Up next, self-flying taxis. Yes, I said self-flying.


Coop advocates testify at Philly City Council yesterday.

Sharing, Solidarity & Sustainability

Black worker centers are helping form co-ops, to address issues of African American unemployment.

Do the waning days of this election fill you with despair about the state of our democracy? Read this story about participatory budgeting, and prepare to have your faith restored.

Two Airbnb stories this week: first, you’ve no doubt seen that NYC recently limited short-term rentals to no less than 30 days (which only hits people renting out their whole space, not the true “spare room” Airbnb hosts). And second, the company donated $100K to a ballot measure aimed at building housing for the homeless in Los Angeles, a notable PR move for a company that’s been accused of exacerbating homelessness.

Geeking Out

Tesla has announced that all of their new vehicles will have the hardware necessary for self-driving capability. But before you get any ideas about running your self-driving Tesla through Uber while you sleep, that’s not gonna fly, apparently. And speaking of flying, if you really want to geek out over expensive rides, check out Airbus’ proposal to build self-flying taxis.

What’s Going on in the Workforce

In Lahore? You’ll now be able to catch an Uber rickshaw. And in other Uber global news, they’re starting to make car loans to drivers in Nigeria.

Glassdoor just announced a new tool that will increase pay transparency, by showing you what other people in your region with similar years of experience & skill earn for the same/similar jobs.

Singapore is testing self-driving buses.

Reputation, reputation, reputation

Businesses with racist hiring practices are more likely to fail, according to a new study from Harvard.

Organizing Theory

Here are some interesting lessons, for those who want to build organizing apps, from a guy who went through seven years of building political organizing software.

“Do you even own a paper map?”

Original Content

A website aimed at organizing more low-wage workers into unions launched last week—check out my post about it here.

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Geeking Out

Who wants to give me a travel grant to go to this conference? You know you want to read my take on Love & Sex with Robots…

“Do you even own a paper map?” How’s your disaster plan developing, for when a global crisis makes your cell phone stop working? (PS-I own several paper maps, but they’re all of Pennsylvania. Do I need others?)

Sharing, Solidarity & Sustainability

How 10 US cities have created policies to help the development of worker-owned coops (if you’re in Philly, there’s a City Council hearing about this Monday—let’s be #11!). And an in-depth look at one newly-formed NYC coop.

Advocates in NYC are worried that the city might be moving to formalize a relationship with ride-sharing companies, in a way that will disadvantage wheelchair-bound customers.

Reputation, reputation, reputation

Police in Ferguson and Baltimore have used social media to track and spy on Black Lives Matter organizers.

Organizing Theory

From, of all places, Bill Moyers—a good look at what makes an online petition effective.

From Partners

Fascinating presentation, from the ILO’s Valerio De Stefano, that looks back at the legal theory behind centuries of workers’ rights organizing, and updates it for the platform work of today.

What’s Going on in the Workforce

A founder talks about why he’s turning his consulting company over to worker-ownership, and how they’re structuring a global worker-owned company.

How is Juno pulling drivers away from Uber & Lyft? Well for one, they’ve got a 24-hour line that gets answered by a human, for drivers to call.

Instacart has reversed their decision to remove in-app tipping. I guess the outcry from both customers and shoppers worked!

Uber bought a self-driving truck company earlier this year—now they’re saying they’ll have some elements of self-driving trucking in 2017.

How will “smart manufacturing” impact global supply chains?

A Japanese ad agency has been raided by labor inspectors, after a worker committed suicide that was attributed to overwork.

New website seeks to organize workers with electronic union cards

A newly-launched website, Unionize Me, hopes to enlist large numbers of low-wage workers in winning NLRB elections. Founded by lawyer Jason Zoladz, the site hopes to take advantage of the NLRB’s 2015 decision to allow workers to sign union authorization cards electronically.

Zoladz is hoping to shift the conversation in the US, to focus on the fact that low-wage workers (who have been striking in large numbers through the Fight for 15 campaign) need bargaining power with their specific companies.

“2 million Wal-Mart workers need a union,” Zoladz told me ( a fact that few readers of this site would dispute).

When we spoke, the site had only been live for 6 days, but Zoladz had already received a number of electronic signatures on authorization cards. At that point, no one worksite had met the 30% trigger for a union election. Zoladz does not intend to organize one stand-alone business at a time, however—he wants to wait until a reasonable majority of workers in one specific region have signed, so that workers will be able to take actions from a position of strength.

It remains to be seen whether a mostly-lawyer based strategy can flip the script on winning union elections—but I’ll be curious to see how this plays out, over time.

“…online communities…are often the most valuable thing a creator has…”

Organizing Theory

As a follow up to my post on building governance systems for platform unions, read this piece by Hank Green on why he’s decided to treat the commenters in his comment section like he would any guest in his home (including not inviting back people who say racist shit).

Sharing, Solidarity & Sustainability

This is a pretty thought-inspiring list of 50 questions about the future of work (though it could also just be “the future”).

I suspect that Tide just created the first set of ads by a non-sharing economy company that reference the sharing economy. Am I wrong?

From Partners

Is your employer giving you paid time off to vote (or closing for the day)? Let the folks at Free the Vote know about it.

Geeking Out

Shoe-making robots, welcome to Germany. Next up, Atlanta!

What’s Going on in the Workforce

Last week, Etsy entered into the portable benefits/need for a new social contract with this paper that explores a variety of changes that will create more financial stability for independent workers.

Isn’t a “gig consultant” just a consultant?

The OECD warns us all not to be pessimistic—only 9% of jobs will be lost to automation, not half.

Removing tipping from your app is a good way to piss off your workforce.


What’s Going on in the Workforce

A pretty transparent look at how Buffer is experimenting to make sure that people take time off.

Will increased automation make us happier at work?

Instacart is taking heat from their contractors over the decision to remove tipping from the app.

The US government just took steps to extend paid leave to federal contractors—so some “gig” workers will now have time off benefits.

Sharing, Solidarity & Sustainability

Gar Alperovitz suggests 6 steps to an economic revolution that puts more power in the hands of workers.

I cannot believe that you could write an entire article about self-driving cars in Florida and not mention the possible impact on the elderly population. I mean, it’s the oldest state—surely there are many people who would benefit from no longer having to drive?

Blue Apron set itself a mission to provide customers the ability to cook hi-quality meals at home, while reducing food waste. But they forgot to become a decent employer, along the way.

Reputation, reputation, reputation

Wanna see what kind of data Facebook has collected about you? ProPublica has a new browser extension that is specific to your data.

Organizing Theory

Great piece from the UK about why unions need to be ordinary, when it comes to their members’ digital experience.

From Partners

18 Million Rising launched an app to allow AAPI voters to get voting information in their native languages.

Geeking Out

Translation performed by computers is taking a leap forward, as Google gets it’s program to read whole sentences, in order to achieve better comprehension.