uber
Here’s What Could Sink Uber, According to Uber

Uber, the money-losing ridehailing platform which by its own admission claims it has “incurred significant losses since inception” and “may not achieve profitability,” has overcome a lot on the road to its initial public offering. Its entire business model however—which involves cost-cutting by arguably misclassifying the overwhelming majority of its workforce—is precarious, and any number of obstacles could easily send its soon-to-be-public stock on the same downward trajectory as its chief competitor. Read More >>

amazon
3,500 Amazon Employees Challenge Jeff Bezos to Take Real Action on Climate Change

In the latest in a string of protests from inside major tech firms, thousands of Amazon employees have signed their names to an open letter calling on their employer to do more to combat its carbon emissions and to end its relationships with oil and gas giants. Read More >>

google
Google’s Temp Workers Win Crucial Benefits, but They’ll Have to Wait a Few Years

Google’s TVC—short for Temps, Vendors, and Contractors—took home a victory this week in the form of an increased minimum wage and some basic benefits. Hooray! Unfortunately, the TVCs currently working at Google probably won’t be around to see any of them. Read More >>

google
Google Employees Step Up to Demand Fair Treatment for Contractors

On Tuesday, more than 900 Google workers signed a letter urging the company to respect its contracted labour. As tech workers continue to call out unfair labour practices in the industry, they’re forming a coalition with contractors to acknowledge the rights of about half of Google’s workforce. The letter comes at a time when contractors are being laid off and treated as virtually non-existent. Read More >>

automation
With 1.5 Million UK Workers Slated to Lose Their Jobs to Automation, Calls for a Shorter Work Week Intensify

On Monday, the UK’s Office of Data and Statistics released a report that found 1.5 million of the nation’s workers are at “high risk” of losing their jobs to automation. “In 2017, out of the 19.9 million jobs analysed in England, 7.4% people were employed in jobs at high risk of automation,” the report notes. Women and part-time workers are most vulnerable. Read More >>

uber
Uber is Another £15 Million Poorer After Settling Driver Lawsuit

Uber is a company that dictates how a large number of car owners pick up passengers, where they take them, how they take them there, the condition of the vehicle those people get put in, and the pay they earn, but it does not consider those drivers to be its employees. Read More >>

shopping
Why Self-Checkout is and Has Always Been the Worst

Automation is often presented as an inexorably advancing force, whether it’s ushering in a threat to jobs or a promise of increased leisure or larger profits. We’re made to imagine the robots rising, increasingly mechanised systems of production, more streamlined modes of everyday living. But the truth is that automation technology and automated systems very often fail. And even when they do, they nonetheless frequently wind up stranded in our lives. Read More >>

google
Google to End Arbitration Agreements for Employees

After months of backlash, Google has reportedly agreed to end arbitration agreements in its employee contracts beginning 21 March. Read More >>

work
The Case for an Automation-Powered 4-Day Work Week

If the robots are indeed taking our jobs, shouldn’t we all probably be working less? A movement is picking up momentum in the UK based on that very reasonable logic. On Thursday, a proposal backed by eminent British progressives like Labour Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell is making the call to transition to a four-day workweek by 2025. As the proposal’s title makes clear, it’s both “a radical and pragmatic proposal.” Read More >>

automation
This Automation Platform Helped Eliminate 40,000 Jobs, and Now It’s Available to Companies Everywhere

Over the last five years, the global management consulting company Accenture has developed proprietary automation software called the SynOps platform that it says has helped it cut 40,000 jobs within the company. Read More >>

technology
So You Automated Your Coworkers Out of a Job

During his first day on the job at a small 3D-modelling company, Griffith noticed that his new colleagues’ workstations were hopelessly out of date. So he took the initiative to suggest some automation upgrades to the higher-ups, who concurred. Two years later, 20 employees—some of them good friends—were out of work. Read More >>

ai
The ‘Godfather of Deep Learning’ on Why We Need to Ensure AI Doesn’t Just Benefit the Rich

Martin Ford made waves with his 2015 book, Rise of the Robots, which details the many accelerating trends in automation and how they’re slated to impact business and, especially, employment. For his next book, Architects of Intelligence: The Truth About AI from the People Building It, he, well, attempts to hone in on precisely what that subtitle describes. It’s stuffed with in-depth interviews with the biggest names in AI. One of those is Geoffrey Hinton. Currently a professor of computer science at the University of Toronto and a part of the Google Brain project, Hinton is considered by many in his field to be the ‘godfather of deep learning,’ due to his pioneering work in artificial neural networks. Read More >>

amazon
Amazon’s Aggressive Anti-Union Tactics Revealed in Leaked 45-Minute Video

Amazon, America’s second-largest employer, has so far remained immune to any attempts by US workers to form a union. With rumblings of employee organisation at Whole Foods—which Amazon bought for $13.7 billion (£10.5 billion) last year—a 45-minute union-busting training video produced by the company was sent to Team Leaders of the grocery chain last week, according to sources with knowledge of the store’s activities. Recordings of those videos, obtained by Gizmodo, provide valuable insight into the company’s thinking and tactics. Read More >>

ridesharing
Payouts to Rideshare Drivers Have Shrunk By Half, Study Finds

Earnings for gig economy workers in the transportation sector—think drivers for Uber— plummeted by 53 per cent in the US, according to research from the JPMorgan Chase Institute. Read More >>

amazon
Factory Making Amazon Products in China Violated All Kinds of Labour Laws

Factory workers in China tasked with building Amazon’s popular Echo speakers and Kindle e-readers are exposed to horrendous work environments and conditions that often are in violation of Chinese law, a recent report from a watchdog group found. Read More >>