It's International Worker's Day, so here's a look at a day in the life of a labor organizer

Nastaran Mohit is the organizing director of the NewsGuild of New York, which represents more than 24,000 journalists and media workers in the US and Canada. I've met her through her work with the Wirecutter Union, and she's also helped to organize workers at The New Yorker, New York Magazine, Buzzfeed, and more.

Teen Vogue recently published a great piece on Mohit, breaking down a day in her life — which is, as one might imagine, made even more complicated by the coronavirus pandemic. But Nas keeps fighting the good fight, doing crucial work at a time when media layoffs are more and more common. Solidarity matters, and there is power in a union.

Nastaran Mohit: A Day in the Life of a Union Organizer [Allegra Kirkland / Teen Vogue] Read the rest

Uber drivers in Toronto unionizing to take on The Man

Working for a ride-sharing company like Uber or Lyft can be a tough gig that offers low pay, long hours that keep drivers on there road and away from the people they love and, at times, wheeling under dangerous working conditions. In some parts of the world, pissed off drivers have walked off the job and protested their crappy working conditions and demanded--and I know this is crazy--a living wage. Up here in Canada, we tend to do things with a little more of a socialist flare.

From Gizmodo:

First announced on Monday, Uber drivers based in Toronto expressed their intention to join the United Food and Commercial Workers, a 250,000-strong trade union which operates in both Canada and the U.S. The actual number of drivers who had signed cards was not released, but during a press conference this afternoon, UFCW Canada staffer Pablo Godoy claimed their support had hit the “high hundreds” and were growing rapidly.

The move comes at a time when Toronto's city counsel is attempting to sort out a balance between cab companies and the ride share operations that have been drinking their milkshakes. With this in mind, there couldn't be a better time for Uber drivers to invest in the power of a union. That said, there's still a number of legal issues to be ironed out before Toronto's Uber drivers are rubber stamped as a bona fide part of the union and afforded the protections that membership in UFCW provides.

Given the amount of trouble that Uber has had in recent years in locales like New York where the city has implemented strict living wage laws for ride share drivers and in Cancun, where they were forced to suspend operations to keep their people safe from pissed off taxi and colectivo drivers, its possible that the company might just consider not giving it's Toronto employees a tough time, at least in the short term: even giant, plundering corporations need a breather from all the bullshit they generate, every now and again. Read the rest