Greed is a powerful thing. It motivates the greedy to convince workers that they should hate any efforts to make their work better and reduce the level of abuse and oppression they suffer.
If you’d like a list of why they want us to hate our unions, click through to enjoy this brilliant cartoon.
And while you enjoy this light, graphic representation, remember that the list isn’t exclusive. We can also add in this idea that non-union workers are trained to hate unionized workers who make more money than them. The goal, apparently, is that if you’re suffering with pay (Read more…)
Faisal and Azeem, getting it done!
Platitudes and paternalism aside, the 21st century actually does belong to the young. And not that they’re OUR future, like an extension of us, but that we are stewarding the future for them.
And we’re doing a pretty horrible job of it. But since we’re not idiots, we should be able to try on a new hat and leave a legacy we won’t be so ashamed of. Here’s how.
I’m not a big fan of Microsoft, but they’re figuring it out at least a little bit [see below] by spotting that there is a (Read more…)
While I was waiting for the newest Munk Debate to show up on the site, I watched an old one. An excellent debate between Tony Blair and Christopher Hitchens on, of course, religion. There’s little I enjoy more than watching really intelligent thinkers go at each other with carefully and thoughtfully chosen words. The debate was run with opening statements, a series of 3-minute rebuttals, then closing statements. They understood and followed the rules, and they remained focused on the topic without a single barb directly at anything said outside of that arena.
So it was interesting to watch (Read more…)
Since roughly the end of the 70s productivity at workplaces has increased yet wages have stagnated (except for the top 1%) meaning that we are relatively worse off than before. All one has to do is look at the graph below to get the basic idea of this global issue.
With this in mind, it’s great to see economists calling for a reduced work week. In North America, a standard full-time week is 40 hours, and the economists are calling for a 30 hour work week.
The benefits of working less are huge for individuals as well as society as (Read more…)
There is a deeper reason for the war on drugs, which is the central reason for the policy, even outweighing profits from private prisons and seizure of property by law enforcement officers, both of which no doubt are also significant and strong motivations for keeping the “war on drugs” going. Nearly thirty years ago, Chomsky […]
Banks as predators? Surely, no!
Temporary foreign workers have become a lightning-rod topic in Canadian labour in recent months with the high-profile news of the Royal Bank of Canada replacing staff with TFWs. But the issue is not about RBC, which is merely the latest flashpoint. The temporary foreign worker issue is wrapped up in a number of intersecting topics, including minimum and living wages, the role of the market in setting wages, immigration and job training.
Despite some of the spin we are seeing, the TFW controversy is not an issue of jobs for Canadians versus foreigners, and it (Read more…)
GC and I marched in the Pride parade last weekend! First time for both of us. I was working there and GC volunteered to pitch in. It was a terrific event for people-watching. The people lining the streets to watch the parade were, I think, more entertaining than your average spectators. We were behind the Bruce House hootenanny float, so heehaw!
After the parade, we worked at an information booth for a few hours. We were giving away flashing red ribbons and key drives in exchange for people sharing their tips about health and happiness.
As you might expect, a (Read more…)
Workers in Canada and around the world have been under assault for decades, but most of our recent tactics to stop the bleeding have been ineffective. Are we lazy, complacent, overworked, obedient, compliant, subdued, afraid, docile, or fully tamed and intimidated by the one per cent?
If we don’t get a lot more of our boots on the pavement, and soon, our union density will continue to decline to an impotent level. Just look at the United States. Union density does not have to be zero for workers there to consistently lose against employers and anti-worker legislators. Density just has (Read more…)
Sweatshops ‘R Us!
Ripping off employees by paying them less than a living wage [the Metro Vancouver 2013 living wage is $19,64], all to pad shareholder profits, is the glory of exploitative capitalism!
Long live capitalism!
Oh wait, what happens when your own employees can’t afford to shop at your own store?
That’s what sweatshops are like.
And that’s what The Bay has become. Sign the petition below and let The Bay and its new American owners that living wages matter!
According to its employment website, Hudson’s Bay wants to hire only sales associates with at least two (Read more…)
Workplace justice: a pipe dream, or something to build solidarity to fight for?
I had the distinct, and creepy, pleasure of sitting in front of a group of fellows yesterday in, ironically, the cheap seats at the Seattle Mariners game. They were discussing business.
One fellow, who of course may have been speaking out of his butt, detailed a list of business exploits, while the other fellows basked in his glow:
Helping a fellow buy a company from someone later to do time for sideways business practices. That company making a tidy sum through that company from the US Treasury, (Read more…)
Stephen Elliott-Buckley echoes Bertrand Russell‘s idea of the 4-hour workday. Russell in brief:
Above all, there will be happiness and joy of life, instead of frayed nerves, weariness, and dyspepsia. The work exacted will be enough to make leisure delightful, but not enough to produce exhaustion. Since men [and women] will not be tired in their spare time, they will not demand only such amusements as are passive and vapid.
And many of us could do it easily but for our unbridled desire for more stuff. It’s an easy fix for many problems if those who need less money (Read more…)
You actually do deserve a break today.
What ails us?
A large proportion of the total produce goes to a small minority of the population, many of whom do no work at all. Owing to the absence of any central control over production, we produce hosts of things that are not wanted. We keep a large percentage of the working population idle, because we can dispense with their labor by making the others overwork.
I wrote about that small minority on Thursday, all those tax havens. But we should also recall that hyper-consumption destroys our environment and wastes human effort (Read more…)
Solidarity means an attack on one is an offense to all!
So if you have sent your letter to IKEA explaining why you are boycotting them for locking out their Richmond workers for 10 weeks, you may have received this precious reply from the corporation, below. I will re-spin it down there, but first I need to talk about words.
For IKEA, “strike” is Swedish for “lockout.”
