Tesla pulls a Trump, smears critical press outlet as "extremists"

Tesla was extremely upset to learn that the employees who'd been injured and maimed in its factories spoke to Reveal News about the unsafe working conditions and culture of cover-ups at the Tesla plants. Read the rest

The US workforce is the most productive, best educated in history and unemployment is at an all-time low, but wages are stagnant

Orthodox market economics holds that when unemployment falls and the labor supply gets tighter wages go up; it also predicts that better-educated workers and more-productive workers get paid more for their work -- none of this has happened. Read the rest

Leaked docs reveal Koch/Walton/DeVos's anti-teacher talking points

The "State Policy Network" is a coalition of 66 far-right organizations who've been given $80M by a small number of billionaires, including the Walton family (heirs to the Walmart fortune), the Koch Brothers, and Betsy DeVos; they're terrified of the teachers' uprising, in which wildcat strikes have raced across America because teachers whose unions were neutralized have been put on starvation wages in underfunded facilities. Without any union bosses to keep them in check, the teachers have demanded the world -- and they're getting it. Read the rest

How abusive bosses and Slack led software engineers to unionize and demand justice

Lanetix is your basic shitty tech company, where your two weeks of annual paid leave is subject to often-withheld managerial approval, where bosses threaten engineers with getting canned if they participate in private Slack channels where they discuss working conditions, and where high-performing software engineers who object to bad management are summarily fired. Read the rest

Alt-labor: the new, ungovernable red-state labor movements, led by teachers

America's "red states" are often thought of as homogeneous nests of parochial reactionary voters; it's more accurate to say that their places that have been cruelly dominated by Republican lawmakers who owe their seats to gerrymandering and voter suppression that disenfranchises progressives. Read the rest

2018 tsunami: Teachers lead mass strikes in four red states that voted for Trump in 2016

After the incredible success of the West Virginia teachers' strike, teachers in Oklahoma and Kentucky walked out and now they're joined by teachers in Arizona -- all four of these are "red" states that voted Trump in 2016. Read the rest

West Virginia is contagious: mass teacher walkouts in Kentucky and Oklahoma

It's been brewing for weeks and now it's boiling over: Kentucky teachers are walking off the job en masse in statewide demonstrations triggered by dirty-tricking GOP state legislators who snuck a provision that gutted their pensions into a sewage bill; they're joined by Oklahoma teachers who have endured endless abuse and humiliation from state lawmakers (first Clintonite Democrats; then vicious TGOP types who waltzed to power after right-wing "Democrats" committed political suicide by courting the wealthy over workers), and who have refused the meager bone they were thrown, walking out again and demanding justice for all public-sector workers. Read the rest

Stalkerware vendor Retina-X capitulates to vigilante hacker, shuts down "indefinitely"

Retina-X sold a bunch of spyware apps (PhoneSheriff, TeenShield, SniperSpy and Mobile Spy) that they advised parents to sneak onto their kids' devices, jealous men to sneak onto their girlfriends' devices, and bosses to sneak onto their employees' devices, in order to covertly track their location data, steal their photos and videos, and spy on calls, keystrokes and texts. Read the rest

United axes its employee bonus program, replaces it with a lottery, saving millions

United employees who helped the airline hit key goals got a $300 bonus -- until now. Read the rest

Crowdfunding to help West Virginia's striking teachers

West Virginia's public school teachers have walked out en masse in a wildcat strike, demanding an end to decades of real-terms wage cuts that have left them among the poorest-paid teachers in America, as well as skyrocketing health insurance costs. Read the rest

Kimberly Clark says the Trump tax-cuts let it fire 5,500 US workers and pay out dividends to its shareholders

Kimberly Clark, makers of Kleenex and Huggies, says it will lay off 10-12% of its US workforce and divert the savings to shareholder dividends and capital investment (presumably robots to replace the workers, or infrastructure to import finished goods from lower-cost offshore labor markets), and it says that action was triggered by Trump's tax-cuts, which freed up the cash needed to effect the changes. Read the rest

Short-termism led the Democratic Party to let unions die, and now they've lost their base

For decades, Democrats in power and in opposition have traded away labor laws and rules that protected unions in order to gain short-term advantages in political horse-trades, and now, with union membership down from 26 to 10.7% since the Reagan years, districts that formed Democrats' "blue wall" have been poverty-struck and have flipped for Trump. Read the rest

Comic-strip contracts, so no one argues they’re too confusing to be enforceable

University of Western Australia Law professor Camilla Baasch Andersen has helped businesspeople draft legally binding contracts that take the form of simple comic-strips, arguing that their simplicity not only promotes understanding, but also insulates companies from the risk of courts finding their contracts unenforceable because they were too confusing (an Australian court has forced insurers Suncorp and Allianz to refund AUD60m paid for insurance that was of "little or no value," but which Australians purchased thanks to confusing fine-print that made it hard to assess). Read the rest

Marriott fires employee for "willfully liking" a tweet in support of Tibetan independence

Marriott has fired one of its social media managers because the employee "wrongfully liked" a tweet from Friends of Tibet, a group that supports Tibetan independence from China. Read the rest

German steelworkers demand the right to take two years' worth of "work-life balance" 28-hour work weeks to look after children or aging parents

Large German companies are required to give board-seats to representatives from their workers' unions, which makes the companies both more profitable and more equitable, so it's unusual for German workers to go out on strike, but 15,000 members of IG Metall union, the country's largest trade union, are engaged in short-term "warning strikes" against 80 companies for the right to take up to two years' worth of 28-hour working weeks, a kind of "work-life-balance" leave that has evolved out of the country's existing parental leave, but would allow workers to take extra time to care for aging relatives. Read the rest

Camperforce: Laura Poitras documentary on the elderly precariat nomads who keep Amazon's warehouses working

Last September, I wrote about Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century, Jessica Bruder's important, fascinating book-length investigation into the Americans who live on the road out of economic necessity, including the Camperforce, a precariat army of retirees who saved carefully all their working lives, only to be bankrupted in the 2008 financial crisis who travel from Amazon warehouse to Amazon warehouse, filling in as seasonal and temp workers on gruelling, 12-hour shifts that leave them in pain and with just enough money to make it to the next stop. Read the rest

The majority of US workers live in "employment monopsonies" where there is little or no competition for workers

In Labor Market Concentration, a new working paper from economists at U Penn, U Navarra and the Roosevelt Institute, researchers analyze a large US government data-set to determine how many workers live in markets where there is effective only one or two employers, a situation called "monoposony" (when a single buyer has a monopoly). Read the rest

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