“Workers should know who their customers are and the purpose of their work.”

Reputation, reputation, reputation

“Workers should know who their customers are and the purpose of their work.” Fascinating new ILO study of how (among other things) reputation functions for crowdworkers. Check out their recommendations for how to improve platforms like Crowdflower or Amazon’s Mechanical Turk.

Sharing, Solidarity & Sustainability

With millions of Americans owing on student loans, we could build a powerful movement—but only if people can get over the shame associated with being a debtor.

The UK’s Labour Party wants to give workers (in firms larger than 250 employees) shares in and voting rights over what their companies do.

What’s Going on in the Workforce

Watch out, Wawa! Jeff Bezos is coming for you, with a plan to open as many as 3,000 cashier less stores over the next 3 years.

I’m fairly certain that this is the first time in 5+ years that we’ve had an article from the Sun. But hey, if they’re the only game in town covering an Uber Eats strike, here we are…

JP Morgan Chase re-upped their 2012 study of the gig economy’s impact on individual bank accounts—turns out that earnings on labor platforms (Uber, Lyft) are going down, but earnings on capital platforms (Airbnb, Homestay) are up.

Amazon may have backed off their use of temp agencies in the US somewhat, but they’re moving full steam ahead with that labor strategy in Australia.

Organizing Theory

MobLab profiles the work that abortion rights campaigners did in helping people have the difficult conversations that led to Ireland’s repeal of its abortion ban.


Speaking of MobLab, check out their next webinar on distributed organizing, Wed. 10/3.


The Participatory Budgeting Project is looking to hire a project coordinator in Oakland or Brooklyn.

Hospitals and ICE don’t mix

Sharing, Solidarity & Sustainability

“The first thing I thought of was, who needs a yellow star when we have modern day technology to replace that?” Health care workers, on what it’s like to deal with ICE in their workplaces.

“Uber prices its rides below cost for the purpose of injuring competitors,” according to a new lawsuit filed by an LA limo company.

North Carolina’s cooperatives are bringing a more democratic economy to the South.

Tired of that crappy Sodexho or Aramark-provided food in your college dining hall? Start a student food coop.

In what might be the smallest-scale basic income pilot yet, Springboard to Opportunities is launching a basic income experiment to serve 15 black mothers in Jackson, MS.

From Partners

Congrats to friend’o’the’blog Nathan Schneider, on his new book Everything for Everyone, about the cooperative movement in this moment. Find info on how to order it here.

This new report from the National Institute on Retirement Security shows that the median retirement account balance among all US workers is $0. Guess I’m not the only one who plans to work straight through my own funeral…

Organizing Theory

Here’s a fascinating post about the construction of a labor app called Wobbly, designed to start at the level of local worksites and move outward from there.

What’s Going on in the Workforce

Good piece about how hard it is to be a driver in Amazon’s delivery program, with lots of driver interviews.

Uber drivers struck at the Chicago airport yesterday. Here’s a really good look at why Uber’s deactivation policy is pushing many to organize.

Bridging the gap between coders and cleaners

What’s Going on in the Workforce

“…if there was ever a time in labor history when the bridge between coders and cleaners could happen, perhaps this is it.” Great piece on tech worker organizing.

“What typically goes through my mind [when Uber driving] is I hope I get some passengers that are easy to deal with – that aren’t going to be too difficult or drunk or whatever. What’s kind of interesting or sad is I tell them I’m a teacher and I’m immediately treated with sympathy. I typically get better tips. So I’m like a charity case.” Incredible photo essay about teachers and their second jobs.

“…private equity deals that strip companies of their assets and leave the workers with nothing are just one particularly egregious part of a larger trend: that the value created by companies is being shared with fewer and fewer people.” In one of the grimmer, “let’s celebrate Labor Day by focusing on how work sucks” trends Fast Company ran a series last week, called “Why Work Has Failed Us”—this is from the first piece, which focuses on how gains are increasingly only to those at the top.

From Partners

Working Partnerships USA just released a new report on automation & the future of trucking. Read the report here, and get on their webinar on September 14th, to hear more about it.

Organizing Theory

The Digital Writers’ Union has an online explainer about how to start a union, including a timeline of the various web-based writers that have unionize in recent years.

And this is a great explanation, from NGP-VAN, of the structures, targeting and cycle of an electoral field program.

Here’s a recap of Mobilisation Lab’s late August conversation about cultural campaigning.

Sharing, Solidarity & Sustainability

New York worker-cooperative activists had a discussion with cooperative activists in Barcelona about how they built a greater solidarity economy by leveraging political power to get their government to take it seriously. Here’s what they learned.

Whole Foods workers are moving to organize a union, since their acquisition last year by Amazon.

Americans feel the need to protest more than at any other time in polling history. The most compelling issues are women’s rights, immigration & gun control.

Reputation, reputation, reputation

Uber already kicks off drivers who have a rating of less than 4 stars. Now, they might start booting passengers with low ratings too.

Geeking Out

h/t to Ray Murphy, for sending me the announcement about this new production of The Cradle Will Rock in New York next spring. See the musical the WPA shut down, for being too radical.


In DC this week? Oxfam is hosting a briefing on their recent report that compared labor laws in all 50 states, on Thursday 9/13.

End prison slavery

Hope you enjoyed your parades, picnics & Labor Day BBQs–now, back to the grind!

Sharing, Solidarity & Sustainability

Teen Vogue, on the prison strike that’s been going on for several weeks.

Well, this is interesting…tech that seems to allow workers in global supply chains to “talk” to the brands that are commissioning their work through third parties.

Uber is fighting a Brazilian court ruling that they should consider a driver an employee, not a contractor.

From Partners

A great piece, by Coworker’s Jess Kutch, on what unions could be doing to build worker power in non-union worksites that is not limited to fighting for CBAs.

From a policy perspective, DC is the best place in America to be a low-wage worker. Check out this new scorecard from Oxfam America.

Reputation, reputation, reputation

Cathy O’Neill, with an interesting post on why Facebook reputation scores could be a good thing—especially if they give users control over how to use them.

What’s Going on in the Workforce

6 chefs convene to talk about how to fix the restaurant industry’s sexual harassment problem.

It’s the day after a holiday weekend that marks the end of summer. You’d rather still be on vacation. Why not read this story about cruise ship entertainers, instead of working?

This Japanese startup will quit your job for you (well, at least if you work in Japan it will).

One worker’s story, about what it’s like to work a gig-like job in an Amazon warehouse.