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The Gig Economy Celebrates Working Yourself to Death

Jia Tolentino The New Yorker
The American obsession with self-reliance, which makes it more acceptable to applaud an individual for working oneself to death than to argue that an individual working her/himself to death is evidence of a flawed economic system. The contrast between the gig economy’s rhetoric (everyone is always connecting, having fun, and killing it!) and the conditions that allow it to exist (a lack of dependable employment that pays a living wage) makes this kink especially clear.


Laws that Decimate Unions May be Inevitable. Here’s How Labor Can Survive.

Lydia DePillis The Washington Post
As more states feel they’ve been put at a competitive disadvantage by their right-to-work neighbors, the pressure only increases to follow suit and enact their own right-to-work laws. And after a while, a national right-to-work law might not be far behind. “I suspect that will happen within the next decade,” says Marquita Walker, an associate professor of labor studies at Indiana University.


Organized Labor Takes on Race and Michael Brown

Carla Murphy Colorlines
Rebuilding labor means more than ticking off new non-white members, however, it also means transformation—and when it comes to workers of color that means integrating individual on-the-job concerns with “off-the-clock” community concerns like climate change, racial profiling, mass incarceration and, certainly, police violence. And therein lies the rub for organized labor as it looks toward the future.


New Rules for Radicals

David Moberg In These Times
George Goehl and National People’s Action spent the last 6 years developing a new organizing strategy. The organization now commits itself to a vision of a “new economy”: democratic and public control of finance, and cooperative and alternative forms of business ownership. NPA also envisions giving workers real decision-making power within corporations and giving the public the right to revoke the charters of corporations that provide too little social value.


Advocates for Workers Raise the Ire of Business

Steven Greenhouse NY Times
As America’s labor unions have lost members and clout, new types of worker advocacy groups have sprouted nationwide, and they have started to get on businesses’ nerves — protesting low wages at Capital Grille restaurants and demonstrating outside Austin City Hall in Texas against giving Apple tax breaks. Now, business groups and powerful lobbyists, heavily backed by the restaurant industry, are mounting an aggressive campaign against them.


Who Should Fund Alt-Labor?

Josh Eidelson The Nation
As the AFL-CIO prepares for its upcoming national convention, the issue of non-traditional workers' organizations looms heavy on the agenda. As so-called alternative labor organizations - a.k.a. "alt-labor" - have multiplied, the question of funding organizations and activities without a traditional negotiated dues check-off system is being debated.


Josh Eidelson The American Prospect
Nonunion workers’ groups are gathering strength across the country. But will they ever make the kind of impact that traditional labor once did?
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