Posts Tagged ‘employment’

Mass Layoffs in the US, But Not the UK

May 15, 2020

Millions of Americans have lost their jobs due to the coronavirus crisis. But it didn’t have to be that way. Liz Scheltens of Vox explains.

More:

“Pandemic shows contrasts between US, European safety nets,” David McHugh., Associated Press

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COVID-19: Trump’s Easter Parade Death March

March 27, 2020

COVID-19: Trump's Easter Parade Death March

While Americans shelter at home to slow the spread of a deadly virus and the number of US infected and dead grows, all President Donald Trump can see is plunging numbers on Wall Street. Public health officials advise months of social distancing and the closure of all non-essential businesses, but Mr. Trump wants the lockdown to end by Easter.

“We’re opening up this incredible country. Because we have to do that. I would love to have it open by Easter,” Trump told a Fox News virtual town hall. “I would love to have that. It’s such an important day for other reasons, but I’d love to make it an important day for this. I would love to have the country opened up, and rarin’ to go by Easter.”

“Easter’s a very special day for me,” he told (you guessed it) Fox News. “Wouldn’t it be great to have all of the churches full?”

Maybe the White House Easter Egg Roll can be replaced by a Toilet Paper Roll Roll.

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Wilbur Ross on the New U.S. Economic Stimulus: Coronavirus

February 5, 2020

Wilbur Ross on the New U.S. Economic Stimulus: Coronavirus

Commerce Secretary, inveterate liar, and noted grifter Wilbur Ross is going viral for claiming that China’s novel coronavirus epidemic “will help to accelerate the return of jobs to North America.” Kinda like how the Black Death stimulated real estate opportunities by emptying Europe’s cities, apparently.

The comment is not just morally appalling, it demonstrates complete ignorance of 21st century manufacturing processes, just what you want in a Secretary of Commerce. Vehicles assembled in the U.S., for example, contain 40 to 50 percent imported parts and components. If China’s factories shut down due to quarantine, U.S. auto assembly lines will grind to a halt. The Rust Belt won’t save the day by sprouting new factories. the corporate billions liberated by the Trump tax cuts were supposed to fund factory development but were used for unproductive stock buybacks instead.

More:

“Wilbur Ross Says Coronavirus Could Bring Jobs Back to the U.S.,” Ana Swanson and Alan Rappeport, New York Times

“Wilbur Ross says Coronavirus could boost US jobs,” BBC News

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Image (“Wilbur Ross Official Portrait”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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What the US gets wrong about the minimum wage.

October 14, 2019

Alexia Fernández Campbell explains what the US gets wrong about the minimum wage. A Vox video.

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Uber’s Employment Model: Sharecropping.

May 15, 2019

Uber's Employment Model: Sharecropping.

After the Civil War, when plantation owners were deprived of a chattel slave workforce, they implemented a form of peonage euphemistically called “sharecropping.” The landowners contracted poor black and white laborers to work their fields as tenants. These independent contractors did the backbreaking work in return for a small share of cotton harvest proceeds, often absorbing the costs of farming and bad harvests. That’s the employment model of rideshare companies like Uber.

Think of Uber’s digital platform as the plantation’s cotton fields. Uber lets the drivers plow use it if they turn over most of their cotton fare money to the plantation platform owner. Drivers absorb the costs of fuel, cellphone, car loans, permits, insurance, and maintenence. And if their mule car dies, the platform owner lets them buy a new one at subprime rates. Healthcare and retirement benefits? Nope.

Drivers are catching on, and so is the public. No wonder rideshare companies are pushing so hard for autonomous vehicles. After all, they automated the cotton fields, didn’t they?

 

More:

“Uber and the labor market,” Lawrence Mishel, The Economic Policy Institute

“Strike All You Want. Uber Won’t Pay a Living Wage.” Sarah Jeong, New York Times

“‘It’s a Laughable Fiction’: How Uber’s $82 Billion Valuation Was Built on a Lie to Its Workers.” Brianna Provenzano. Pacific Standard

“How Corporate Delusions of Automation Fuel the Cruelty of Uber and Lyft,” Brian Merchant, Gizmodo

Related:

“Research: Ride Share Has Increased San Francisco Traffic,” Rachen Swan, SF Chronicle, via Government Technology

“Uber Is a Scam,” Doug Henwood, Jacobin

Updates:

“Uber’s Path of Destruction,” Hubert Horan, American Affairs Journal

“Hundreds of Uber Drivers in Toronto Are Joining a Union,” Bryan Menegus, Gizmodo

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Image derived from “In a Cotton Field” by Horace Bradley, from Harper’s Weekly, August 1887 (Library of Congress).

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It Takes a Village of Undocumented Workers to Run Trump Golf Resorts

February 13, 2019

It Takes a Village of Undocumented Workers to Run Trump Golf Resorts

Candidate Donald Trump railed against U.S. employers who hire undocumented workers, but his golf resorts were built by them, including the “Summer White House” at Bedminster, NJ. Villagers from Costa Rica, El Salvador, Mexico and Guatemala were knowingly hired by Trump Golf managers as construction laborers, heavy equipment operators, landscapers, kitchen staff, and housekeepers for about two decades. After the Washington Post broke a story about undocumented workers at the Trump National Golf Club in Westchester NY, where Eric Trump lives, these long-time Trump employees were all swiftly fired, and other Trump resorts shortly followed suit.

The Trump Organization did not use the federal E-Verify system except in cases like the DC Trump Hotel, a GSA construction project that required it. Once in operation, the hotel apparently stopped using it.

More:

“‘My whole town practically lived there’: From Costa Rica to New Jersey, a pipeline of illegal workers for Trump goes back years,” Joshua Partlow, Nick Miroff and David A. Fahrenthold, Washington Post

“Trump’s own undocumented help highlights plight of many immigrants,” Paul Reyes, The Hill

“7 questions about Trump’s use of illegal workers at his golf courses,” David A. Fahrenthold and Joshua Partlow, Washington Post

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Jobs: Nutella Taste-Testers Wanted

August 8, 2018

Jobs: Nutella Taste-Testers Wanted

The Ferrero company, maker of Nutella chocolate hazelnut spread, wants to hire 60 Nutella tasters, no experience needed. These assaggiatori di Nutella will be based in Italy and receive training in honing their palettes. Candidates should get in line behind us, per favore.

More:

“Italy is looking for 60 Nutella tasters,” The Local

“This Company Will Pay You to Move to Italy and Eat Nultella For a Living,” Joe McGauley, Thrillist

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Top image (“Still Life with Pewter Jug and Nutella, after Cezanne”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Trump’s Driver Sues Him for 6 Years of Unpaid Overtime

July 16, 2018

Noel Cintron, Donald Trump’s personal driver for more than 25 years, says his boss didn’t pay him overtime and raised his salary only twice in 15 years, clawing back the second raise by cutting off his health benefits. Mr. Cintron is suing his former employer for the back wages.

More:

“Donald Trump’s former driver sues over unpaid wages,” Sabrina Siddiqui, The Guardian

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Mr. Sellack

July 7, 2018

“Mr. Sellack,” written by Terre Roche, performed by her with sisters Suzzy and Margaret as The Roaches, 1980.

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Age Discrimination at IBM

April 25, 2018

IBM is 94 years old, but the corporation has fired 20,000 employees ages 40 and over in the past 5 years. Those employees, even the ones with excellent performance reviews, had something that the company couldn’t abide: salaries commensurate with their experience and seniority.

More:

“Cutting ‘Old Heads’ at IBM,” Peter Gosselin and Ariana Tobin, ProPublica

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