Tag: Labor

Obama’s New Documentary Is Great. It Also Reveals Why He’s Out of Touch

Ever since leaving the White House, Barack Obama has kept a fairly low profile. But his latest venture suggests he’s interested in getting back into the fray. On Wednesday, Higher Ground, the new Netflix-partnered production company he founded with his wife Michelle, debuted its first project: a documentary called American Factory that’s aimed squarely at […]

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Google Agrees to Meet with YouTubers Union Right Before Deadline

Last month, FairTube—a collaboration between a group that calls itself the “YouTubers Union” and Europe’s largest trade union, IG Metall—sent Google a list of demands to achieve better working conditions. The letter gave YouTube with a deadline of August 23 to respond or else it would face “a shitstorm,” according to Jörg Sprave, the founder […]

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Working on Microsoft’s Cortana Is Laborious and Poorly Paid

“Stop listening to me” is one example of a command a Cortana user may utter, according to a training manual for the human contractors Microsoft hires to listen to and classify users’ speech. Apple, Google, Amazon, and most recently Facebook have been found hiring human workers to transcribe audio captured by their own products. Motherboard […]

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The YouTubers Union Is Not Messing Around

The YouTubers Union, a community-based movement fighting for the rights of content creators and users, has joined forces with IG Metall, Germany’s largest union and Europe’s largest trade union. Together, they have launched a joint venture called FairTube and sent a letter of demands to YouTube accompanied by a video explaining their concerns, demands, and […]

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California Looks to Give Gig Workers Their Due

Konstantine Anthony, a 38-year-old Uber driver, usually starts his morning by picking up a commuter in Burbank, California, and heading over the hills on Highway 5 toward downtown Los Angeles. From there, he traverses back and forth across the city, from Beverly Hills to Koreatown, from Inglewood to Los Angeles International Airport. “There’s no way […]

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An Economy in Waiting

The 2020 Democratic field now teems with proposals to mitigate rampaging wealth and income inequality, from Kamala Harris’s plan to increase tax credits for low- and moderate-income families to Elizabeth Warren’s wealth tax. Such plans overlook, however, the principal set of relations that skew American capitalism upward: the ownership and operational control of business enterprises.
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The Road Not Taken

Chuckie Denison took the podium at the United Steelworkers hall in Canton, Ohio, in his ever-present blue Good Jobs Nation T-shirt, flanked by people holding protest signs. One handmade sign read “Promises Made, Promises Broken”; it featured a likeness of President Trump, who’d flown into Ohio that day for a big-money fund-raiser at a nearby […]

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Fear and Loathing of the Green New Deal

One of the less-appreciated wonders of the Green New Deal—the proposal for large-scale federal investment in alternative energy sources introduced in February by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Edward Markey—is that it presses almost all the buttons of the right at once. It’s the brainchild of a woman (a young Latina at that). It conjures […]

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Socialism and the Democracy Deficit

What is Democratic Socialism? I read considerable talk about “the democratic” as applying to the process of getting socialism; damn little about it as an adjective applying to socialism when you get it.
  — John Dewey to James T. Farrell, 8 November, 1948 Socialism, the political economy that for a century dared not speak its name […]

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Video Game Workers See Power in a Union

“I reported and he got promoted.” Those were the words on a hand-lettered sign held above nearly 200 employees of Riot Games—the publisher of the immensely popular multiplayer video game League of Legends—as they gathered last week in front of an outdoor mural on Riot’s West Los Angeles campus. The sentiments on that sign, mirrored […]

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