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ICYMI

ICYMI

New York Times columnist Paul Krugman wrote recently that if you’re blaming robots for low wages, you’re wrong. He said, “From an economic point of view, a robot is anything that uses technology to do work formerly done by human beings... And robots in that sense have been transforming our economy literally for centuries.” Instead it’s the decline of unions that’s eroded pay. “Consider the case of trucking, which used to be a good job but now pays a third less than it did in the 1970s, with terrible working conditions,” he wrote. And that’s largely attributable to de-unionization.  ...

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ICYMI

ICYMI

Labor Notes writes that, “An experiment in Ithaca, New York, over the last two years has shown surprising results in helping workers become organizers, with a method easy to adapt and reproduce anywhere.” This article by Ellen David Friedman probes what makes a good organizer: “The most basic rule is that members show respect and curiosity for one another’s experiences. There is a lot of non-judgmental listening, offering questions, trying out ideas, providing encouragement.” PBS NewsHour has reported that Amazon appears to have succeeded in its intensive Washington State lobbying. “Many of Amazon’s Seattle-area employees would be exempt from new...

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ICYMI

ICYMI

According to Wired, “Google said it will no longer bar employees from suing the company over discrimination or wrongful termination, or from joining together in class-action suits.” Google’s about face came not because the company suddenly got religion, but it came “...days before a group of Google employees plan to accompany lawmakers as they introduce bills in the House and Senate to end forced arbitration for all workers.” This worker action came on the heels of a 20,000 person walkout over sexual harassment.   When 1700 members of the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers (UE) went on strike recently...

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ICYMI

ICYMI

The Trump administration attacks on labor never stop. According to the influential Government Executive, this month “A union (The Federal Education Association) representing Defense Department education employees claimed in a federal lawsuit that the current board of the agency responsible for adjudicating disputes between federal agencies and labor organizations has a systemic bias against unions.” It’s not hard to make such a case because, “In the first 94 cases before the current board, the agency won 83 times, compared to only 10 awards for a union (one was left undecided).”   Not only are strikes increasing, but the strikers are...

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ICYMI

ICYMI

You can now drink and drive... in an organizing drive, that is. The craft brewers at Anchor Brewing Company in San Francisco have chosen to unionize with the International Longshoremen and Warehouse Union (ILWU). In a bold move, members of the organizing committee canvassed bars, restaurants and liquor stores asking if they could display pro-union signs. Fermentation worker Garrett Kelly told In These Times: “My group went to eight places and we didn't get a single negative reaction. People were giving us free beer, free food; they were just really excited to support us.”   Stage actors have increasingly been...

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