing grocery delivery by autonomous vehicle.

An interesting piece, by Vox, on how to think about the unemployed in some specific categories, for policy making.

Can auto-enrollment fix the problem of inadequate retirement savings?

A company that is working on self-driving trucks hires truck drivers…and has to give them and the coders they work with “the talk.”

When a robot gets to heaven…

Robot of the Week

The question of whether a robot can have a soul is as yet, unanswered. But this Protestant church did just roll out a robot priest, to celebrate the 500th year of the Reformation.

Sharing, Solidarity & Sustainability

This new report from Pew shows that, while 25% of Americans participate in the gig economy, only a small portion of them earn more than $500 per month doing so.

Organizing Theory

How one enterprising young journalist made a connection with readers using SMS.

From Partners

New York’s Civic Hall just announced an Organizer-in-Residence program. Applications are due on July 10th.

Geeking Out

Been wondering when your next local election is? This new app will help you figure it out.

The beginning of summer means the beginning of ice cream truck season. But it’s also the start of many kids’ lack of food, since they aren’t in school. Feeding America has combined these two facts to raise awareness of issues around childhood hunger in the US.

What’s Going on in the Workforce

Welp. 2017 is not really Travis Kalanick’s year. It’s definitely looking up for Uber drivers, though. In other Uber news, Miami has apparently been fining drivers who don’t speak English $250.

Staten Island just got its first worker-owned coops, as domestic workers in the borough launched two new ones last week.

Great piece by Sarah Jaffe about the struggles of retail workers—and the various efforts to organize them, across the US.

Reid Hoffman (founder of LinkedIn) pens a surprisingly woke essay about sexual harassment in the VC/entrepreneur space.