Who says the blue collar dudes can’t go green?

Sharing, Solidarity & Sustainability

Irish shipbuilders have seized control of the last shipyard in Belfast, demanding that it transition to manufacture renewable energy infrastructure

The Fight for $15 has adopted a new tactic in efforts to unionize fast food workers—looking at chains that are in state-run highway rest stops. 

“If we have a contract and some evidence that work was done, [an allegation of wage-theft] is not a long conversation.” The Minneapolis city council is considering expanding their wage theft lawsto freelancers and independent contractors. 

From Partners

Are you a budding graphic designer? Do you work with one? Check out Social Movement Tech’s apprenticeship for graphic designers

Geeking Out

And while we’re on the subject of graphic design, if you’re a geek for letter press printing or other typefaces, check out the work of this Black type designer, who has made fonts based on the handwritten signs of important civil rights leaders and protest movements

What’s Going on in the Workforce

You are probably working more than your medieval ancestorsdid,  unless maybe you are Finnish

Time Magazine takes a look at the fight for fair wagesin America’s restaurant industry. 

“…if you’re driving Lyft or Uber, almost by definition you can’t afford to live in a high rent area, but of course most rides are in high rent areas. So almost by design, most of the drivers are living far away from where they’re working, and when you get them so exhausted that they can’t drive home, it sounds like they’re essentially living out of their cars for how many days a week.” A tech reporter discovers the joy of talking to ride-share drivers, in the run up to this week’s action in support of AB5. 

Last week, a district court ruled that Amazon delivery drivers aren’t bound by the arbitration agreement in their contracts, and can join a class-action suit around misclassification, against the company. 

Reputation, reputation, reputation

“Own your data” for drivers is different from “own your data” for social media users. Discuss. 


“Alexa, what is child labor?”

What’s Going on in the Workforce

“Alexa, what is ‘child labor’?” “It’s what we’re using to build Echo devices, customer!” 

“There is value to resistance that doesn’t challenge the status quo,” Great look by Sam Adler-Bell at the tactics that Amazon warehouse workers use to overcome and undermine the company’s culture in order to save their own bodies and minds. 

New York’s Taxi & Limousine Commission just extended its cap on ride-share vehicles for another year. 

From Partners

Survivors Know is launching a new training program for people who want to fight sexual violence at work systemically, rather than one bad actor at a time. 

Congrats to Trebor & others in the platform coop movement, who have recently launched the Institute for Cooperative Digital Economy

Reputation, reputation, reputation

You might think you can code your way out of surveillance, but you probably can’t

Sharing, Solidarity & Sustainability

If you haven’t read the NY Times 1619 Project yet, let me be just one more voice prompting you to do so. 

The city of El Monte, CA just passed a law that requires ride-share drivers be paid a minimum of $30 per hour

“We have only to look to IBM’s role working with the Nazis during the Holocaust to understand the role that technology can play in automating mass atrocity.” Googlers are petitioning the company not to bid for a new contract with the CBP, and to stop contracting with ICE until they end human rights abuses inside the agency.  Whole Foods workers are issuing a similar demandto Amazon (which now owns WF). 

Organizing Theory

“Anticipating where the real protest will happen feels just like hoping you’re one of the people cool enough to be told about the afterparty. You keep one eye on the cool kids, in this case the fully masked protesters. As long as they are still around, we know we haven’t missed out on anything.” A fascinating street-level view of what’s actually happening, inside Hong Kong democracy protests.

Geeking Out

Are you making a thing that is designed to help improve the world (or to Decrease World Suck?). The Vlogbrothers (aka YA novelist John Green & his brother Hank) want to help you fund it

Low-wage work kills us with stress

Original Content

The median McDonald’s worker makes $7,473 per year. The company’s CEO makes that in an hour.  Jeff Bezos makes 58X what the median Amazonian makes. I can’t find statistics that measure the difference between an outsourced call center worker, and the head of AT & T, but I’m sure it’s significant. Emily Guendelsberger worked for all three of these companies, and then wrote a book about it. I interviewed her here

Thanks to all our supporters who keep this site going. If you like the original content on this site, please kick in a small contribution ($2/mo?) to help us keep it up and running. https://www.patreon.com/katisipp

Sharing, Solidarity & Sustainability

Walmart IT worker suggests company-wide strike until the stores stop selling firearms, and is immediately suspended. 

Congrats to our friends in Oregon, who have passed the most sweeping paid leave law in the country. Minimum wage workers will have 100% wage replacement for up to 12 weeks. And as of the first of this month, paid sick leave has come to the South—workers in Dallas are covered by a newly-effective law

As the battle around California’s AB 5 heats up, worker cooperatives get into the mix, proposing new legislation that would grant a majority ownership stake to platform workers. 

From Partners

The NDWA and Blue Ridge Labs are partnering to fund startupsthat are interested in improving the lives of domestic workers. Application deadline is August 28. 

The National Women’s Law Center has put out a report on advances made in state legislationto protect workers, in the #metoo era. 

Organizing Theory

Hong Kong protesters have been spreading information through apps like Tinder, Pokemon Go and Apple’s Airdrop system

Interview with Emily Guendelsberger, author of On the Clock

I talked to Emily Guendelsberger*, author of the new book On the Clock, What Low-Wage Work Did to Me and How It Drives America Insane.

Follow Emily on Twitter at @emilygee for more info.

*apologies for the wonkiness 3 minutes in, I had a wifi issue and we had to stop & start again.

Ad-writing robots take over Chase Bank marketing (humans still required to buy things, though).

What’s Going on in the Workforce

Chase bank just hired some artificial intelligence to work in their marketing department. 

IG Metall has partnered with the YouTubers Union to fight against the company’s arbitrary decisions toward content producers. 

It can sometimes feel that our advocacy efforts will never have an impact. Welp, the folks who drive for Lyft (and organize Lyft drivers) have actually made the company change its behavior, in New York City. 

Is Amazon planning a new grocery store chain(no, not the one they bought last year)?  And Uber is thinking about getting into grocery delivery in the EU. 

Geeking Out

The flying cars we were promised by early sci-fi could be with us in ten years. Here’s the Japanese prototype

Organizing Theory

“we’ve internalized the assumption that humans can’t be trusted” Why design from trust matters, and produces better outcomes. As important in public policy as it is in software. 

From Partners

A great new data visualization out from EPI shows the impact of raising the minimum wage to $15 by 2025 in (almost) every congressional district in the US. 

The folks at the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies have just put out a new report on racial differences in the future of work. Enterprising electoral campaigners may be interested in the last chart on this two-page fact sheet. 


Are you an early-career journalist working in the South? The Institute for Southern Studies is seeking fellows for its new Julian Bond Fellowship

Also looking for fellows (although not journalistic ones) is the ACLU of PA.