IPOs have sent Uber and Lyft fares skyrocketing, while driver pay plummets / Boing Boing

From the article:

The public markets are hungry: as Uber and Lyft look to IPOs to let their investors — who have been subsidizing 40-50% of every ride — redeem their shares through sales to the public capital markets, the companies are desperate for ways to reduce their unprofitability and increase those share prices.

Luckily for them, the rideshare companies operate “two-sided markets,” a darling of neoliberal economic orthodoxy, wherein they are able to control the prices that customers pay and the share of those payments that reach drivers, and that means they get to fuck everybody over.

Both companies have been ratcheting up fares as they have increased their exposure to the public markets, but not only are they not sharing these new revenues with drivers — they’re actually cutting real wages to drivers.

Source: IPOs have sent Uber and Lyft fares skyrocketing, while driver pay plummets / Boing Boing

I have a real problem with corporations that fuck over the people working for them. Let’s be real, Lyft and Uber drivers are employees. Nonstandard ones, but in the current world they are still employees.

This is a labor issue.


‘Girl Power’ T-Shirt Company F= Fires 100 Workers Protesting Low Wages

From the article:

A new report from the Guardian found that a manufacturer for F=, a UK company that advertises itself to be “all about inspiring and empowering girls,” has fired 100 workers for protesting their low wages. Ironically, the company sells £28 t-shirts printed with the words “GIRL POWER” on them, and offers £10 of each sale to Worldreader, a nonprofit that provides people in the developing world free access to digital books. “In one case,” reports The Guardian, “a female employee was beaten on the orders of the management and threatened with murder.”

Source: ‘Girl Power’ T-Shirt Company F= Fires 100 Workers Protesting Low Wages

Just because they say it on their T-shirts doesn’t mean companies mean it. I have always been suspicious of the monetization of social movements for just this reason. It seems hypocritical to pay a corporation for a girl power shirt, who will then go on to underpay and brutalize the women that work for them.

More than 1,000 TSA employees still owed back pay from shutdown – CNNPolitics

From the article:

More than a month after the longest government shutdown in US history ended, a significant number of Transportation Security Administration employees still have not received all of the back-pay they are owed.

Source: More than 1,000 TSA employees still owed back pay from shutdown – CNNPolitics

These folks don’t exactly make that much. So nice of Trump and his tantrum to effect people working for the federal government that way.

One of the perks of not being a federal worker anymore for me was not having to go through this. I have the utmost sympathy for those workers and what they are going through.

I remember at the last much smaller furlough we had a couple of people quit and leave because of it. I imagine that is happening here too. People won’t stay in a job when our president can do this to them.

Fast food executive complains that social media inflates young people’s “self-importance,” killing their willingness to work for free / Boing Boing

From the article:

Natalie Brennan is general manager of Muffin Break — a multinational fast-food franchise business owned by Foodco — and she’s really angry that today’s young people will not work for her for free.

Source: Fast food executive complains that social media inflates young people’s “self-importance,” killing their willingness to work for free / Boing Boing

Fuck you Natalie Brennan and your attempt to not pay people for work at Muffin Break. Maybe you are the problem.

‘A Pumping Conspiracy’: Why Workers Smuggled Breast Pumps Into Prison – The New York Times

From the article:

Yet the United States has one of the lowest breast-feeding rates of any industrialized nation. One reason is that, unlike every other developed country, the government doesn’t guarantee paid maternity leave.

Once back at work, many women find that their employers make it virtually impossible to pump. A 2013 survey of 550 women nationwide conducted by researchers at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health found that 60 percent did not have the time or a place to express milk on the job.

I really feel like I live in some sort of Dickensian labor nightmare.

Trustbusting is now a bipartisan issue / Boing Boing

From the article:

Today, American politicians on both sides of the aisle say they want trustbusting to go back into the US government’s arsenal. Matt Stoller has a bunch of practical advice for how they can proceed: direct the DOJ to enforce the Sherman Act; pass laws blocking anticompetitive mergers; use select committees to investigate and expose rigged markets from Amazon’s predatory private labels to collusion in the meatpacking industry to seed company and airline and rail monopolies, as well as wage-rigging and the explosive growth of noncompetes in every sector. And of course, Congress could start breaking up the giants, from Facebook, Apple, Amazon and Google to the airlines, phone companies and ISPs.

