Amazon Manager Was Asked to Perform Racial Profiling, Lawsuit Alleges

Until recently, Lisa McCarrick was a loss prevention manager at Amazon, albeit one who alleges she was compensated significantly less than men who held her title prior, and her male subordinates. But in a wrongful termination lawsuit, filed yesterday in her home state of California, McCarrick references a pattern of superior-sanctioned profiling. Read More >>

Kickstarter Has Successfully Unionised

In a historic vote, crowdfunding platform Kickstarter has become the first major tech company to successfully form a union, with a narrow vote of 46 workers in favour and 37 against. Read More >>

Apple Probably Owes Some of Its Retail Employees a Lot of Money

The California Supreme Court sided with Apple Store employees in a ruling yesterday, stating that unpaid mandatory bag or iPhone searches at the end of retail workers’ shifts are a violation of state law. The class-action suit in question represents more than 12,000 workers employed at the company’s retail locations from mid-2009 onward. Read More >>

Samsung Electronics Chairman Is Going to Jail for Union Sabotage

Add a feather in prosecutors’ cap today in the arduous Samsung crackdown: Samsung Electronics’ chairman, Lee Sang-hoon, has been sentenced in Seoul to 18 months in prison for attempted union-busting activities in violation of labour laws. Read More >>

That Time Animators Brought a Guillotine to the Disney Labour Strike in 1941

Today, we often think of labour strikes as fairly mundane affairs. But there was a time when labour actions were much more intense. Like in 1941, when animators supporting the strike at Disney’s studio in the US city of Burbank, California brought a guillotine to show just how upset they were with Disney management over low wages at the studio. Read More >>

Did Google Wipe An Employee’s Personal Phone?

Google has found itself at the centre of considerable backlash once again, this time for placing two employees on administrative leave for uncertain reasons, as well as for contracting famous union-busting firm IRI. At a worker-led rally on Friday morning on the company’s San Francisco campus, another revelation came to light: the mobile phone of one recently disciplined employee was allegedly rendered mysteriously unusable. Read More >>

Google’s Secret Relationship With Union-Busting Firm Outed by Calendar Entries: Report

Following months of growing internal tension between workers and executives within Google, the tech juggernaut has hired a consulting firm known for fighting union activity, according to a report from the New York Times. Read More >>

Rev CEO: ‘We Got a Few Things Wrong’

Transcription platform Rev quietly slashed the minimum pay for its contractors earlier this month, and its workforce has been vocally pushing back against what it sees as unlivable wages since then. Read More >>

Transcription Platform Rev Slashes Minimum Pay for Workers

Rev, one of the biggest names in transcription – and one of the cheapest services of its kind – opted to alter its pay structure with little warning for thousands of contractors on its platform, some of whom are furious at what they expect will be smaller paycheques from here on out. Read More >>

natural disasters
‘I Have Rights:’ How Undocumented Labourers in the US Are Exploited During Disaster Recovery

Mario used to work. A lot. Twelve-hour workdays and seven-day workweeks are kind of the expectation when your job is to rebuild after a storm – and you’re undocumented. He hasn’t worked in about a year, though. Read More >>

artificial intelligence
There’s an Automation Crisis Underway Right Now, It’s Just Mostly Invisible

What actually happens to workers when a company deploys automation? The common assumption seems to be that the employee simply disappears wholesale, replaced one-for-one with an AI interface or an array of mechanised arms. Read More >>

Why Fast Food Is the Ticking Time Bomb of Job Automation

Earlier this month, the automation-focused US presidential candidate Andrew Yang tweeted, “Fast food may be first.” He was commenting on a new CNBC report that reported annual employee turnover rates of 100 per cent at Panera Bread, an American cafe chain – a figure that is low for the fast food industry, which can see annual turnover of up to 150 per cent. Those figures may seem ridiculous, but they’re a reality: Fast food restaurants regularly see more than their entire workforce turn over every year. And that is why industry experts – and Andrew Yang – warn that it’s ripe for automation and may be the first field to become entirely automated. Read More >>

Gen Z Is Already Afraid Automation Will Eat Their Jobs

A middle-aged man, holding a tool from the machine shop, looking forlorn and wistful. That’s what we might call the stock image of automation fears. It’s the picture that graces the news story about grim job-loss forecasts or think pieces about whether the robots are ‘coming for our jobs.’ (It’s either that or a menacing android.) This is who the robot threatens, who is afraid of the robot: older, semi-skilled, probably uneducated men in the manufacturing industries. Read More >>

Teen Students Forced to Work Overtime Building Amazon Echo Devices In China

In July, a 17-year-old high school student in China was sticking protective film over 3,000 Amazon Echo dots a day at the Foxconn factory in Hengyang. She was working ten hours a day and six days a week. And she was among more than 1,000 students employed by the factory to work overtime on Amazon’s devices. Read More >>

Amazon Says It Will Retrain Workers It’s Automating Out of Jobs. But Does ‘Upskilling’ Even Work?

Amazon made waves when it announced earlier this month that it planned to spend $700 million (£558 million) to retrain one-third of its US workforce—100,000 employees—as part of its ‘Upskilling 2025’ initiative. The sizeable commitment, which the Wall Street Journal notes is “among the biggest corporate retraining initiatives” yet announced, will fund pilot programmes, classes, and tuition fees for employees. “The American workforce is changing,” Amazon’s announcement proclaims, and “there’s a greater need for technical skills in the workplace than ever before.” Translation: We will be automating your job soon, and if you want to keep a decent paying gig here, study up. Read More >>