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the Cambodians who stitch your clothing keep fainting in droves

It should have been an extraordinary scene: more than 100 factory hands fainting in unison as if possessed by spirits.

But in Cambodian garment factories (pdf, graphic violence depicted), which play a major role in supplying American malls, mass fainting is no longer a freak phenomenon. It’s disturbingly common.
posted by and they trembled before her fury on Apr 28, 2014 - 34 comments

Low-wage workers fight to make bad jobs better.

A growing number of Americans is realizing that “good jobs” aren’t coming back, and that for things to get better, they’re going to have to fight to turn their McJobs into something better. (Via Jacobin) [more inside]
posted by klue on Oct 5, 2013 - 103 comments

Subtext, meet text.

"Too many people are out of work, struggling to keep a roof over their heads and food on the table. Many are lacking health insurance and foregoing staples that in different times were a given. So please, protesting retail workers, stop whining about having to work holiday hours. Be grateful to have a job." [more inside]
posted by mightygodking on Nov 24, 2011 - 235 comments

"Let's stop harvesting brains."

The Spam Factory's Dirty Secret. Undocumented workers, an autoimmune mystery traced to aerosolized pork brains from increased line production speed, and what sounds like one of the worst jobs in America.
posted by availablelight on Jun 27, 2011 - 46 comments

Wisconistan, UK

Osborne to target workers' rights with review of employment law "Workers are set to receive less protection against redundancy, dismissal and workplace discrimination as the Chancellor George Osborne tears up sections of employment law so businesses can dispose of their staff more easily." More Here (Times.co. uk - no sub required (at least, not in the uk), and Here.
posted by marienbad on May 12, 2011 - 34 comments

"It's ironic that Ikea looks on the U.S. and Danville the way that most people in the U.S. look at Mexico."

Ikea's U.S. factory churns out unhappy workers. A union-organizing battle hangs over the Ikea plant in Virginia. Workers complain of eliminated raises, a frenzied pace, mandatory overtime and racial discrimination.
posted by hippybear on Apr 10, 2011 - 106 comments

Wages So Low You'll Freak

In November of 2009, the IWW set up shop in Minneapolis. Similar to their Starbucks campaign, organizers set up the Jimmy John's Workers Union, and began attempting to unionize the employees of local franchises of the sandwich chain, "seeking a pay increase to above minimum wage, consistent scheduling and minimum shift lengths, regularly scheduled breaks, sick days, no-nonsense workers compensation for job-related injuries, an end to sexual harassment at work, and basic fairness on the job.". When local franchise owners MikLin Enterprises refused to meet with employees, union organizers scheduled a National Labor Relations Board election. As allegations of dirty tricks came out, the union lost in a stunningly close vote. The IWW pressed the NLRB to look into the alleged misconduct, and they did.

The earlier vote has been nullified as a part of a settlement between MikLin and the NLRB. The union is resuming its push for official recognition.
posted by Subcommandante Cheese on Jan 11, 2011 - 84 comments

The Ubiquitous Banana

"Miller produced a memo written in 1978 by Jack DeMent, a senior Dole [Food Company] executive, that reflected a proposed policy that 'people in the areas to be treated will be notified to the effect in the language of the workers involved.' Miller said a comment found on the draft undercut the good intentions. The comment read: 'This is not operationally feasible and does not need to be implemented.'" [more inside]
posted by burnfirewalls on Oct 23, 2009 - 15 comments

Big Brother Nixes Happy Hour

Big Brother Nixes Happy Hour National Labor Relations Board Green Lights Ban on Off-Duty Fraternizing Among Co-Workers It is a regular pastime for co-workers to chat during a coffee break, at a union hall, or over a beer about workplace issues, good grilling recipes, and celebrity gossip. Yet a recent ruling by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) allows employers to ban off-duty fraternizing among co-workers, severely weakening the rights of free association and speech, and violating basic standards of privacy for America's workers.
posted by jackspace on Jul 29, 2005 - 50 comments

The Triangle Factory Fire of 1911

The Triangle Factory Fire of 1911. 'This site includes selected information on a terrible and unnecessary tragedy involving the death of many young working women in a New York City sweatshop at the beginning of the 20th century and the resulting investigations and reforms. '
posted by plep on Jul 22, 2004 - 7 comments

Work Less Party

The Work Less Party of Vancouver seeks to regain a little sanity for the North American employee. A 32-hour work week is not a very realistic fantasy for the information age. But at least someone is standing up for the right to go home earlier.
posted by PrinceValium on Mar 29, 2004 - 47 comments

Redefining the American Dream

Sweatshop-free T-shirts "We are not about "made in USA". We are about American values. We believe in the American dream and want to do more for our customers and employees. We are pro-workers rights— whether in Los Angeles or anywhere in the world. We manufacture in the United States not because we are crazy flag fanatics but because it is the most vibrant T-shirt market in the world and therefore the most efficient place to manufacture our T-shirts." In the middle of one of the worst economic climates in decades, with (actual) unemployment near 9 percent, an American company with the courage to compete against the Global Sweatshop economy. Is Politically-driven consumer markets the future? Or do you really need that Nike logo? Could "Sweatshop-free IT Services" be far behind?
posted by reality on Jul 4, 2003 - 40 comments

"Boss, I'm on sick leave right now, my thighs really hurt, the government is paying me unemployment insurance."

"Boss, I'm on sick leave right now, my thighs really hurt, the government is paying me unemployment insurance." Germany inacts law that sees prostitution as any other form of work, whereby she can take you to court if you don't pay.
posted by HoldenCaulfield on Oct 21, 2001 - 10 comments

Just DON'T do it.

Just DON'T do it. In findings that Nike admitted were "concerning", the Community Aid Abroad-Oxfam Australia report revealed that, not only were female workers only paid $2 per day, despite legal entitlement to menstrual leave each month, they were forced to pull down their pants in front of the factory doctor to claim that leave.
posted by murray_kester on Sep 4, 2000 - 5 comments

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