Tag: Labor

NYTIMES – December 8, 2022 – 24 Hour Strike

CNN Business

The New York Times is preparing for more than 1,100 of its union staffers to go on strike for a full day Thursday — an act of protest that has not been staged by employees at the paper of record since the late 1970s.

The historic work stoppage is set to go in effect at midnight on December 8 and last for an entire 24 hours. Instead of filing stories, employees will be seen picketing outside The Times’ offices at 1pm, with prominent journalists such as Nikole Hannah-Jones set to speak during a solidarity rally.

Jack Welch and Schenectady

I too grew up in Schenectady where Jack Welch earned the nickname “Neutron Jack”. The employees were sacked but the buildings still stood.

The city continued to levy property taxes against those buildings, so Jack Welch had them demolished. I remember driving through the Schenectady on my way to work and driving past those city blocks of rubble.

Pride goeth before a fall, says the proverb, but so does smallness. While Jack Welch made money for GE, he also gutted its heart. What did it even manufacture by the time he was done? Loans and life insurance quotes.

From the comments of this article:
How One of the Country’s Most Storied C.E.O.s Destroyed His Legacy

Red Cup Day – Workers on Strike at Starbucks

More than a thousand Starbucks employees went on strike on Thursday on what is one of the company’s busiest days.

Members of the Starbucks Workers Union are picketing outside more than a hundred stores across the country on what they say is the group’s largest single-day strike. The walkout falls on what’s known as Red Cup Day, when the coffee giant hands out limited-edition holiday reusable cups. They’re considered collector’s items and customers line up at the crack of dawn to get their hands on a decorated cup. It’s one of the coffee giant’s most profitable days on the calendar.

On Red Cup Day, thousands of Starbucks workers go on strike

No Starbucks for me today

Five Books for Labor Day

1. Working: People Talk About What They Do All Day and How They Feel About What They Do
Studs Terkel
Studs Terkel’s classic oral history Working is a compelling look at jobs and the people who do them. Consisting of over one hundred interviews with everyone from a gravedigger to a studio head, this book provides a “brilliant” and enduring portrait of people’s feelings about their working lives.

2. Gig: Americans Talk About Their Jobs
John Bowe (Editor), Marisa Bowe (Editor), Sabin Streeter (Editor), Daron Murphy (Editor), Rose Kernochan (Editor)
This wide-ranging survey of the American economy at the turn of the millennium is stunning, surprising, and always entertaining. It gives us an unflinching view of the fabric of this country from the point of view of the people who keep it all moving. The more than 120 roughly textured monologues that make up Gig beautifully capture the voices of our fast-paced and diverse economy. The selections demonstrate how much our world has changed–and stayed the same–in the three decades prior to the turn of the millennium. If you think things have speeded up, become more complicated and more technological, you’re right.

3. Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America
Barbara Ehrenreich
Millions of Americans work full time, year round, for poverty-level wages. In 1998, Barbara Ehrenreich decided to join them. She was inspired in part by the rhetoric surrounding welfare reform, which promised that a job—any job—can be the ticket to a better life. But how does anyone survive, let alone prosper, on $6 an hour?

4. Rivethead: Tales from the Assembly Line
Ben Hamper
The man the Detroit Free Press calls “a blue collar Tom Wolfe” delivers a full-barreled blast of truth and gritty reality in Rivethead, a no-holds-barred journey through the belly of the American industrial beast.

5. A Working Stiff’s Manifesto: A Memoir
Iain Levison
In ten years, Iain Levison has lived in six states and worked at forty-two jobs, from fish cutter in Alaska to furniture mover in North Carolina, film-set gopher, oil deliveryman, truck driver, and crab fisherman. He quit thirty of them, got fired from nine, and has difficulty remembering the other three. Whatever could go wrong often did, hilariously.

* Bonus. A view from the 1% side of things –
The Smartest Guys in the Room: The Amazing Rise and Scandalous Fall of Enron
Bethany McLean
Remarkably, it was just two years ago that Enron was thought to epitomize a great New Economy company, with its skyrocketing profits and share price. But that was before Fortune published an article by McLean that asked a seemingly innocent question: How exactly does Enron make money? From that point on, Enron’s house of cards began to crumble. Now, McLean and Elkind have investigated much deeper, to offer the definitive book about the Enron scandal and the fascinating people behind it.

