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Around the country (and parts of the world), we’ve been hearing about big strikes and dramatic strike votes. But how do you take industrial action when your workplace is your computer, and your “job” consists of hundreds or even thousands of little tasks for pennies at a time? That’s the challenge for a growing legion of “microworkers” around the world, laboring at the behest of platforms that, as today’s guest Phil Jones points out in his new book Work Without The Worker, would be classified as some of the world’s largest employers if they had to classify the workers using them as employees. It’s a problem, he notes, of a changing global capitalism, and is finding new niches around the world, from developing cities to refugee camps.
We also check in on the John Deere strike, the Glasgow sanitation workers strike, the New York taxi workers’ struggle for debt relief with Mohamadou Aliyu of the NYTWA, and organizing at Amazon. For Argh, we consider the strike from the point of view of strikers’ children, and call for workers to be allowed to sit down on the job.
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Rory Scothorne, “Why climate activists should support the bin strikes marring Cop26’s elite spectacle” New Statesman
Chris Isidore, “Autoworkers at John Deere will remain on strike after voting down another tentative deal” CNN Business
Tyler Jett “John Deere doubles wage increases, boosts retirement benefits in second offer to striking UAW workers” Des Moines Register
Alina Selyukh “Amazon warehouse workers in New York file for a union vote” NPR All Things Considered
Brian M. Rosenthal “N.Y.C. Cabbies Win Millions More in Aid After Hunger Strike” New York Times
Phil Jones, Refugees help power machine learning advances at Microsoft, Facebook, and Amazon, rest of world
Phil Jones, Big tech’s push for automation hides the grim reality of ‘microwork’ The Guardian
Argh, I wish I’d written that!
Sarah: Jacqui Germain, “St. Vincent’s Nurses Are on Strike — This Is What It’s Like for Their Kids” Teen Vogue
Michelle: Alex N. Press, Jacobin, “Stop Forcing Workers to Stand on the Job” Jacobin