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China: As NGO law takes effect cops attack Beijing migrant worker rights group

Labourstart.org News - Mon, 01/02/2017 - 16:00
LabourStart headline - Source: RFA
Categories: Labor News

SF TWU Endorses Herb Meiberger-Opposes More Hedge Fund Money In Pension Funds

Current News - Mon, 01/02/2017 - 09:43

SF TWU Endorses Herb Meiberger-Opposes More Hedge Fund Money In Pension Funds
http://www.twusf.org/Portals/21/SFERS_Election_Mailer_12-20-16.pdf

Re-Elect

HERB

MEIBERGER,

C.F.A.

to the San Francisco Employees’ Retirement System Board

www.herbmeiberger.com

When it comes to making decisions that impact your retirement, commitment, experience, and principles matter.

SEIU Local 1021 & West Bay Retirees | Retired Employees of SF (RECCSF) Victor Makras, Commissioner, SFERS* | Leona Bridges, Commissioner, SFERS* Peter Ashe, Former SFERS Commissioner* | Claire Zvanski, President, RECCSF* Nancy Gin, Jean Thomas, Charter Members, POB*
Lois Scott, Kathleen Price, Howard Wong, Past Presidents, IFPTE Local 21* Ed Walsh, Commissioner, Retirement Health Care Trust Fund*
David Williams, President, SEIU 1021 West Bay Retirees*
Ed Walsh, Retiree Health Care Trust Fund Board
Joseph Bryant, SF Regional Vice-President, SEIU 1021
Theresa Rutherford, SEIU 1021 Vice-President, Representation Alysabeth Alexander Tut, SEIU 1021 Vice-President, Politics
Brenda Barros, Connie Smith and Josh Davidson, SEIU 1021 SF COPE Co-chairs

Read a full list of endorsements at www.herbmeiberger.com

ENDORSED BY:

SFERS Retirement Board Elections are quickly approaching!

Re-elect HERB MEIBERGER

“Herb Meiberger has the experience, commitment, qualifications, and
the principles to stand up for

San Francisco workers.”

Joseph Bryant
San Francisco Regional Vice President, SEIU 1021

Herb Meiberger is the most qualified candidate:

• As a board member for 24 years, Herb has been a tireless advocate for responsible investing, seeking sure investments with proven rates of return to safe- guard our money.
• He is the only elected board member with direct investment experience.
• Prior to serving on the SFERS Board, Herb served as a SFERS investment
officer for 20 years.
• Herb earned his MBA at UC Berkeley and is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA). • Herb has been a professor of finance and investments at SF State for 30 years.

Herb has consistently fought for socially responsible investments:

• Opposed Hedge Fund investments. Herb is the only board member who hasn’t bought into the Hedge Fund hype.
• Championed divestment from thermal coal stocks in 2016
• Was the chairman of the Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) committee in 2014-15

• Championed divestment from companies doing business in Sudan in 2002 • Championed divestments from tobacco stocks in 1997
• As a SFERS investment officer, he helped make our pension plan #2 well- funded plan in the country according to Jay Haish, Former Director, SFERs

VOTE to make sure workers like YOU have a seat at the table.

“Herb Meiberger has the expertise, experience and energy to do best as
SFERS Board Commissioner. As the incumbent, he will continue to exhibit the fiduciary and social responsibility necessary to reflect the needs and values of city work- ers and retirees. A vote for Herb is a vote for knowledge and reason.”

David Williams
President, SEIU 1021 West Bay Retirees Committee

VOTE Herb MEIBERGER for SFERS Retirement Board!

What does the SFERS Retirement Board do?

The Retirement Board manages the invest- ments for the City’s retirement plans. The Board members’ job is to invest wisely and safeguard members’ pensions. It is critical that we have someone on the Board representing the interests of Miscellaneous employees like yourself.

Who is on the Retirement Board?

The Board is made up of 7 members
— 3 members are elected by active and

retired members of SFERS
— 3 members are appointed by the Mayor — 1 member is from the SF Board of Supervisors

Of the three elected SFERS Board members, Herb Meiberger is the ONLY “Miscellaneous member” (i.e. not from “public safety”). Public Safety wants to control all three elected seats even though Miscellaneous members comprise 85% of the pension plan members.

We need a strong voice to stand up for the interests of pension plan members who are not from the Police or Fire Department. That’s why we’re

keeping Herb Meiberger on the Retirement Board.

