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Tim Harford — Article — Think like a supermodel if you want to win from the gig economy
Smartphones have allowed companies such as Uber and Deliveroo to take critical middle-management functions — motivating staff, evaluating and rewarding performance, scheduling and co-ordination — and replace them with an algorithm. But gig workers could install their own software, telling it where they like to work, what they like to do, when they’re available, unavailable, or open to persuasion. My app — call it GigBot — could talk to the Lyft app and the TaskRabbit app and the Deliveroo app, and interrupt me only when an offer deserves attention.

Not every job can be broken down into microtasks that can be rented out by the minute, but we might be surprised at how many can. Remember that old line from supermodel Linda Evangelista, “We don’t wake up for less than $10,000 a day”? GigBot will talk to your alarm clock; $10 or $10,000, just name the price that would tempt you from your lie-in.
work  labor  cellphone  socialmedia 
yesterday by craniac
If it's a "seller's market", why do so many developers work under onerous IP con... | Hacker News
> If it's a "seller's market", why do so many developers work under onerous IP contracts that grant their employers rights to what they build in their spare time?
> If it's a "seller's market", why do so many developers work in noisy bullpen environments where they have to blast music into their ears with headphones to focus their attention on what they're building?
> If it's a "seller's market", why do so many developers have stories about working late at night and on weekends to ship features on bogus accelerated schedules they had little hand in setting?
> If it's a "seller's market", why do so many developers accept payment in the form of equity that has to be executed at great expense immediately after leaving the company, and offers no actual guarantee of return after making that investment?
> If it's a "seller's market", why are developers forced to move to the most expensive real estate markets in the country to work every day from a particular office when their work can be done more productively from their own home offices?
>If it's a "seller's market", why are so many developers compensated with equity whose terms they're not even allowed to fully understand? And why is it that their common shares are last in line after liquidation preferences and VCs take their rake?
> I don't understand how you can spend more than a few months on Hacker News without seeing the litany of complaints developers have about their working conditions. Not simply how much they're paid --- and make no mistake, plenty of developers have those complaints, and feel victimized by the way compensation is negotiated for in this market --- but also simply for how inefficiently and inhumanely their jobs are structured compared to what they so obviously could be.

> Tech workers should organize. United they bargain, divided they write anonymous complaints on HN.
labor  tptacek  management  productivity  ip  hn 
yesterday by po
Walking the Floor of the Great Minnesota Activist Factory
CTUL (pronounced SAYTOOL, with varying syllabic emphases depending on whether or not it is being shouted through a megaphone) was formed in 2007 as a project of the Workers Interfaith Network, a religious organization that promotes worker rights. The group began under the guidance of two professional organizers who are still there: Veronica Mendez-Moore, a Minnesota native whose parents immigrated from Peru, and Merle Payne, who spent five years organizing farm workers in Immokalee, Florida before moving to Minneapolis. The idea that set CTUL apart from most do-gooder groups was one that still guides it today—namely, that its purpose is not to be a heavenly force bestowing charity from above, but instead one that trains workers to organize themselves.

“We switched the model from being a service model—‘we’ll solve the problem for you’—to deep leadership development. We’re gonna partner with you, we’ll provide you with the tools, but you’ve got to be the leader fighting for the change,” Payne explains one painfully cold night over beers at a microbrewery, after he put his kids to bed. “A lot of things that call themselves ‘worker centers’ are social services. That’s not a criticism, it’s just a difference. The type of organization we are, we believe that systemic change won’t happen unless it comes from the community. From the people who are directly impacted.”
labor  organizing  inspiration  inspiring  activism  protest  work 
2 days ago by msszczep
Saratoga prepares for immigration raids before racing season
1. This year, the Presbyterian New England Congregational Church, which is near the fabled nine-furlong race track, has promised to shelter undocumented migrants from immigration agents in defiance of President Donald Trump’s rhetoric against so-called "sanctuary cities."

2. The raids have left restaurants short staffed and farms unmanned, but mysteriously spared undocumented workers at the race track, according to the Times-Union. Still, renowned trainer Gary Contessa told Newsweek that his workers are fearful, even though they are in the country legally ...
horseracing  new-york  saratoga  backstretch  labor  immigration 
3 days ago by jnchapel

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