“The human-resources office is more focused on silencing mistreated employees…than actually standing up to protect them.”

What’s Going on in the Workforce

Barclay’s Bank believes that autonomous cars will mean up to a 40% decline in auto sales, as well as lower operating costs overall.

“The human-resources office is more focused on silencing mistreated employees…than actually standing up to protect them.” Amazon has internal problems. Shocker. (Seriously, though. Is the job of the HR department to stand up for employees anywhere?)

Geeking Out

In Japan, I can hire a man to watch me cry at work. Here in the US, I just force men to watch me cry when the patriarchy pisses me off. For free, because, gender wage gap.

From Partners

The Ford Foundation is looking for technologists to hire. Here’s why.

Sharing, Solidarity & Sustainability

A new report on worker cooperatives shows these businesses have been successful and resilient.

Are you part of the movement to make a more sound economy? Fill out this survey, these folks are trying to map the “Next Economy” ecosystem. (Side note—I wonder if all the cartographers of the New Economy ever map each other? Alternate title for this week’s newsletter: “Who maps the mappers?”*)

A good overview of the legal debate that exists around the “sharing” economy, from global incubator 1776’s blog.

*free HtU sticker to any reader who gets this reference

“Vicki, you know what I’m looking for.”

What’s Going on in the Workforce

“Vicki, you know what I’m looking for.” Excellent piece on how employers use temp agencies to practice discriminatory hiring against black workers.

“…with other gigs or gig-economy employers available, drivers may be less invested in reforming a single company.” Good piece from Buzzfeed (I know!) on the struggles that workers have in organizing work stoppages against Uber.

Ian Williams has started a new column to talk about labor in the video games industry. h/t to reader Eric Rosso for pointing that out…

“Uber currently limits its drivers to 100 hours a week…” Is that really a limit, though?

Organizing Theory

There’s been a lot of talk in New York & DC lately about how to experiment with portable benefits for independent contractors—some folks in Minneapolis may be willing to experiment with a model of paid sick leave that includes them.

Interesting post by the Social Media Collective at Microsoft Research New England, on their work to understand how collective action develops among users to influence a platform (think Uber strike, or Reddit blackout).

Sharing, Solidarity & Sustainability

“If you’re committed to the worker…if you want to empower minority women…the worker co-op is the way to go.” The Philadelphia Area Cooperative Alliance just put out this short film, profiling 4 worker-owned businesses in Philadelphia.

From Partners

Meet “The Internet of Ownership,” an effort to advance platform cooperatives around the globe.

Geeking Out

The Feds just agreed that Google’s AI technology can count as the “driver” in a self-driving car.

The 3-D printer that can print human tissue replacement.

“Movements that elevate the power of the participant tend to last longer.”

Original Content
Meet Don Chartier, who’s creating an app called HourVoice, for workers to track hours, get local legal advice, and rate their employers. Launching in Chicago this month.

If you’re a fan of Hack the Union, consider supporting us on Patreon.  You can contribute as little as $1/month to defray site costs.

Organizing Theory

“Movements that elevate the power of the participant tend to last longer.” On hashtag organizing and the need to connect to real engagement. Notice I did not say “offline organizing.”

“Kill the notion of exclusive problem-solving by an agency and you’ll get more capabilities more quickly, and more innovation in your community.” It’s perhaps no surprise that folks from Palo Alto have a different way of incorporating tech into their local government’s solutions.

Great piece by Anil Dash on how technologists can work to secure the activist possibilities of social media.

Reputation, reputation, reputation

“Asking whether drivers should get compensated for the data they create when they’re ‘off duty’ is certainly a valid question.” Uber is using driver’s data, even when they don’t have a fare in the car.

I guess this was a logical evolution of the story I posted a few months ago, about contractors spying on construction workers with drones…

Sharing, Solidarity & Sustainability

The US Worker Coop Conference will be in beautiful, weird Austin this year. July 29-31.

What’s Going on in the Workforce

Will women lose more jobs to automation than men will?

Workers Lab is investing in a new app for reporting workplace safety violations.

Amazon’s least-well-paid workers aren’t the folks who labor in their warehouses—they’re Mechanical Turks. What does it mean for academic institutions to be paying the equivalent of $2/hour for advancing research?