Tags: TWU 250ATWU 100Herb Meiberger
Categories: Labor News

SF TWU Endorses Herb Meiberger-Opposes More Hedge Fund Money In Pension Funds

Current News - Mon, 01/02/2017 - 09:43

SF TWU Endorses Herb Meiberger-Opposes More Hedge Fund Money In Pension Funds
http://www.twusf.org/Portals/21/SFERS_Election_Mailer_12-20-16.pdf

Re-Elect

HERB

MEIBERGER,

C.F.A.

to the San Francisco Employees’ Retirement System Board

www.herbmeiberger.com

When it comes to making decisions that impact your retirement, commitment, experience, and principles matter.

SEIU Local 1021 & West Bay Retirees | Retired Employees of SF (RECCSF) Victor Makras, Commissioner, SFERS* | Leona Bridges, Commissioner, SFERS* Peter Ashe, Former SFERS Commissioner* | Claire Zvanski, President, RECCSF* Nancy Gin, Jean Thomas, Charter Members, POB*
Lois Scott, Kathleen Price, Howard Wong, Past Presidents, IFPTE Local 21* Ed Walsh, Commissioner, Retirement Health Care Trust Fund*
David Williams, President, SEIU 1021 West Bay Retirees*
Ed Walsh, Retiree Health Care Trust Fund Board
Joseph Bryant, SF Regional Vice-President, SEIU 1021
Theresa Rutherford, SEIU 1021 Vice-President, Representation Alysabeth Alexander Tut, SEIU 1021 Vice-President, Politics
Brenda Barros, Connie Smith and Josh Davidson, SEIU 1021 SF COPE Co-chairs

Read a full list of endorsements at www.herbmeiberger.com

ENDORSED BY:

SFERS Retirement Board Elections are quickly approaching!

Re-elect HERB MEIBERGER

“Herb Meiberger has the experience, commitment, qualifications, and
the principles to stand up for

San Francisco workers.”

Joseph Bryant
San Francisco Regional Vice President, SEIU 1021

Herb Meiberger is the most qualified candidate:

• As a board member for 24 years, Herb has been a tireless advocate for responsible investing, seeking sure investments with proven rates of return to safe- guard our money.
• He is the only elected board member with direct investment experience.
• Prior to serving on the SFERS Board, Herb served as a SFERS investment
officer for 20 years.
• Herb earned his MBA at UC Berkeley and is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA). • Herb has been a professor of finance and investments at SF State for 30 years.

Herb has consistently fought for socially responsible investments:

• Opposed Hedge Fund investments. Herb is the only board member who hasn’t bought into the Hedge Fund hype.
• Championed divestment from thermal coal stocks in 2016
• Was the chairman of the Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) committee in 2014-15

• Championed divestment from companies doing business in Sudan in 2002 • Championed divestments from tobacco stocks in 1997
• As a SFERS investment officer, he helped make our pension plan #2 well- funded plan in the country according to Jay Haish, Former Director, SFERs

VOTE to make sure workers like YOU have a seat at the table.

“Herb Meiberger has the expertise, experience and energy to do best as
SFERS Board Commissioner. As the incumbent, he will continue to exhibit the fiduciary and social responsibility necessary to reflect the needs and values of city work- ers and retirees. A vote for Herb is a vote for knowledge and reason.”

David Williams
President, SEIU 1021 West Bay Retirees Committee

VOTE Herb MEIBERGER for SFERS Retirement Board!

What does the SFERS Retirement Board do?

The Retirement Board manages the invest- ments for the City’s retirement plans. The Board members’ job is to invest wisely and safeguard members’ pensions. It is critical that we have someone on the Board representing the interests of Miscellaneous employees like yourself.

Who is on the Retirement Board?

The Board is made up of 7 members
— 3 members are elected by active and

retired members of SFERS
— 3 members are appointed by the Mayor — 1 member is from the SF Board of Supervisors

Of the three elected SFERS Board members, Herb Meiberger is the ONLY “Miscellaneous member” (i.e. not from “public safety”). Public Safety wants to control all three elected seats even though Miscellaneous members comprise 85% of the pension plan members.

We need a strong voice to stand up for the interests of pension plan members who are not from the Police or Fire Department. That’s why we’re

keeping Herb Meiberger on the Retirement Board.

