Amazon

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Fresh audio product

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 17/04/2021 - 5:51am in

Just added to my radio archive (click on date for link):

April 15, 2021 Meagan Day and Micah Uetricht, authors of Bigger than Berniejust out in paperback, on the legacy of the Sanders campaigns • Jane McAlevey, author and organizer, on why the union lost to Amazon in Alabama (Nation article here)

Editorial #2 -Thoughts on Bessemer

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 12/04/2021 - 9:48pm in

image/png iconScreenshot 2021-04-12 at 12.44.06.png

Because so much support is symbolic these days, rather than practical, there doesn’t seem to be much space to have these ‘difficult conversations’ without being written off as an armchair cynic or know-it-all doomsdayer.

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How Corporations Crush the Working ClassThe most dramatic change...

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 07/04/2021 - 4:16am in

How Corporations Crush the Working Class

The most dramatic change in the system over the last half-century has been the emergence of corporate giants like Amazon and the shrinkage of labor unions.

The resulting power imbalance has spawned near-record inequalities of income and wealth, corruption of democracy by big money, and the abandonment of the working class.

Fifty years ago, General Motors was the largest employer in America. The typical GM worker earned $35 an hour in today’s dollars and had a major say over working conditions.

Today’s largest employers are Amazon and Walmart, each paying far less per hour and routinely exploiting their workers, who have little recourse.

The typical GM worker wasn’t “worth” so much more than today’s Amazon or Walmart worker and didn’t have more valuable insights about working conditions.

The difference is those GM workers had a strong union. They were backed by the collective bargaining power of more than a third of the entire American workforce. 

Today, most workers are on their own. Only 6.4% of America’s private-sector workers are unionized, providing little collective pressure on Amazon, Walmart, or other major employers to treat their workers any better.

Fifty years ago, the labor movement had enough political clout to ensure labor laws were enforced and that the government pushed giant firms like GM to sustain the middle class.

Today, organized labor’s political clout is minuscule by comparison. 

The biggest political players are giant corporations like Amazon. They’ve used that political muscle to back “right-to-work” laws, whittle down federal labor protections, and keep the National Labor Relations Board understaffed and overburdened, allowing them to get away with egregious union-busting tactics.

They’ve also impelled government to lower their taxes; extorted states to provide them tax breaks as a condition for locating facilities there; bullied cities where they’re headquartered; and wangled trade treaties allowing them to outsource so many jobs that blue-collar workers in America have little choice but to take low-paying, high-stress warehouse and delivery gigs. 

Oh, and they’ve neutered antitrust laws, which in an earlier era would have had companies like Amazon in their crosshairs.

This decades-long power shift – the ascent of corporate leviathans and the demise of labor unions – has resulted in a massive upward redistribution of income and wealth. The richest 0.1% of Americans now have almost as much wealth as the bottom 90% put together.

The power shift can be reversed – but only with stronger labor laws resulting in more unions, tougher trade deals, and a renewed commitment to antitrust.

The Biden administration and congressional Democrats appear willing. The House has just passed the toughest labor reforms in more than a generation. Biden’s new trade representative, promises trade deals will protect American workers rather than exporters. And Biden is putting trustbusters in critical positions at the Federal Trade Commission and in the White House.

And across the country, labor activism has surged – from the Amazon union effort, to frontline workers walking out and striking to demand better pay, benefits, and safety protections.

I’d like to think America is at a tipping point similar to where it was some 120 years ago, when the ravages and excesses of the Gilded Age precipitated what became known as the Progressive Era. Then, reformers reined in the unfettered greed and inequalities of the day and made the system work for the many rather than the few.

It’s no exaggeration to say that we’re now living in a Second Gilded Age. And today’s progressive activists may be on the verge of ushering us into a Second Progressive Era. They need all the support we can give them.

Cartoon: Big Bezos is watching

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 06/04/2021 - 9:50pm in

If you haven't heard about Amazon's delivery driver surveillance cameras, this Thomson Reuters article is a good place to start. Amazon has a long history of inflexible micromanaging of the motions of warehouse workers, so they're just extending that to the trucks now.

If you are able, please consider joining the Sorensen Subscription Service!

Follow me on Twitter at @JenSorensen

Lord of the Rings Prequel Series: Wayne Che Yip Directing, Co-EP

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 25/03/2021 - 1:51am in

Wayne Che Yip (The Wheel of Time, Doctor Who) will direct Amazon's Lord of the Rings prequel series and serve as co-executive producer.

Bessemer and the Power Shift

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 22/03/2021 - 1:43pm in

The most dramatic change in American capitalism over the last half century has been the emergence of...

Kids as Customers

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 12/03/2021 - 12:10am in

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Amazon

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is creating a network of tuition-free Montessori-inspired preschools for low-income students. But his vision of schools that nurture the autonomy and creativity of kids is on a collision course with the Amazon workplaces Bezos has engineered for adults. Special guest: Mira Debs, author of Diverse Families, Desirable Schools: Public Montessori in the Era of School Choice. Transcript available here.

Note: Have You Heard listeners can get 20% of Mira’s book if they eschew Amazon and order direct through Harvard Education Press. Just enter the code DFDS21. 

And if you’re a fan of Have You Heard, consider supporting us on Patreon. Right now, if you subscribe at the $10/month rate, we’ll send you an autographed copy of A Wolf at the Schoolhouse Door.

Have You Heard · #108 Kids as Customers

Biden Backs the Freedom to Unionize

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 08/03/2021 - 1:49am in

Biden’s vocal defense of working Americans has the potential to rally struggling workers to the Democrats more firmly than they have rallied for decades. Continue reading

The post Biden Backs the Freedom to Unionize appeared first on BillMoyers.com.

Fresh audio product

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 19/02/2021 - 9:26am in

Just added to my radio archive (click on date for link):

February 18, 2021 Forrest Hylton on Bolsonaro’s Brazil: disease, chaos, and creeping military dictatorship • Luis Feliz Leon on organizing Amazon workers in Alabama (Gainesville article here; Bessemer, here)

Cartoon 2021 valentine cards

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 06/02/2021 - 9:50am in

Governors want you to go indoor dining on Valentine’s, so book your St. Paddy’s ICU while you’re at it.

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