Source: Trustbusting is now a bipartisan issue / Boing Boing

I really like Boing Boing’s discussion on this. It’s true.

Ill Nuclear Workers’ Benefits Petitions Have to Be… — ProPublica

From the article:

A petition filed by a Los Alamos worker has been in limbo for 10 years. At the Savannah River Site, a petition has lingered for 11 years. At Sandia National Laboratories, workers have been waiting seven years for a final decision.

Source: Ill Nuclear Workers’ Benefits Petitions Have to Be… — ProPublica

These are people that are sick because of the nuclear site they worked on, and how our government, whom they work for, has fucked them over.

“Jobs Alliance, ” Funded by Trump Backer, Tries to Block Gas Plants that would bring jobs to West Virginia— ProPublica

From the article:

Murray Energy, one of the nation’s largest coal producers, is paying for lawyers trying to block natural gas plants that would support a growing industry.

Source: “Jobs Alliance, ” Funded by Trump Backer, Tries to… — ProPublica

This is a good read, and further evidence if you are not rich, voting for these people is voting against your own interests.

Amazon’s Aggressive Anti-Union Tactics Revealed in Leaked 45-Minute Video

From the article:

Amazon, the country’s second-largest employer, has so far remained immune to any attempts by U.S. workers to form a union. With rumblings of employee organization at Whole Foods—which Amazon bought for $13.7 billion last year—a 45-minute union-busting training video produced by the company was sent to Team Leaders of the grocery chain last week, according to sources with knowledge of the store’s activities. Recordings of that video, obtained by Gizmodo, provide valuable insight into the company’s thinking and tactics.

Source: Amazon’s Aggressive Anti-Union Tactics Revealed in Leaked 45-Minute Video

They haven’t published the video, but I’m not shocked it exists. I can guess at it’s content. Back in the day, Walmart used to use its first day of new hire training to play house of anti-union videos. I remember a pizza chain I worked at did the same. This is not a isolated corporate tactic.

Yet, I don’t see Amazon workers, especially those in the distribution centers doing well unless they manage to unionize.

Even though Amazon is raising it’s base wage to $15 an hour, I suspect this is an attempt to ward off the scrutiny it’s received for shitty worker treatment.

I knew a guy that worked in the one non-union store in his chain for years. He and everyone there got an extra buck an hour because of it, to keep them from unionizing. He had worse healthcare, and benefits, but that extra buck an hour made him happy because he didn’t have to pay union dues either. Now, after he’s gone through some shit, he’s in the union, and a firm backer of it.

This is how they get you, though.

McDonald’s Workers to Go on 1-Day Strike Over Sexual Harassment

From the article:

For Kim Lawson, who began working at a McDonald’s in Kansas City, Missouri last year, sexual harassment seemed to come with the job. Almost immediately after she started, she said, a coworker began brushing up against her numerous times and went out of his way to be near her, always standing too close. He would give her gifts, something he didn’t do to anyone else they worked with. But when she told a manager about her coworker’s behavior, no action was taken: “He still worked the same shift. He was still around,” Lawson told Jezebel. The experience soured her on reporting any harassment, so when a night shift manager began hitting on her, making lewd comments about her body, she felt like saying anything would be useless. And since he was a manager, she said, “I felt like I had to be nice about it.”

Source: McDonald’s Workers to Go on 1-Day Strike Over Sexual Harassment

I worked at a McDonalds when I was on my own at 16. I looked like a 16 year old girl, so I totally get this. I remember being in the grill area while male coworkers rated women coming in, and having to get aggressive with a dude that would literally not leave me alone, and kept trying to touch me. He went so far as to inform me that the rules were he had to drive me home because it wasn’t safe for me to walk. Like bitch? I’m homeless, where do you think you are going to take me?

He was an assistant manager, and a known problem. Upper management didn’t give two fucks as long as metrics were met.

This was over 25 FUCKING years ago. It seems like nothing has changed at all.

I support these protests. This has got to change.