• Praise the Workers, Not Amazon

    “Power concedes nothing without a demand,” abolitionist leader Frederick Douglass declared 161 years ago. Last week saw that truth on broad display as Amazon, facing growing political and organizing pressure, announced it was setting a minimum wage of $15/hour for its U.S. workforce and also raising wages in England. The company’s declaration followed months of … Keep reading »

  • Bringing Back The Lucas Plan

    “We got to do something now, the company are not going to do anything and we got to protect ourselves,” proclaimed a shop steward at Lucas Aerospace when filmed by a 1978 documentary by the Open University. He was explaining the rationale behind the so-called Alternative Corporate Plan, better known as the Lucas Plan. It … Keep reading »

  • Amazon Is a 21st-Century Digital Chain Gang

    When Amazon announced plans to locate a $5-billion, 50,000-employee complex as its second headquarters somewhere in North America, state governments and municipalities fell over themselves offering billions of dollars in tax abatements and corporate subsidies to secure the prize. Keep reading »

  • Workers are the Heart of the Algorithm

    Antonio Casilli, a professor at Télécom ParisTech, is considered one of the leading experts in the capitalism of digital platforms. He was interviewed by Roberto Ciccarelli.

    “We are the ones who make the robots, with our own labour,” he says. “We make the criteria according to which they operate. And then we teach them to learn how to improve. The problem is not that robots are stealing our work, but that we continue to work more and more, and that the platforms are fragmenting and rendering invisible the labour that is necessary to make the algorithms work.“ Keep reading »

  • Unions and the Gig-Economy: The Case of AirBnB

    The so-called gig-economy is celebrated, maligned, fetishized, and qualified by analysts. Whether it is called the collaborative, platform, crowd-sourcing, or sharing-economy, the rise of peer-to-peer exchanges does raise important questions for workers. Do emerging ‘sharing-economy’ platforms such as Uber and Airbnb mark a significant shift in production and distribution systems? Are they emancipatory or exploitive? … Keep reading »

  • Corbyn’s Manifesto on Digital Democracy

    Technological advancements have transformed our daily lives, and politics is changing too. The issues may not change that much – people want decent housing and decent jobs, they want access to education and opportunity, they want thriving public services and a society which works for the millions not just the millionaires. But the terrain on … Keep reading »

  • Neoliberalism’s World of Corruption

    The Panama Papers’ revelations about the rich and powerful hiding untold billions in ‘offshore’ tax havens may be shocking, but it’s hardly a surprise to anyone who knows the first thing about the way that big business works. We are living through a blitzstorm of allegations and controversy about corruption. In the few years alone … Keep reading »

  • Two Essays on the Uber-Taxi Wars

    Uber and the Luddites Michael Rozworksi The fight against the sharing economy, and Uber in particular, can be disorienting. Opposition is often painted as techno-phobia. The good guys in this story are Uber and progress; on the other side are opponents afraid of flexibility and smartphones, kicking and screaming against a future already here. In many ways, … Keep reading »