Seattle is forcing gig companies to pay hazard pay

What’s Going on in the Workforce

A new Seattle law aimed at forcing gig workers hazard pay for work performed during the pandemic has added $2.50/order to food delivery apps. So far, gig delivery drivers have received over $350,000 in back pay, since the law has been in effect. 

A new app wants to help gig drivers develop their own businesses, instead of relying on Uber or Lyft to do all their billing. 

In news that will surprise few people outside of the White House, health care workers are experiencing a COVID-induced mental health care crisis

Organizing Theory

Are you using technology to organize workers even more, since the onset of COVID-19? Take this quick survey about your satisfaction with worker organizing tech! 

Check out this interview with one of the worker-owners of Defector Media (the worker-owned cooperative being setup by laid-off Deadspin alums), on what it’s like to build a mutually-owned business from scratch

Robot of the Week

Not the robot—but the robotics CEO. Marc Raibert talks about his vision for Boston Dynamics, the company behind your favorite dystopian robot videos. Or maybe just MY favorite. 

Sharing, Solidarity & Sustainability

Ghost kitchens are turning parking lots into spots for your dinner to be cooked and picked up (by your favorite app drivers). 

And what’s going to happen to those gig drivers (and other gig workers), now that the unemployment insurance designed to help them is over. 

From Partners

Thanks to our friends at EPI for this new brief: “50 reasons the Trump Administration is bad for workers.” 

The Perils of Trumpism

ICE is sterilizing women. I realize that some of you won’t think that’s appropriate for a newsletter that is at its core focused on work, organizing and tech. But as a woman who has enjoyed complete control of her own uterus for her entire life, I can’t let it go unremarked. Fuck everyone who was involved with this. 

Is the pandemic speeding up job loss to automation?

What’s Going on in the Workforce

new report from the Philly Fed shows that automation is speeding up during the pandemic, leading to permanent job loss for some workers. 

As many as 4 million US workers (largely working moms) will be forced to leave the workforce, if they can’t find childcare that helps their kids learn remotely. Great job, US government! 

What happens to male models, after they leave the industry? 

Mother Jones has a new series about workers who quit jobs during the pandemic. Here’s a Bojangles (fast food) worker, talking about how she quit when customers were racist to her, so her boss rewarded them with free food. 

One Uber driver talks about how she’s kept driving during the pandemic—and how she’s lost income, because of how much time she takes cleaning her car between rides. 

From Partners

Check out this Kickstarter from our friends at Big Bowl of Ideas, for their project to put up murals thanking essential workers for what they’ve done to keep us all safe, during covid-19. 

Organizing Theory

Blueprints for Change has translated their guide to distributed organizing! Spanish version here  & French here.

Sharing, Solidarity & Sustainability

White workers have been getting re-employed twice as fast as Black workers, after pandemic-related layoffs. 

The Seattle Drivers’ Union just delivered over 1600 driver signatures to their City Council, demanding that rideshare drivers get fair pay. 


The Century Foundation is partnering with Rep. Barbara Lee to talk about How to Implement Reparations in America


Historically, we’ve occasionally posted jobs in this newsletter. I’ve been getting so many jobs sent to me that I decided to start a separate newsletter just for jobs. If you’re interested in that, you can subscribe here!

“I never wanted to be a 1950s housewife, and I feel like that’s kind of what I am now.”

What’s Going on in the Workforce

“I never wanted to be a 1950s housewife, and I feel like that’s kind of what I am now. A few years ago, I was at the White House interviewing the First Lady, and now I’m adjudicating battles between Pokémon players.” The impact of the pandemic on working mothers’ careers is going to be felt for years to come. 

It’s not just fast food workers who are complaining about racial discrimination within McDonald’s—50+ Black franchise owners just filed a suit claiming discrimination from the company, too.  Meanwhile, nearly 50% of Black-owned small businesses have been shut down due to COVID. 

From Partners

New report from the Open Markets Institute: “Eyes Everywhere: Amazon’s Surveillance Infrastructure and Revitilizing Worker Power.”  Relatedly, if you blink you might have missed this news—Amazon posted job openings for researchers to surveil their own workforce for signs of unionization, then pulled them offline after facing criticism. 

Sharing, Solidarity & Sustainability

Just to put this in perspective, MIOSHA has received more complaints this year since March, than were received in 2018 and 2019 combined. Michigan’s state-level health & safety agency has investigated an unprecedented number of workplace safety complaints, in the pandemic. 

Uber may face big fines in California, for fighting regulators who were seeking information on sexual harassment complaints filed by riders and drivers. 

Chuck Collins & Frank Clemente, on why we need a one-time tax on billionaires’ pandemic financial gains

Organizing Theory

Nobody needs to be killed for just believing in something.” The Verge talks to 11 people who filmed acts of police violence. (content warning) 


Looking for organizing work that combines labor activism with climate justice? Look no further