Issue 14: Payin mental rent to corporate presidents

24 Aug 2018

Tech bosses subcontract swaths of labor so they can defer responsibility when workers demand more security and less precarity. For the first time in its history, Google now employs more contractors than full time employees.

Worker’s Perspective

Tech bosses subcontract swaths of labor so they can defer responsibility when workers demand more security and less precarity. For the first time in its history, Google now employs more contractors than full time employees.

The last few years made us wiser; it’s time for this trend to end. We know that when workers who are subcontracted at our tech campuses try to organize, tech bosses are really the ones being brought to the table.

When Microsoft bug testers contracted through Lionbridge successfully unionized they were eventually terminated. That was 2016. Since then we’ve logged victory after victory when our community stands together: Cafeteria workers won a union, security guards improved their contract, Google dropped Maven, and workers are drawing the line on contracts with ICE.

The difference between 2016 and today is now we have a strong and growing network of workers around the country. We’re in conversation with each other, across roles, verticals and skill sets. We’re strengthening our collective voice and taking action to speak truth to power and speak out against exploitation.

And remember: we are only getting started. Take the time to get to know your co-workers, listen to where they are coming from and the challenges they face. Through strong relationships, and by standing together, we can improve the lot of all workers.

Upcoming Events

Bay Area National Prison Strike Call to Action / Mobilization
Saturday, 8/25 11AM at San Quentin State Prison

TWC South Bay: Kickoff
Saturday, 8/25 2PM at San Jose Peace & Justice Center

Seattle Learning Club: No Wall They Can Build
Saturday, 8/25 3:30PM at Capitol Hill Branch of The Seattle Public Library in Seattle
FacebookReading materials

Happy Hour: TANC + TWC
Monday, 8/27 7PM at The Golden Bull in Oakland

Flash Mob to Melt ICE
Thursday, 8/30 11AM at Fremont Lenin statue in Seattle

The Code of Conduct is in effect at all TWC events.

In The News

The national prison strike started on Tuesday and will continue for three weeks; follow @IWW_IWOC for updates and ways to support. Over 200 ICE detainees in Tacoma, Washington have joined the hunger strike and work stoppage in solidarity. Read demands of striking individuals here.

More emerged on Facebook’s role in fueling anti-refugee sentiment and violence, most recently in Germany.

We spend a lot time discussing whether the tech platforms are biased towards conservatives or liberals, the reality is they are biased towards one thing: profit. For years YouTube, Twitter and Facebook have known about bullying and hate on their sites, and instead of hiring sufficient numbers of people to moderate, they’ve wished the problem away. They’ll tell us that AI will save us, and that they could never possibly hire enough people to moderate. However, in the same way traditional companies hire people to work in customer service, big tech should also staff up appropriately.

Amazon’s desperate Twitter-blitz marketing campaign says it’s all smiles for warehouse workers. Staff were given gift cards, days off and other incentives to say positive things about working at Amazon. “FC ambassadors” (short for “fulfillment center ambassadors”) have been mobilized with tweet scripts to assuage anxious consumers about their freedom to use the toilet, and that they don’t have to rely on food stamps. We’re not buying it.

Amazon has citizens bankrolling its electricity costs.

A Twitter thread explainer on the slippery slope from algorithm-fueled tribalism to racial violence and ethnic cleansing.

Data-throttling by Verizon slowed Santa Clara County fire response. Fire Chief Anthony Bowden said in a statement that Verizon’s throttling “actively impeded County Fire’s ability to provide crisis-response and essential emergency services.” The statement will be included as evidence in a lawsuit seeking to reinstate net neutrality.

Profit-driven decisions by corporations, not technology, disrupts jobs and the nature of work.

How a racist genius created Silicon Valley by being a terrible boss:” William B. Shockley, the inventor of the transistor that kicked off the information technology revolution, was a white supremacist and spent his career promoting eugenics.

Red Umbrella Hosting, a web-hosting service that launched earlier this year for sex workers is founded and run by sex workers. Yes!!

Shuttle drivers for Apple, Google, Tesla and others were out in the streets yesterday fighting for a fair contract. Follow Teamsters Local 315 for updates.

What to do about Dreamforce ? Mark your calendars for September 25 and ask the speakers listed here not to show upunless Benioff commits to canceling their $40M contract with CBP.

ICYMI Boots Riley on BlacKkKlansmen.

Song Of The Week

He Got Game (Album Version) Public Enemy 1988

Amongst the fiends controlled by the screens
What does it all mean, all this shit I’m seein’?

Folks don’t even own themselves
Payin mental rent, to corporate presidents

Aiyo, these are some serious times that we’re livin in G
And a new world order is about to begin, you know what I’m sayin?
Now the question is - are you ready, for the real revolution
Which is the evolution of the mind?
If you seek then you shall find that we all come from the divine