Would you like a side of spying with your steak?

Reputation, reputation, reputation

Would you like a side of spying with your steak? If so, head on over to the Outback Steakhouse in Portland, OR which has started using in-restaurant cameras to surveil their staff

“Please smile more” is probably advice men will start getting too, if this effort to use AI to hire people gets off the ground. 

From Partners

UC Berkeley’s Labor Center and the Partnership for Working Families just put out a new report about automation (or the lack of it) in warehouses. 

If someone were to ask me, “what is the most Nafisah Ula thing you can imagine?” I might come up with this new board game. Although I might make the mistake of adding U of M branding… 

What’s Going on in the Workforce

UPS is planning to incorporate drones into its health care delivery system, both working with CVS on delivering prescriptions to homes, and for transporting lab samples. 

Sharing, Solidarity & Sustainability

“A pay increase for low-wage workers doesn’t have to be a zero-sum game. In fact, the evidence suggests that everyone can win.” Market Watch explains why raising the minimum wage hasn’t slowed restaurant employmentin New York City. 

Using “customer demand” as the evidence that a program your company created auto-defaults to is an interesting choice. Amazon is losing money, big-time, on one-day delivery. The company is having significant difficulty hiring and retaining drivers in Germany. 

“…workplace surveillance is becoming increasingly pervasive and worryingly sophisticated.”

What’s Going on in the Workforce

“…workplace surveillance is becoming increasingly pervasive and worryingly sophisticated.” Who doesn’t want their pizza created under the eye of a pizza-botic supervisor? 

“Target worked me hard from mid-July of 2018 to February 2019, right before my medical coverage was about to kick in,” Workers say Target cut their hours, after receiving kudos for raising their starting wage to $15/hour. Fair workweek for everyone!

From Partners

Unionbase has launched a new publication, designed to educate stewards and other workplace leaders. 

The Century Foundation has released a new report on how robots are affecting workers & their wages, and find that the Midwest is more affected than any other part of the country. 

Reputation, reputation, reputation

Amazon is taking over elections.  They’re also interested in defense contracts. Is there some kind of reason to keep these things separate? ?

Sharing, Solidarity & Sustainability

Mayor Lightfoot is proposing a new tax on rideshare vehicles that operate in downtown Chicago, in part to fund an expansion of bus routes in the city’s neighborhoods. 

In the fight to get more people out of their cars (or other peoples’ cars) and onto buses, one Swedish city is now underwriting 2 week free passes for people who move there, to encourage public transit use. 

Adding to last week’s story about the impact of AB 5 on dancers, is this story, looking at how it will impact freelance journalists. (One wonders about the lack of critique of online outlets that are paying $1-25/piece?)  And Salon’s Nicole Karlis wonders if AB5 would drive Uber & Lyft out of business, if it were expanded nationally. 

66% of Amazon workers in Staten Island, NY experience physical pain as a result of their work, according to this new report from NYCOSH. 


The tenth annual digital labor conference is being held at the New School November 7-9. Who Owns the World? The State of Platform Cooperativism

California’s AB 5 affects more than just Uber drivers

What’s Going on in the Workforce

There’s been a lot of talk about the (positive) impact of AB5 on gig workers like rideshare drivers. But what’s the transition been like for dancers in “gentlemen’s” clubs

“What Uber Freight does is to miss out the middleman…” I think you mean “replace the middleman”

Banks think they’ll be able to replace 200,000 workers via automation, in the next ten years. 

Two pieces of international Uber news this week: 1) Uber is buying a grocery delivery business that is based in Mexico & Latin America;  and 2) Uber is launching a boat service in Lagos, which makes me also wonder if they’ll be testing self-sailing boats someday soon.  Meanwhile, in the US, they’re laying more people off

From Partners

New Oxfam report shows worker exploitation in Amazon’s Whole Foods’ supply chain. 

Organizing Theory

Will Amazon workers start talking about unionizing if enough pro-union book covers are put in front of them? One self-published author is hoping to spark conversation inside the fulfillment center, when workers “pick” his book. 

Sharing, Solidarity & Sustainability

The New York state legislature is gearing up for the next battle around gig worker rights and protections, with an eye toward California’s AB 5. 

Instacart workers are planning a three-day strike in early November. Get your turkey elsewhere. 

“Attitudes around pay transparency are a sign of a seriously broken culture. How we’re compensated shapes everything about our day-to-day lives: where we can live, what we can do, how much freedom we have. It’s entirely in our interest to be more informed about where we stand when it comes to our pay, and yet we keep that information secret because we’re afraid we’ll be penalized for sharing it. In an industry that’s supposed to value transparency so deeply, we’re falling short where it matters most.” On searching for salary transparency in Silicon Valley (and tech, generally).  

“…when we work together we can accomplish things that don’t always seem possible. It’s been a really big win…”

Sharing, Solidarity & Sustainability

“…when we work together we can accomplish things that don’t always seem possible. It’s been a really big win…” Amazon warehouse workers just stood together to make sure one woman got rehired after an unfair dismissal. She was fired for exceeding her paid time off by one hour, while a family member was dying. Similarly, Amazon warehouse workers in Eagan, MN walked out last week to protest the company’s insistence on part-time scheduling. 

“The more corporations shovel into executives’ pockets, the less they have for workers’ wages and other investments.” Yup, seems right

Sure, you’ve probably heard about the fact that tech companies Palantir and Amazon provide services to ICE. But here, Fast Company profiles a bunch of smaller tech firms that are also collaborators. 

Organizing Theory

An interesting piece about how the things you measure become the things your organization prioritizes, as seen through the lens of Wells Fargo’s many, many problems. 

Reputation, reputation, reputation

If we can’t figure out how to regulate facial recognition technology, Amazon has some ideas for us. Fox, meet henhouse. 

What’s Going on in the Workforce

No matter where you are, there’s probably an Amazon fulfillment center coming to your region in the near future. They prize efficiency over all else, including government subsidies (despite what their local lobbyists say). 

The Fight for 15 suffered a loss last week, when the Ninth Circuit upheld a federal judge’s decision that McDonald’s is not an employer of franchised fast food workers, and the joint-employer standard doesn’t apply. 

Congrats to my friends at UFCW 1776, who just signed their first contract to represent medical marijuana workers in PA. 


The Freelancers’ Union is on the hunt for a new Executive Director

What’s your barista making?

What’s Going on in the Workforce

Philly baristas are sharing wages on a public spreadsheet. It’s not a good look for the industry, overall. 

Last week, a group of Google subcontractors in Pittsburgh voted to join USW. An important note: that’s Pittsburgh with an “h.” 

Uber has opened a temporary staffing agency in Chicago. I’m sure that’ll end well. 

The Perils of Trumpism

Scalia’s son confirmed as Secretary of Labor. That’s the tweet. 

Organizing Theory

A great piece about the app launched by Rideshare Drivers United, and how they are using it to organize a disaggregated workforce. 

Sharing, Solidarity & Sustainability

You know you’ve made it, when undergraduates (?)  are opining about your campaign in a campus newspaper. 

The EEOC has ruled that companies can’t use Facebook ad targeting to discriminate against women, people of color, and other protected folks in online job recruitment ads. 

Arizona relaxed safety requirements for drivers, in order to contract with Uber & Lyft to provide transportation for Medicaid patients. 

 Birmingham, AL just became the latest city to limit the amount of dollar stores they are allowing to open.