Posts Tagged ‘social media’

The market, unions, and gliding past stop signs

Guest Post by Author and Labor Scholar John Brueggemann, PhD

The logic of the market – that everything is for sale and we should strive to get as much as we can – has pushed beyond the economic sphere into other parts of our lives. Americans rush to work, gliding past stop signs, talking and texting on the phone, incrementally compromising public safety because our busy schedules feel more important. Once we get there, we stay, longer and longer, while simultaneously regretting the neglect of our loved ones. As a result, many of us have no network of social support, a trend that has worsened significantly over the last two decades. And despite this commitment to hard work and all the resources it yields – the highest Gross Domestic Product in the world – most Americans report not being able to afford what they need. I believe this mess is the result of a moral crisis brought about by market culture, which has led to a deteriorating capacity for meaningful relationships.
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Update: Facebook’s role in the modern workplace

In October, we told you about the story of  Dawnmarie Souza,  an emergency medical technician fired for complaints about work that she wrote on Facebook. At the time, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) filed a complaint against Dawnmarie’s employer, American Medical Response of Connecticut, asserting that it interfered with protected activity.

On Monday, American Medical settled with the NLRB shortly before an admistrative law judge was to hear the case. The company agreed to correct its admittedly “overly broad” rules to ensure that workers’ right to concerted activity was protected – on and offline. Read more »

 

Your chance to stand with unemployed workers

For the millions of Americans that Wall Street’s recklessness sent to the unemployment line, time is running out. Thanks to right-wing obstructionism in Congress, emergency jobless benefits have already started to lapse—and will leave 2 million unemployed workers without a lifeline by the New Year. Another 4 million will be left out in the cold by the end of February, through no fault of their own.

Still not convinced that extending unemployment benefits is the right thing to do? Read more »

 

Facebook: the new watercooler?

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) broke new ground this week, filing a complaint against American Medical Response of Connecticut for firing an emergency medical technician who posted a criticism of her boss on her Facebook profile.

The NLRB’s decision comes at a time when employers are increasing their use of social networking websites to keep an eye on their workers—and prospective employees.

The company in question, an ambulance service provider, accused Dawnmarie Souza of violating a policy that prohibits workers from portraying the company “in any way” on social media websites like Facebook. Then they fired her. Read more »

 

On deck for unions: Reaching the next generation of workers

In the 60s James Brown might have sung that “it’s a man’s man’s man’s world,” but nowadays, women outnumber men in the workplace.  Young people likewise make up a growing portion of the workforce: over 70 percent of those ages 16-34 are part of the civilian labor force.  But of those 70 percent, only 8.2 percent belong to unions. The face of labor is changing, and the labor movement is seeking out creative strategies to get the newest generation of workers involved.

The UC Berkley Labor Center, Cornell ILR Labor Programs, and the Labor Project for Working Families recently released a report on the subject, entitled “New Approaches to Organizing Women and Young Workers.” In the 26-page report, 14 union and 9 community organizers, mostly young women, were interviewed to understand how they use social media programs such as Twitter and Facebook. Read more »