Four union organizers fired from Google

On Friday, googlers staged a workplace rally demanding the reinstatement of two suspended co-workers who'd been involved in workplace organizing against collaboration with ICE and tolerance for homophobia; on Monday, four of the organizers of the rally were fired. Read the rest

1941 film shows striking animators brandishing a working guillotine at the Disney studio gates

The 1941 Disney animator's strike was bitterly fought, as Walt Disney refused to grant the concessions that all the other animation studios had agreed to, and instead grew paranoid and accusatory, convinced the "Communist infiltrators" had turned his animators against him. Read the rest

The Labour manifesto: transformation of the welfare system, fair conditions for workers, universal housing, home care for elderly, fully funded NHS, fair taxes for the rich

The Labour Party's 2020 Election Manifesto is out, and it promises a comprehensive reworking of the British state to benefit the vast majority of Britons, not the tiny minority who have waxed ever-richer through decades of neoliberalism and ten years of cruel Tory austerity. Read the rest

After workers tried to form a union, trans rights group ditches most of its staff

Last week, the National Center for Transgender Equality discharged all employees in a bargaining unit organized under the Nonprofit Professional Employees Union (NPEU); the employees were seeking recognition of a union. Read the rest

Kickstarting a union onboarding kit for workers at Kickstarter (and other tech companies)

Kickstarter's workers have been trying to form a union, and they say that the company fired its most prominent union organizers under the pretense of performance issues, but really in order to get them out of the way and head off the unionization drive. Read the rest

Transcription service rev.com cuts "professional transcriptionists'" effective hourly wage from $6.35 to $4.50

Rev.com is a "gig economy" audio transcription company that operates under the fiction that its employees are "independent contractors." Read the rest

Chicago teachers declare victory after 11-day strike

After 11 days, Chicago's teacher's strike is at an end, with the city agreeing to the majority of the union's demands, including: higher pay, limits on class sizes, a nurse and social worker in each school, 120 new "equity positions" (librarians, counselors and restorative justice coordinators), bilingual/special ed educators, and five make-up days for teachers and students to compensate for part of the missed instructional calendar. Read the rest

How the British left should seize this moment to strip finance of its political clout

In 1977, Nicholas Ridley, a Tory MP in Margaret Thatcher's government, wrote The Ridley Plan, a kind of shock doctrine manual that the Thatcher government followed in its program of mass-privatisations, attacks on trade unions, and the "stealth" privatisation of the NHS. Read the rest

The right is bankrolled by self-interested one-percenters making long-term investments; the left, by one-percenters with "moral whims"

Meaghan Winter is the author of All Politics Is Local: Why Progressives Must Fight for the States, a new book that analyzes how Democrats lost control of the vast majority of US state legislatures and governorships, why this is a crisis, and what to do about it next. Read the rest

Kickstarting STRIKE! The Game of Worker Rebellion

Brian Van Slyke writes, "STRIKE! The Game of Worker Rebellion is a board game about building a city-wide rebellion to stop a mega-corporation's takeover. It was created in collaboration between The TESA Collective, a publisher of games about changing the world, and Jobs with Justice (JWJ), a leading labor rights organization. It has just launched on Kickstarter. Read the rest

Teen Vogue exec editor Samhita Mukhopadhyay: "proud to be 'the most insidious form of teen communist propaganda'"

Teen Vogue has emerged as one of the most progressive mass-media forums in an age of Trumpism and its official misogyny and racism -- it's a Conde Naste magazine aimed at teen girls with a labor reporter who regularly dissects capitalism's failings and writes explainers on the need for a general strike. Read the rest

The Youtubers' union just wants Google to give them the rulebook

Google has blinked in the ongoing attempt to organize Youtube creators in a new organization called Fairtube, under the umbrella of the powerful German trade union IG Metall. Read the rest

Educational spyware company to school boards: hire us to spy on your kids and we'll help you sabotage teachers' strikes

Gaggle is one of a handful of creepy companies that sell surveillance software to school districts, which monitor every keystroke and click on school networks -- they're the latest evolution in spy-on-kids tech, which started off by promising that they'd stop kids from seeing porn, then promised they could end bullying, and now advertise themselves as a solution for school shootings, under the banner of being a "Safety Management Platform." Read the rest

When the HR department is a robotic phrenologist: "face-scanning algorithm" gains popularity as a job-applicant screener

Hirevue is an "AI" company that companies contract with to screen job applicants: it conducts an hour-long videoconference session with applicants, analyzing their facial expressions, word-choices and other factors (the company does not actually explain what these are, nor have they ever subjected their system to independent scrutiny) and makes recommendations about who should get the job. Read the rest

Even if you pay off your student loan, be prepared to spend decades trying to get bottom-feeding debt-buyers to acknowledge it

Kaja Robinson is 53 and has a daughter about to go off to college, but she is still embroiled in bizarre, kafkaesque disputes over the $17,000 student loan she took out in the 1980s: for decades, she has had to set aside whole days to call debt collectors and try to get them to acknowledge the payments she's made -- for which she has paperwork, but which the lenders lost track of, causing her loans to balloon to $49,000. Read the rest

The complicated, nuanced story of how racialized French people fought to save their local McDonald's

On NPR's always-excellent Rough Translation podcast comes an incredibly complex and nuanced story (MP3, transcript) about marginalized, racialized people in public housing in Marseille who found an accepting haven in a local McDonald's franchise, and who banded together to save it -- and other nearby McD's -- in a series of direct actions ranging from occupation to threats of self-immolation. Read the rest

Piketty on the "Brahmin left" and the "merchant right"

Thomas Piketty, the French economist behind 2014's game-changing Capital in the 21st Century, has a new book, Capital and Ideology (out in France now, coming in English in 2020), which uses the same long-run economic series that Capital 21C benefited from to understand the relationship between wealth and ideology. Central to Piketty's thesis: that it's not enough to use class to understand how people vote -- you also have to take account of peoples' beliefs about class (this is a neat way of resolving the tension between traditional left class analysis and contemporary "identitarian" theories of leftist politics). Read the rest

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