Play: Dungeons and Deadlines, "an epic game of work-life balance"

Smarter people than me have pointed out that "work-life balance" says the quiet part out loud, implicitly confirming that you stop living when you're at work. Miles Matrix's Dungeons and Deadlines makes all this much realer with acerbic wit and rockin' chiptunes. My spouse left me after five turns. (via Four Short Links) Read the rest

When contracting with Chinese manufacturers, it's very hard to avoid forced labor

The China Law Blog (previously) is one of my favorite sources of insight into the secret workings of the businesses that produce the majority of the world's daily-use goods. Read the rest

Top tech grads are increasingly unwilling to work for Big Tech, viewing it as a new, unethical Wall Street

About five years ago, I was trying to get a bunch of Big Tech companies to take the right side of an urgent online civil rights fight, and I called an old friend who was very senior at one of the biggest tech companies in the world; they told me that it wasn't going to work, in part because the kinds of people who were coming to tech were there because they wanted to get as rich as possible, no matter what they had to do. My friend contrasted this with earlier eras -- even the dotcom bubble -- when the financial motive was blended with a genuine excitement for the transformative potential of tech to make a fairer, more equitable world. Now, my friend said, the kind of kid who would have gotten an MBA was instead getting an electrical engineering or computer science degree -- not out of any innate love for the subject, but because that was a path to untold riches. Read the rest

Workers at Spin, Ford's e-scooter company, have unionized in San Francisco

Spin is a short-hire/e-scooter company -- one of those firms like Bird and Lime that fill city streets with future-ewaste vehicles that block wheelchairs. It's owned by Ford. Read the rest

"Harbinger households": neighborhoods that consistently buy products that get discontinued, buy real-estate that underperforms, and donate to losing political candidates

In The Surprising Breadth of Harbingers of Failure (Sci-Hub mirror), a trio of economists and business-school profs build on a 2015 Journal of Marketing Research paper that claimed that some households' purchasing preferences are a reliable indicator of which products will fail -- that is, if households in a certain ZIP code like a product, it will probably not succeed. The original paper calls these "harbinger households." Read the rest

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

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