I don't know what men are made of, though a song I love begins: "Some people say a man is made out of mud." Perhaps the dust of Eden got wet with the kiss of the Lord and made mud, and from that Adam was made, but that's not what Tennessee Ernie Ford meant when he sang "a poor man's made out of muscle and blood."
"Sixteen Tons" is the anthem of the working stiff. Ford didn't write the song and he wasn't the first to record it, but his version from 1955 has worked its way into the assembly-line-addled ears and labor-worn hearts of workers ever since. Whatever [...]
Astra Taylor’s forthcoming book The People’s Platform, about who has power and who gets paid in the age of the Internet, mentions the following quote about the virtues of “open-source” (read: unpaid) labor from Internet guru Yochai Benkler:
“Remember, money isn’t always the best motivator. If you leave a fifty-dollar check after dinner with friends, you don’t increase the probability of being invited back. And if dinner doesn’t make it entirely obvious, think of sex.”
That quote, unsurprisingly, is from a TED Talk. The talk's audience chose to reflexively laugh rather than actually think about sex or about work. It doesn’t seem to occur to anyone in the audience [...]
Congratulations to the 592 current and former New York Times employees, from the dudes in security to customer service representatives to a few brave news assistants to web producers to editors to critcs, who signed the open letter to Arthur Sulzberger Jr. at the behest of their Guild. It is now 19 months since the Guild's contract expired at the paper. Yesterday, the Times dismissed a Guild offer and—this is a good one!—the Proskauer lawyer who represents the Times suggested to the union that they "waive collective bargaining rights." The session was scheduled for four hours and lasted 30 minutes. So that's going well! As we know, [...]
Yesterday we noted the details of a bill introduced by Wisconsin's new Tea Party Republican Governor Scott Walker that would increase payments from public sector employees while eliminating collective bargaining powers for unions (including teachers)—while also introducing unprecedented executive powers to terminate state employees with little due process. In passing, Walker mentioned plans to call in the National Guard, if necessary. It's an announcement that rankled many (maybe intentionally), including the 100,000-member "voice of America's 21st century patriots" organization VoteVets: "Veterans are strongly objecting to Governor Scott Walker's inappropriate threat…."
Today, response to Walker's bill has been… unfavorable. About ten thousand currently surround Walker's capitol office and [...]
It has been brought to our attention that there is another publication called The Awl! Unfortunately, it seems to have ceased publication sometime in the mid to late 1840s, even though it was only first published in 1843. Documented in Norman Ware's fantastic The Industrial Worker, 1840-1860: the reaction of American industrial society to the advance of the industrial revolution, which was published by Houghton Mifflin in 1924. This bit of history was brought to our attention by the widely-read Aaaron Swartz, praise his name. Let's do some reading!
Employees of a French trucking company facing possible closure "have threatened to dump a toxic substance into the River Seine if their demands for extra compensation are not met, union representatives said on Thursday."
Previously: The French Art Of Labor Relations
All the angry hedgefunders who are crying about the socialism of the mean president who forced them to accept a deal in the Chrysler bankruptcy so that he could repay his union buddies for their support should cheer up just a little: the union is getting hosed too!