Silicon Valley's Contract Worker Problem Earlier this year, I hired a house cleaner. I wouldn't have done so normally, but my place was a mess, I was busy at work, and I saw an offer on Facebook that looked too good to be true — a San Francisco start-up called Homejoy was offering home cleanings in the Bay Area for $19. (Not $19 per room or $19 per hour. Just $19.) So I booked an appointment through Homejoy's website, and a day later, a young man showed up at my door. [more inside]
Qatar has proposed a bold vision of its future in 2022, but at what cost? In September 2013, the Guardian reported that up to 4,000 migrant workers would die during the construction process for Qatar's staging of the football World Cup in 2022. The Pravasi Nepali Coordination Committee, an advocacy group representing Nepalese and South Asian migrant workers, estimates that 400 Nepalese have died on Qatari construction sites since 2010. Nepalese make up around 20% of the migrant workforce. In the past two years 450 Indian workers have died on construction sites. [more inside]
Many of America's biggest corporations rely on temp workers to make up an ever increasing portion of their work force. This has led to a boom in the temp agency industry and a sharp decline in temp workers' quality of life.
Rape in the Fields is a Frontline documentary that explores the persistent allegations that female agricultural workers in the U.S. are frequently sexually assaulted and harassed by supervisors who exploit their (often undocumented) immigrant status. Victims typically do not seek help from US law enforcement, either out of fear that they will be fired, deported or worse, or from a lack of understanding of U.S. law. Reviews: Popmatters. NY Times [more inside]
"The body of William Sparkman Jr., a 51-year-old census worker, was found in 2009 in an isolated cemetery in the Appalachian region of Kentucky. He hung naked from a tree, hands bound, the word FED scrawled in black marker across his chest." [more inside]
“During the 1920s, the British firm Parker-Holladay created a fictional character named Bill Jones. Mr. Jones’ dispensed his friendly advice to British clerical workers through colorful lithographic posters emblazoned with his get-right-to-the-point maxims." Why not enjoy this collection of can-do, yes-sir business motivational posters before you head back to work?
Australia's Qantas Airlines has been left red-faced after an ill-timed public relations campaign and Twitter competition backfired, drawing thousands of angry responses. The contest ran a day after talks with unions broke down, and after Qantas grounded its entire fleet in October. Thousands of passengers were stranded worldwide after the firm halted flights in an attempt to end months of strike action by workers angered by the firm's restructuring plans. The "Qantas Luxury" promotion, launched on 22 November, quickly tapped into customers' ire. ~ BBC
Edward Mike Davis was the owner or Tiger Oil, an oil company operating in Houston during the 1970's. His irascible memos have been an Internet sensation for the past few years. Good things are not meant to last forever, and in 1980, Tiger Oil filed bankruptcy. Davis' hatred of people did not confine itself to the office, as this case shows. Tiger Oil was in litigation in relation to the bankruptcy filing as late as 1989.
The Toronto Star looks into the shambles that Canada's guest worker program finds itself in. [more inside]
He might've placed a couple of chips into your Mac, Dell or Hewlett-Packard. Meet Yuan Yandong.
Hope withers on the vine. A look at daily life among the produce workers in Mecca, California.
SEIU President Andy Stern says unions should be less like unions. He recently teamed up with Wal-Mart to call for incremental healthcare reform, and has said that unions should assist employers in outsourcing their employees. His union once teamed up with CA nursing home operators to limit the rights of abused patients. This is the same union that promoted this insipid PR campaign.
The UBS Bank calculated how long it takes an average worker around the world to earn enough to buy a Big Mac. Workers in Tokyo were the fastest: Tokyo 10 minutes, New York 13 minutes, London 16 minutes, Hong Kong 17 minutes, Paris 21 minutes, Moscow 25 minutes, Rome 39 minutes, Beijing 44 minutes, Manila 81 minutes, Jakarta 86 minutes. Is this a fair comparison? Is it something that will change people's perspective about the rest of the world?
Portrait of a Textile Worker makes one person among millions of unseen workers visible. Her image was constructed with thirty thousand clothing labels stitched together over two years.
Stories from a prison in South Korea, told by an English teacher imprisoned for teaching without a license. Punishment: deportation. But if a prisoner can't collect wages due, then the prisoner can't buy a plane ticket and stays jailed, where the prisoner can't make money, until such time as the prisoner can afford a plane ticket, ad infinitum. Part one. "The massive Mongolian sings beautifully. A sad falsetto—I imagine it to be about missing a faraway homeland of vast, green pastures, endless fertile grasslands, deserts and broad skies." Part two. "He should really go to a hospital outside of the detention center, but…he would have to pay for any medical treatment outside.…If he spends any money on medical bills he would have less money for buying his airplane ticket home. So he must go untreated."
Walmart started a "War on Workers" ? Apparently so according to a new video released by the owners of the linked website. A Walmart workers' Union incoming ?
Laid-Off Workers Are Striking Back What's interesting is the retailators are not doing so *because* they were laid off, but because of the *way* they were laid off. When will business learn humans need to be treated like-- well-- humans?
The Latest Michael Moore message is about the INS trying to deport 8 hotel workers. The workers were arrested in a raid, thanks in part to their employers tipping the INS off, in retaliation for the workers starting a union. Even though they won a court battle over Holiday Inn's unjust labor actions, the INS is still after them. Is this fair?