Are you ready for the “genius on demand” economy?

Pssst. You’re not on the Hack the Union slack yet? What’s wrong?

What’s Going on in the Workforce

The DoL released a new guideline last week on joint employer liability (i.e.—don’t think that just because you use subcontractors, you’re not required to make sure their workers get the minimum wage). Read more here.

And while we’re talking contractors, check out Amazon’s delivery business—they’ve recently started using more, to deliver Prime Now orders within 2 hours.

You wanna win in the on-demand economy? (At least, until writing code becomes automated.) Try your skills as a freelance coder. Oh yeah, and being a “genius on demand” doesn’t hurt, either.

Care-matching app Honor just announced that they’re making all their caregivers into W-2 employees.

Geeking Out

Over the weekend, I was poking around looking for Uber ads, and stumbled on this on Craigslist. I guess this is the equivalent of buying an apartment, just to rent it on AirBnB? (PS–oddly enough, Uber advertises in the “jobs” not “gigs” section of CL.)

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Organizing Theory

The “zero hours” campaign in the UK has resulted in thousands of new union members, as it brings in millennials to workplace organizing.

Kapor Capital has just announced goals for diversity and inclusion that they’re asking all the companies they fund to commit to. Can we get them to add a focus on democratizing profits?

Reputation, reputation, reputation

Don’t worry about the strength of your resume—worry about the strength of your network, if you want to get hired again & again & again (hey, it’s worked for me!).

From Partners

The Police Use of Force Project highlights policy changes that may bring about more de-escalation & fewer police shootings. Cities are not always transparent about their use of force policies, but there’s a good chart here.

The Brookings Institution is holding a DC briefing next week to talk about Silicon Valley’s influence on the Democratic Party.

ICYMI edition—the AFL-CIO just launched an online magazine on Medium.

Sharing, Solidarity & Sustainability

Is discrimination in the sharing economy happening outside of labor law entirely? Great piece by the OnLabor blog.

Homeaway (which rents out vacation homes) wants you to think about the bad side of sharing a house with someone else, in their new ad campaign.

h/t to friend-o-the-blog Thomas Beckett, for pointing out this story about a worker-owned grocery chain that not only undercuts Wal-Mart on price, but does it while providing health benefits to everyone who works more than 24 hours a week, and pensions too.

Wondering how NYC’s investment in worker-ownership is going?

Sharing, Solidarity & Sustainability

Here’s a story that should get a signal boost—Filipinas who were trafficked to the US have just launched a worker-owned cleaning coop, with help from the NY City Council. And here’s the Council’s report on their first year of helping to develop worker cooperatives.

The French general assembly is going to be voting on whether to study a system of Universal Basic Income.

Coworking? That’s so 2014. Up next, co-living.

From Partners

My hope is that someday you folks feel about Hack the Union the way I feel about Greenpeace’s Mobilisation Lab. At that point, maybe I’ll write a book. Until I do, you couldn’t do better than buying the new Mobilisation Cookbook from Greenpeace campaigners.

The Open Society Foundation is looking for a new Program Officer in their program that works on fiscal equity. Info here.

“Sure, Uber and its ilk offer remarkable convenience and a nearly magical user experience, but their innovation lies just as much in evading regulations as in developing new technology.” Here’s Trebor Shulz’s new paper, describing the Platform Coop conference held in NY last November.

What’s Going on in the Workforce

Does the Seattle city council’s decision to create a legal vehicle for Uber drivers to organize foreshadow a massive, pro-worker disruption?

The ILO recently put out a paper investigating the rise of the ‘just-in-time’ workforce.

SAG-AFTRA members are heating up their efforts to get a good contract with the advertising industry, as more and more digital advertising erodes the standards they’ve made in TV & radio.

Intuit & Emergent Research have been looking at the size of the on-demand economy. Here’s a report on their first set of data.

“In other words, most Americans are too poor to work less.”

Sharing, Solidarity & Sustainability

“In other words, most Americans are too poor to work less.” Why we hasn’t more productivity translated to more leisure? Well, some would say that working fewer hours would make us all more productive.

A look at some worker-owned cooperatives in Cuba, that are taking advantage of the offloading of state enterprises to the private sector.

The Internet Association has recently filed some public comments in the EU, where they basically say that online platforms don’t need regulation, due to the “dynamic” nature of the internet market. Huh.

From Partners

Are you a woman or person of color who’s suffered inappropriate activity from coworkers or supervisors in the progressive movement? Check out Shine Squad, which is offering a place for us to talk about those experiences.

Geeking Out

There’s something pretty hypnotic about watching robot arms plant rice.

Reputation, reputation, reputation

The FTC warns advertisers not to use data for ad targeting that may be discriminatory.

What’s Going on in the Workforce

Don’t lie to me. You’ve been looking for a programmer who would tell other SF-based programmers that they have a lot to learn from Harry Bridges. Your long search is over. (Do yourself a favor and play some Woody Guthrie while you read it.)

h/t to HtU reader Joe Dinkin for this one…a Canadian who worked in the SF “exploitation economy” warns his fellow countrypeople to fight the onslaught of Uber & other on demand services.

Massachusetts tire workers are first to unionize under new NLRB joint employer rule.

Some thoughts on what happened at the recent “Future of Work” symposium hosted by the Department of Labor.

The Fight for 15 headed to the EU today, along with European unions and consumer organizations, to take on McDonald’s excessive greed.

Make sure to ask yourself–“Who’s programming Robocop?”

Original Content

Two announcements this week:

1) I’ve joined the staff of the National Guestworkers Alliance—more on that here.

2) In the crush of the pre-holiday week, you may have missed that we launched a Slack team for HtU in December. If you’re interested in talking more regularly to other HtU readers—be they organizers, technologists, legal/policy folks or researchers—let me know what email to use to invite you!

Robot of the Week

How robots could revolutionize rehab.

Reputation, reputation, reputation

MIT wants to make it possible for you to sell or share your data on your terms.

Organizing Theory

Folks from Stir to Action made this printable infographic of how to set up a freelancers cooperative.

On fundraising in the age of Facebook (as seen through the lens of Humans of New York).


From Partners

The P2P foundation needs your help to build a wiki of open platforms that are designed for sustainable production & living.

Great piece from Greenpeace’s Mobilization Lab about how digital tools are powering worker organizing.

Geeking Out

Are robot mules louder than animal mules? I guess they must be.

I don’t usually pimp things that are hard to sign up for, but this app, Blind, looks like a super-interesting way for workers in global corporations (or just big ones) to talk to each other, anonymously, about what’s going on at work, and how to change it.

What’s Going on in the Workforce

Precursor to Uber & Lyft ridesharing app Sidecar announced they were shutting down at the end of last year. And Uber, btw, just filed a patent that makes it look like they’re getting into the travel business more broadly.

“…the industrial economy appears to have been programmed to remove human beings from the value chain.” Douglas Rushkoff, on how we need to intentionally reprogram our economy, if we want a different result for people.

As we move to real-world RoboCop, make sure you ask, “who’s programming them, and with what biases?”