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Information is power. Our mission at Portside is to seek out and to provide information that empowers you -- that empowers the left. Every day we search hundreds of sources to connect you with the most interesting, striking and useful material. Just once a year we appeal to you to contribute to make it possible to continue this work. Please help.

 

books

“We Are All Fast-Food Workers Now”:

Thomas J. Adams Labor: Studies in Working-Class History
This book is a must-needed introduction to the rising international labor movement against the neoliberal wage and labor regime.

labor

Low Wage, Not Low Skill: Why Devaluing Our Workers Matters

Byron Auguste Forbes
When we stereotype or lazily assume low-wage workers to be  “low skill,” it reinforces an often unspoken and pernicious view that they lack intelligence and ambition, maybe even the potential to master “higher-order” skilled work.

labor

Why It Matters: The Consequences of D.C.’s Tipped Wage Vote

Khorri Atkinson Axios
While the Fight for $15 campaign has forced dozens of states and cities across the U.S. to increase their minimum wage in recent years, activists have finally begun to turn their attention to tipped workers.

labor

Workers, Businesses Back Proposal to Stop Wage Theft

Barb Kucera Workday Minnesota
About 39,000 Minnesota workers suffer from wage theft each year, resulting in $11.9 million in wages owed, and that's only what goes reported. The union-backed Wage Theft Initiative proposes policy changes to give the state Department of Labor and Industry more enforcement tools and an increased budget.

labor

Most Mechanical Turkers are Young, College-Educated and Making Less Than $5 an Hour

Moshe Z. Marvit In These Times
Since 2005, a dispersed group of sub-minimum wage workers has been performing online tasks for pennies through an Amazon-controlled marketplace called Mechanical Turk. These workers tag photos, transcribe audio, take surveys, and do whatever current computer technology cannot. Their work-product is littered across the Internet, and through academic publications, but they have largely remained invisible.

Get to Work or Go To Jail

UCLA Labor Center UCLA Labor Center
A recent UCLA Labor Center report, Get to Work or Go To Jail: Workplace Rights Under Threat, goes further by exploring the ways in which the criminal justice system can also lock workers on probation, parole, facing court-ordered debt, or child support debt into bad jobs. Because these workers face the threat of incarceration for unemployment, the report finds that they cannot afford to refuse a job, quit a job, or to challenge their employers.

labor

How New York's "Fight for $15" Launched a Nationwide Movement

Wendi C. Thomas and Frederick McKissack, Jr. The American Prospect
The combination of fed-up workers, motivated organizers, and political opportunity created a perfect storm for New York City's carwasheros and fast-food workers in the fight for $15.

labor

Connecticut Has its Share of Exploited Workers

Bill Cummings Stamford Advocate
During the 2014 fiscal year, the Connecticut state labor department received 2,776 complaints over unpaid wages and returned $6.5 million in wages to workers, according to the state labor department.
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