Quantifying Hospice Chaplain Productivity

‘Spiritual Care Drive-Bys’
IN THE FIRST MONTH after joining the group of hospice chaplains in Minnesota, the Rev. Heather Thonvold was invited to five potlucks. To endure the constant sorrow of the work, the more than a dozen clergy members ministered to one another. Sometimes the cantor in the group played guitar for his mostly Protestant colleagues. There was comfort in regarding their work as a calling, several of them said.

In August 2020, the productivity revolution arrived for them in an email from their employer, a nonprofit called Allina Health.

“The timing is not ideal,” the message said, with the team already strained by the pandemic. But workloads varied too widely, and “the stark reality at this point is we cannot wait any longer.”

Allina was already keeping track of productivity, but now there would be stricter procedures with higher expectations. Every morning the chaplains would share on a spreadsheet the number of “productivity points” they anticipated earning. Every evening, software would calculate whether they had met their goals.

But dying defied planning. Patients broke down, canceled appointments, drew final breaths. This left the clergy scrambling and in a perpetual dilemma. “Do I see the patients who earn the points or do I see the patients who really need to be seen?” as Mx. Thonvold put it.

The Rise of the Worker Productivity Score
Across industries and incomes, more employees are being tracked, recorded and ranked. What is gained, companies say, is efficiency and accountability. What is lost?
By Jodi Kantor and Arya Sundaram
Produced by Aliza Aufrichtig and Rumsey Taylor

Bob Marley – Card Carrying UAW Member

NOTE – Guess it’s not just the United Auto Workers now:

WHO WE ARE
The International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America (UAW) is one of the largest and most diverse unions in North America, with members in virtually every sector of the economy.

UAW-represented workplaces range from multinational corporations, small manufacturers and state and local governments to colleges and universities, hospitals and private non-profit organizations.

The UAW has more than 400,000 active members and more than 580,000 retired members in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico.

https://uaw.org/about/

HarperCollins Strike – July 20, 2022

More than 200 unionized HarperCollins employees are on strike today following months of contract negotiations, which began in December 2021 and which, they say, have not yielded a fair agreement for workers.

HarperCollins, based in New York City—where the median rent recently reached $4,000 a month—offers a starting salary of $45,000, and unionized workers make an average salary of $55,000. Employees are calling for a pay increase along with more family leave benefits, improved efforts to diversify the company, and “stronger union protection,” while currently working without a contract, according to a press release.

Employees are currently holding a picket line in lower Manhattan, where others have joined them in support.

HarperCollins workers are on strike today
Corinne Segal
Lithub

Work Related Dreams, Hypnagogia, Tetris Effect, Example of

Most of the commercials we produced were thirty- and sixty-second spots for products like Maxwell House Coffee, Vicks Vaporub, Ajax (bum-bum, the foaming cleanser), Colgate Dental Cream, and other household products. Technically speaking, these early ads were the simplest work imaginable. There’s a dancing coffee pot or some such thing with a jingle about Maxwell House exploding flavor buds; cut to a man tasting a steaming cup of coffee while his lovely, crisp wife looks on expectantly; cut to the best take of his reaction (“Hmm, that’s delicious!”); cut to the sign-off; and you’re through. But nothing is ever that simple in the advertising business.

This kind of work was all right for a week or two. It had its curiosities. But after a few months at Tempo, I was morose and close to broken, for I knew I was using almost none of the skills that had landed me the job in the first place. At night bad dreams about exploding flavor buds and foaming cleansers with catchy jingles and forced smiles began to bother me. In the one nightmare I still recall, I was stuffed into a Maxwell House jar and exploded into ten thousand pieces when they poured the boiling water on me.

When The Shooting Stops … The Cutting Begins 
Ralph Rosenblum, Robert Karen

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tetris_effect
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypnagogia