Google, labor, temps, unions, worker exploitation
Photo credit: Pxhere

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‘A Race to the Bottom’: Google Temps Fighting Two-Tier Labor System (Maria)

The author writes, “Ben Gwin works for Google Shopping in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Though he is technically a temp worker at the tech giant, Gwin and 65 of his colleagues are now represented by the United Steelworkers union. Workers have characterized temps in the tech industry as a shadow, second-tier workforce that is drastically underpaid and often lured into the jobs by the implication that they could one day be offered permanent positions. By unionizing, many hope to improve their circumstances.”

The author writes, “You can understand a revolution as a time when the unthinkable becomes, suddenly, thinkable. It is a time when the rules that ordinarily govern political life lose their force and conflict takes the place of consensus, a time when the struggle for power is a struggle to define the political order itself. Sometimes, as with our Civil War, revolutions are loud, violent and disruptive. At other times, as in the 1930s, revolutions are a little quieter, if no less significant. As the full picture of Jan. 6 begins to come into view, I think we should consider it a kind of revolution or, at least, the very beginning of one. Joe Biden ultimately became president, but Donald Trump’s fight to keep himself in office against the will of the voters has upturned the political order. The plot itself shows us how.”

The Jail Where Jeffrey Epstein Killed Himself Is Crumbling (Dan)

The authors write, “Inside the notorious federal jail in Lower Manhattan, small chunks of concrete fall from the ceiling. Freezing temperatures force inmates to stuff old coronavirus face masks into vents to try to stop the cold air. One cell is off-limits because the door is now unstable — likely because of constant pounding over the years from the prisoners inside on the cinder-block walls. Once hailed as a prototype for a new kind of federal jail and the most secure in the country, the Metropolitan Correctional Center has become a blighted wreck, so deteriorated it’s impossible to safely house inmates. The Justice Department said last month it would close the jail in the coming months to undertake much-needed repairs — but it may never reopen.”

Appeals Court Rules Los Angeles Not Required to Provide Shelter for Homeless People of Skid Row (Reader Steve)

The authors write, “Los Angeles will not be required to provide shelter or housing to homeless people living on the city’s Skid Row, a federal appeals court ruled Thursday, effectively vacating another court’s order to do so by next month. The ruling comes from the US 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in response to an order by the US District Court for the Central District of California that had directed Los Angeles city and county officials to provide shelter to Skid Row’s general population by October 18.”

Man Charged With Felony, Jailed on $50K Cash Bond for 43-Cent ‘Theft’ (Dana)

From Penn Live: “Joseph Sobolewski stopped at a convenience store in Perry County last month where he saw a sign for 20-ounce Mountain Dew bottles: 2 for $3. He grabbed a bottle, slapped $2 on the counter and walked out. What he didn’t know was a single bottle was $2.29, not $1.50. So he had shorted the store 29 cents plus tax, or 43 cents total. The store called police, who tracked him down. Pennsylvania State police officers charged him with a felony, locked him up on $50,000 cash-only bond. He’s facing the possibility of up to seven years in prison.”

Music Copyright in the Age of Forgetting (Sean)

From The Ringer: “We’re now squarely within a new era of music copyright litigation, signaled by a steep wave of fresh cases and settlements arriving on top of what was already a steadily rising tide. But while plagiarism has never been a larger industry issue than it is today, it also has never been more poorly defined. And given the way songwriters often borrow ideas without realizing that they’re borrowing — a documented artistic tendency that is likely increasing in frequency in our chaotic online world — this latest squall of disputes may be just the beginning of an even larger storm.”

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