“Hey Alexa, why are you powered by dirty energy?”

Sharing, Solidarity & Sustainability

“Hey Alexa, why are you powered by dirty energy?” Greenpeace activists asked commuters in Crystal City, VA (potentially the home of Amazon’s future HQ2) to talk to Alexa about why the company should switch to cleaner energy for their cloud services. 

From Partners

The Institute for Women’s Policy Research just put out a new study on the impact of automation on women, which found that women’s risk of work automation is spread across well- and low-paid work. 


Blueprints for Change is out with a new organizing how-to, this time on using What’s App in organizing.  

What’s Going on in the Workforce

I think that “cleaning up after nuclear accident” is probably one of those jobs that most people would rather have robots doing, than humans… 

Events

Class Action is holding a webinar tomorrow, focused on cross-class organizing

Interested in tactics that target capital in new ways? Apply to be in Transform Finance’s 2019 Cohort

Geeking Out

I mean, why not build a robotic gymnast and name it after Nadia Comāneci? 

Organizing Theory


Students are organizing against the Kochs on campus—and once you understand how much the Koch’s are donating to undermine science-based education, you’ll be glad. 


“Hell no, we won’t pole!”

What’s Going on in the Workforce

“Hell no, we won’t pole!” Sex work is work. Strippers are workers. And thanks to the Dynamax ruling in CA, they’re actually able to organize a union now. 

Automation is coming to the bond trading desk

“Since you’re always getting paid for only half the journey, it doesn’t take you very long to realize that a majority of your deliveries are to customers that reside far outside the cluster of restaurants and eateries.” One courier describes how Postmates kept him logging in to the app—despite the obvious problems in delivery pay. 

“The haves and the have-nots might be given new names: the demanding and the on-demand.” 10 years in to the new gig economy, Alexis Madrigal has a run down on the fate of 105 companies that sucked up venture capital to offer us all a tiny bit more convenience. 

Reputation, reputation, reputation

What’s Lyft worried about, as it approaches its IPO? Amazon Web Services, self-driving cars & HIPAA. 

Organizing Theory

Here’s a bot that will help your Slack channels be less biased, when it comes to describing women & their work. 

Sharing, Solidarity & Sustainability

“…working less may actually be the key to better distributed, sustainable economic prosperity.” This new report looks at the case to be made for a shorter workweek in the UK, & outlines the steps to get there. 

Connecticut unions are backing state legislation to raise the pay for ride-sharing drivers. 

Amazon has lobbied to exempt its employees in Washington state from a new law regulating the use of non-compete clauses. 

Geeking Out

“No one ever went to journalism school to write a weather forecast.” How Patch is using AI to free up reporters to cover more interesting news. 

Events

The United Association for Labor Educators has its annual conference in Philly next month. 

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Robots in the drive-thru

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What’s Going on in the Workforce?

I feel like if you attributed the sentence “we spend a lot of time training people” to literally any fast food chain’s executive, in a conversation with a fast food worker in that chain, that worker would laugh. But hey, that’s why they’re investing in AI at the drive-through! 

Axios provides a visualization of the number of workdays involved in last year’s strikes, with teachers leading the way, followed by hospitality workers. 

Not knowing your work schedule in advance makes your life more stressful. I know this seems like a ‘duh’ moment to you, but it still needs to be researched, for politicians to believe it’s true. (And even then, some of them will still refuse to believe it.) 

In an interesting twist, Uber drivers in London are suing the Mayor, alleging that his recent decision to impose a congestion tax on rideshare drivers, but not on black car drivers (who are mostly white) represents illegal racial discrimination. 

Working moms at Amazon are demanding that the company do more to meet employees’ childcare needs, including helping figure out backup plans when kids can’t go to their regular daycare facility. 

Geeking Out


Come for the video of a robot cleaning the floor in Walmart…stay for the twitter thread, about the implications of automation & what elected officials should do (or not do) about it. 

Organizing Theory

“What platforms do, is centralize an existent, fragmented, and virtually invisible (partially even black) market by means of a platform. By technologically increasing convenience, they consequently provide opportunities for these markets to grow.” An interesting look at the possibility of unions growing through organizing platform workers, by a Dutch researcher on the gig economy. 

From Partners

The Fair Workweek Initiative asked retail workers about the likelihood of their jobs being replaced by automation. Here’s what they said

Sharing, Solidarity & Sustainability

A University of Alabama law professor has created a site to aggregate academic research about the gig economy, if you’re looking for such a thing. 

A group of New Yorkers are working to figure out if worker-owned coops can be successfully franchised

As Uber & Lyft preparer for IPOs, they’re struggling to figure out how to deal with fights around driver misclassification…by offering them money to buy shares with? I’m guessing this is not what white collar workers in the companies get…