Labor

Reinstate the 42: SF protest in solidarity with Brazilian transit workers

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Hey there, lovers and haters of the World Cup, if you missed out on the protest of Google and FIFA at Pride, there’s still time on the clock to score that goal: there will be another protest tomorrow [Thu/3] to support Brazilian transit workers and their quest for higher wages.Read more »

Workers’ new website demands: Hey, Tech, do better

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Can Silicon Valley tech companies “do better?” With the launch of a new website, the tech industry's security guards are coming forward with tales of inequality in Silicon Valley, and asking Google and other big tech companies to do just that.Read more »

Streetcar standoff

Muni sickout echoes earlier labor clashes and economic inequities

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joe@sfbg.com

San Francisco's municipal transportation system stood still, stranding middle class riders. Riots raged throughout the city as over 1,500 streetcar drivers, known as carmen, literally fought with bottles and stones for higher wages. Left with few options, stranded San Franciscans took to other means to get to work: by foot, by bicycle, and by horse-drawn carriage.Read more »

Cristina Lopez, East Bay Recycler

Recycling workers, in their own words

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"I first applied for a job at the Select agency in 2000. A lot of people had told me that this job was really bad. At first they put me on the cardboard line. That didn't seem so bad because it's not so dirty. It's just that the cardboard stacks up so fast. But then they put me on the trash line, which was a lot dirtier. But the thing is, I needed the job. So I worked hard, and the years passed, and I was still there.Read more »

Luis Valladares, East Bay recycler

Recycling workers, in their own words

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"My father is a farmer in Chiapas, and grows corn, mangoes, and bananas. Our land wasn't enough to support our family, though. The little we were able to grow was just to eat.

"When I was 16 I left home and school, and went to Mexico City. Parents never want their children to leave. But we ... can't stay. The majority of young people in my town have left, like me, looking for a way to help their families survive.Read more »

Invisible no more

Threatened with deportation and paid illegally low wages, East Bay recycling workers did the unthinkable: They fought back.
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We all want to be responsible for our environment. We sort our trash. We put the right things into the right containers, and feel good when we see them at the curb on trash pickup day.

Then the trash disappears. End of story.

But really, it's not the end. Not only does the trash go somewhere, but people still have to sort through what we've thrown away. In a society full of people doing work that's unacknowledged, and often out of sight, those who deal with our recycled trash are some of the most invisible of all.Read more »

Happy May Day, San Francisco

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Happy May Day, comrades, and what a fine May day it is even if the urgent mayday spirit on this International Workers Day doesn’t seem as strong as some recent years past in the Bay Area.

While Russia seems to be rediscovering its previous practice of massive May Day marches marked by anti-Western propaganda, spurred on by renewed nationalism from the standoff in Ukraine, May Day has never been very big in the US.Read more »

Labor protests Postal Service privatization amid deal with Staples

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Bearing blue T-shirts and banners stating “Stop Staples! The U.S. mail is not for sale!” 70-plus protesters from the United States Postal Service Union, along with members of the American Federation of Teachers and the National Union of Healthcare Workers, today [Tues/28] rallied outside the Staples store on Van Ness Avenue in opposition to USPS’s “Retail Partner Expansion Program” that began in November. Read more »

Rise of the machines

CAREERS AND ED: From flipping burgers to making sexy, robots are catching up

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joe@sfbg.com

CAREERS AND ED As digital gizmos invade our pockets and our lives, the fear of machines replacing human work is as pervasive as ever. But of course that fear isn't unique to the computer age.

As far back as the 1800s folk legend John Henry competed against a great railroad-building machine, hammering holes for railroad tracks in dirt and rock with the power of his arms.Read more »