It thinks it’s being clever disputing the word, but it has locked out its employees for 10 weeks now. It started as a one-hour lockout after which the workers were invited back, (Read more…)
$3.85 billion in profit is just not enough. Union busting and global greed now!
Gratitude, then and now. It used to include a t-shirt and more, for all employees around the world. Now, union busting.
The best part of the Teamster Local 213 rally in Richmond on Saturday was the humanity: the stage was largely filled with Teamsters telling their stories, showing everyone how this 10 week lockout is affecting them as people, and the “humanity” that IKEA markets itself with around the world.
IKEA made $3.85 billion in profits in 2011. Its founder is worth $52 billion. (Read more…)
Click the chart to see more inspiring charts! Descending/increasing lines indicate less/more concern among different generations of high school graduates for the various ideas.
I have so much hope for the future. Sometimes I get bogged down by negativity, but that’s usually just circumstantial. It passes.
Much of my hope comes from observing young people. Teenagers who never believed they can’t change the world. Young adults whose careers/vocations are in the volunteer sector while their day job pays the bills [a work-life focus that, it seems, only aspiring musicians embraced in the past]. People who leave solid, reliable careers before (Read more…)
We need to work harder to ensure everyone earns a living wage!
I love when gross corporations try to spin reality to defend against criticisms.
Walmart used to take out dead peasant life insurance on its employees, putting itself in a conflict of interest: do their best to keep employees alive, or cash out on their secret insurance policies. Walmart gives Americans food stamp applications along with job applications because they pay so little. They depend on the government to feed their employees.
Quickly, some data:
Walmart’s 2011 profit was $15.7 billion. Profit, not revenue. Workers deserve (Read more…)
Is Walmart Ikea’s labour relations mentor?
Ikea, that family-friendly darling of home decor and Swedish innocence is trying to break its union, Teamsters Local 213.
They have locked out their Richmond, BC workers for two months now, while deciding to bargain in reverse: Start with a pathetic offer, then as time goes by, if locked out workers don’t come back, the concessions and contract stripping INCREASE!
Tia reviewed Ikea’s anti-social shenanigans when the lockout hit Day 17. Her piece detailed some of the issues and helped us understand what we can do to help the workers while Ikea tries to (Read more…)
80,000 Hours is a student run organization at Oxford University that helps people find a job or career in something that makes the world better. This is great for so many obvious reasons – but the one I love the most is that it shows how philosophy can be applied in your life everyday.
Do you want to spend 8 (or more) hours a day just earning a couple dollars when you can get paid to make the planet, people, and the world better?
According to the organization’s view of ethics-as-impact, a do-gooder job only “does good” insofar as you (Read more…)
In this TED Talk Dan Ariely presents his research into what motivates people to do work and how they feel about their workplace. The findings are interesting because it’s not necessarily what people do but the reactions to what has been done that provides motivation.
Men, especially white men, sleep too easily at night while women earn 70 per cent of what we do. Secretly, I think we’d prefer to not have to talk about this much. Sure, March 8 and December 6 are days we set aside for reflecting on this, but, most likely, we don’t want to be bothered with it every other day of the year. Plus, the NHL is back.
One conversation I have never had, goes like this. I’m in the lunchroom at work with a group of men discussing workplace realities. The topics drifts around to how women in (Read more…)
This is what my day looks like so far:
9:00-12:00 – all-staff meeting at work to do a SWOT analysis of the organization (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats)
2:00-3:30 – Conference Call
3:30 – meeting with funder
5:30-6:30 – House of Commons to watch Bill C-279 being debated. That’s the private member’s bill to amend the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code with respect to gender identity and gender expression. (Or, as some notable Conservatives so crassly refer to it, the Bathroom Bill. They claim it will permit perverts to use the ladies’ room, where they will ambush
. . . → Read More: knitnut.net: A day in the life
The currently popular 40 hour work week is a fairly modern notion and it’s thanks to unions that we don’t have something like an 80 hour work week. Times have changed and now scientists in the field of biodemography have suggested that a 25 hour work week is optimal. It allows people to spend more time living life than working in exchange for working later than the currently popular age of retirement.
“In socio-economic terms it makes a lot of sense. The important thing is that we all put in a certain amount of work – not at what point
. . . → Read More: Things Are Good: The Ideal 25 Hour Work Week
Should academic work be locked up like Disney[tm] artifacts?
I’ve been quite inspired by this very good analysis of the context surrounding Aaron Swartz’s suicide.
As news spread last week that digital rights activist Aaron Swartz had killed himself ahead of a federal trial on charges that he illegally downloaded a large database of scholarly articles with the intent to freely disseminate its contents, thousands of academics began posting free copies of their work online, coalescing around the Twitter hashtag #pdftribute.
via How academia betrayed and continues to betray Aaron Swartz « The Berkeley Blog.
The willingness of scholars
. . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: Aaron Swartz, Intellectual Property and the Public Good
On July 22 1848 beside stories of fighting in Paris and markets in England, the front page of The Globe featured this column. As I was reading I thought this article could be perhaps excused because the opinion it expressed was just popular at the time, after finishing, I’m glad it was.
Punch was a British satirical humour magazine named after one half of the infamous puppet duo, Punch and Judy.
It’s 9am, do you know where your millennial employees are? No? No worries. It’s all good. They’re not factory chickens.
People who study characteristics of different generations have some incredibly important things to say about how different groups work. Organizations, however, are typically run by older people with their own generation-influenced work norms. Those that adapt to include younger generations more effectively will be more successful. And, no surprise, it seems that co-ops are structures that fit the work styles of millennials. Let’s explore the future of work, for organizations that figure it out in time!
. . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: How Millennials Can Improve Everyone’s Job Satisfaction