California and New York raise state minimum wage to $15

[Reuters]
California governor Jerry Brown today approved a mandatory minimum wage of $15 an hour by 2022. The bill's enactment came within hours of a similar bill signing in New York by governor Andrew Cuomo.

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Qatar's World Cup stadium is being built by modern slaves

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Qatar, one of the worst places in the world to be a worker (even the flight attendants experience human rights abuses), was picked to host the 2022 football world cup by the famously corrupt FIFA organization, despite the physical danger to spectators (and athletes!) from the incredible temperatures. Read the rest

After we make peace with robots doing all the work, will our lives have meaning?

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Philosopher John Danaher's new paper "Will life be worth living in a world without work? Technological Unemployment and the Meaning of Life" assumes that after the robots take all our jobs, and after the economic justice of figuring out how to share the productivity games can be equitably shared among the robot-owning investor class and the robot-displaced 99%, there will still be a burning question: what will give our life meaning? Read the rest

Apple engineers quietly discuss refusing to create the FBI's backdoor

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If you're one of the few engineers at Apple qualified to code up the backdoor that the FBI is seeking in its court order, and if your employer loses its case, and if you think you have a solemn duty as a security engineer to only produce code that makes users more secure, not less, what do you do? Read the rest

Guy who was hounded from work by homophobic "Valentine" gets a love-note from Justin Trudeau

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Last month, an anonymous work-colleague at Alberta's Party City sent's Degas Sikorski a homophobic "Valentine" that he posted last week. Read the rest

NHS junior doctors show kids what's they do, kids demand better of Jeremy Hunt

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Junior doctors in the UK National Health Service have been attempting to negotiate a decent wage and decent working conditions in their new contract with Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, who is a terrible person, and who has been publicly libelling the hardworking doctors on the front lines of the UK health system. Read the rest

Uber uses customer service reps to push anti-union message to drivers

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Once Seattle became the first city where Uber drivers were allowed to unionize, the drivers started getting "customer service" calls that polled them on their satisfaction with the company, while ham-handedly pushing anti-union messages. Read the rest

Forced arbitration clauses are a form of wealth transfer to the rich

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A federal judge called America's move to forced arbitration and bans on class-action suits -- bans favored and enabled by Scalia -- "among the most profound shifts in our legal history." Read the rest

Tipping screws poor people, women, brown people, restaurateurs, local economies and...you

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The evidence against tipping is voluminous and damning: it plunges workers into sub-subsistence wages, subjects woman servers to sexual harassment, encourages servers to deliver poor service to people of color (and old, young, and foreign people), incentivizes workers to take actions that harm the business (free drinks for big tippers!), and covers up a system of widespread criminal wage-fraud that lands disproportionately on the backs of workers who are already poor and marginalized. Read the rest

Manual mail-sorting at the turn of the 20th century

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I can only hope they whistled the same jaunty tunes as their Ghanian counterparts while sorting the mail in Chaplainesque ballet. Read the rest

An org for left-wing US municipal politicians is transforming American politics

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Local Progress is a national coordinating organization for left-wing US city councillors that supports initiatives like higher minimum wages, bans on fracking and deportation detention centers, multilingual information for voters, guaranteed sick leave, predictable working hours for part-timers, restricting foreclosures, and improving access to voting. Read the rest

Millennials are cheap because they're broke

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The stubborn unwillingness of millennials to buy cars and houses and save for pensions may reflect a shifting consciousness about material culture, but can also be attributed to the undeniable fact that young people have no money. Read the rest

How big offshoring companies pwned the H-1B process, screwing workers and businesses

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Giant multinational offshoring firms have figured out how to game the H1-B system, flooding the application queue with thousands of requests the instant the process opens each year. It's transformed the H1-B Visa category from a lifeline for companies who need to bring in critical foreign talent into a way to shut down whole departments in the USA and replace them with lower-cost overseas workers who are exploited far from home. Read the rest

How a lobbyist/doctor couple are destroying Worker's Comp across America

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If you live in a state where Bill Minick and his company Partnersource has done its dirty work, your employer can opt out of Worker's Compensation plan and replace it with one designed by Minick -- he also writes state laws defining the terms for private replacements to Worker's Comp -- and backstopped by his wife Dr. Melissa Ton's medical practice, who gets to decide whether you deserve treatment. If she denies your claims, Minick's company makes more money. Read the rest

Sit down already: standing desks aren't healthier than seated ones

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For half a decade, studies have been demonstrating a link between sitting and dying, prompting many of us (including me) to try out standing desks. Read the rest

Stephen Hawking: robots could give us all material abundance, unless rich people hoard all the wealth

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In a Reddit AMA, the eminent physicist warns that while increasing automation could give us a world of "luxurious leisure," that "most people can end up miserably poor if the machine-owners successfully lobby against wealth redistribution." Read the rest

Air France execs' clothes torn off by protesters after layoff announcement

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Protesters angry over proposed layoffs stormed an Air France executive meeting and cornered Director Pierre Plissonnier and Resources Director Xavier Broseta, tearing off the men's jackets and ripping their shirts off, forcing them to scale a fence to get free. Read the rest

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