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Hey there, OptersOut!
It's Labor Day, and I hope everyone is able to relax a bit and celebrate the benefits that organized workers have fought so hard to earn.
Unfortunately, labor in the U.S. has been under attack for decades and CEO pay has skyrocketed, leaving us in a second Gilded Age.
Today's newsletter will be short, as I'm observing the day myself, but I wanted to share a few articles, podcasts, and videos about labor issues from the growing OptOut network of independent media outlets.
As union membership has declined in the U.S., the share of income going to the top 10% has vastly increased, as The Daily Poster writes.
And since 1980, while worker productivity shot up, hourly compensation has barely changed.
Leave it to the U.S. government to kick 35 million Americans off of pandemic-related unemployment benefits...on Labor Day. Matt Bruenig explains,
We know that around half of those on UI will see their benefits drop to $0, while the remaining half will see their benefits cut by $300 per week, which is equivalent to $15,200 per year
The regular unemployment system shuts out BIPOC workers, and the expiration of the pandemic benefits today makes it even worse, reports Prism.
For undocumented Americans—a group that disproportionately works in the service industry—the combined impact of a loss of income because of the pandemic and a lack of unemployment benefits was felt immediately.
Speaking of immigrant workers, Labor Notes writes about gig workers delivering food during a huge storm this week in New York. GrubHub didn't suspend service during the dangerous weather, and these "independent" contractors aren't allowed to decline orders once they're signed up for a shift.
On the WhoWhatWhy podcast, workplace expert and professor of management Scott Behson says that "contrary to the old adage that 50 percent of life is showing up, employees suddenly have the power to demand the freedom to work remotely, without fear of being penalized or stigmatized."
Listen to this Majority Report compilation of labor speeches from FDR, Mario Savio, John Lewis, and Bernie Sanders reading from the speech that sent Eugene Debs to jail.
As part of a special collaboration with Jacobin, The Real News Network Editor-in-Chief Maximillian Alvarez joined hosts of The Jacobin Show Jen Pan and Paul Prescod for an extended episode examining the past, present, and future of the American labor movement. In this segment from the show, Pan explores the unique and varied struggles care workers face today, the importance of building a labor movement that includes care workers, and the ongoing fights by care workers in places like Worcester, Massachusetts, where 800 nurses at St. Vincent Hospital have been on strike since early March. We are sharing this segment with our TRNN audience with permission from Jacobin.
Status Coup compiles some of its coverage of the recent increase in U.S. labor organizing.
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Thanks as always for following OptOut and the excellent indy news outlets that we promote. Have a good week!