Tags: TWU 250ATWU 100Herb Meiberger
Categories: Labor News

BA cabin crew to strike over poverty pay

Current News - Sun, 01/01/2017 - 17:50

BA cabin crew to strike over poverty pay
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xJht6Eielk8
Published on Dec 15, 2016
BA cabin crew have voted to strike against poverty pay. While British Airways CEO Willie Walsh earns £8.8 MILLION a year and BA have record profits of £1.4 BILLION, mixed fleet crew (who work both long and short haul flights) are expected to live on just £1,000 a month. 79.5% of the crew voted yes to strike action.

Tags: BA Strike
Categories: Labor News

UK RMT ASLEF Southern Rail strike: It's all about safety

Current News - Sun, 01/01/2017 - 17:48

UK RMT ASLEF Southern Rail strike: It's all about safety
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YLbAaMommXU
Published on Dec 21, 2016
As railworkers in the RMT and ASLEF try and curb Southern's disastrous running of the franchise which is seriously jeopardising the safety of passengers, proof that it's the Government - NOT the unions - who are turning this into a political dispute.

Tags: RMTUK Southern Rail StrikeASLEFhealth and safety
Categories: Labor News

UK Southern Rail strike: It's all about safety

Current News - Sun, 01/01/2017 - 17:27

UK Southern Rail strike: It's all about safety
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YLbAaMommXU
Published on Dec 21, 2016
As railworkers in the RMT and ASLEF try and curb Southern's disastrous running of the franchise which is seriously jeopardising the safety of passengers, proof that it's the Government - NOT the unions - who are turning this into a political dispute.

Tags: UK Rail StrikeRMTASLEFSouthern Rail
Categories: Labor News

Uber Funding IAM Corporate Union In NYC To Control Workforce

Current News - Sun, 01/01/2017 - 10:11

Uber Funding IAM Corporate Union In NYC To Control Workforce
"The guild has already signed up roughly 45,000 Uber drivers since it was launched, says Jim Conigliaro Jr, founder of the guild and the general counsel at the Machinists Union District 15, which is closely affiliated with the Independent Drivers Guild. The guild draws most of its financial support from Uber and it is free for drivers to sign up. It is planning to shift to a voluntary dues system soon, which will offer extra benefits such as life insurance."
Uber and Airbnb business models come under scrutiny"

https://www.ft.com/content/381e27ee-c685-11e6-8f29-9445cac8966f

Silicon Valley behemoths put under pressure from around the world in 2016

Xiaozhu eyes growth as Beijing welcomes ‘sharing economy’

Golden formula: Uber and Airbnb have become household names, with valuations of $68.5bn and $30bn respectively © FT Graphic / Getty

DECEMBER 30, 2016 by: Leslie Hook in San Francisco

At the beginning of 2016, the heady progress of Silicon Valley’s most high-profile start-ups seemed unstoppable. In January, Uber was busy providing helicopter ridesto the Sundance film festival and expanding its food delivery service across the US. Meanwhile, Airbnb dispatched its policy chief to woo US mayors with the promise of millions of dollars in additional tax revenues, while its co-founder made the rounds at the World Economic Forum in Davos, talking up the company’s growth in China.

But over the past 12 months, these two icons of disruptive tech have clashed again and again with courts and lawmakers, and found their businesses constrained by increasing regulation.

At Sundance, it was only a few days before authorities ordered Uber to suspend its helicopter rides; fights over permits and employment lawsuits have plagued the company this year. Airbnb has not fared any better, as it has been fined in multiple countries and slammed with restrictive laws in major markets such as New York and Berlin.

No longer small start-ups, Uber and Airbnb have become household names with valuations of $68.5bn and $30bn, respectively — valuations that are higher than many of their traditional counterparts. In 2016, regulators began to take note and rein in these emerging giants.

For the start-ups, the clashes have come at a time of awkward transition as the companies struggle to shed their rule-breaking habits and take a more mature, conciliatory tone. Uber and Airbnb have also tried working more closely with regulators to craft policy, although with mixed results.

High hopes for tech groups’ overseas cash piles
Tax holiday proposed by Trump is aimed at boosting jobs but will probably fuel deals

“Regulators and lawmakers and states and localities are acknowledging that they can’t ignore them any more; they are too big, too powerful,” says Michael Drobac, a Washington-based tech lobbyist at law firm Akin Gump. “Now, rather than having to insist on having a seat at the table, they are being invited to the table.”

Uber, under the guidance of David Plouffe, who was Barack Obama’s campaign manager, has worked hard to present a more grown-up image. In May, the company brought in a board of heavyweight policy advisers that included Neelie Kroes, the former European competition commissioner, and Ray LaHood, a former US secretary of transportation.

Chief executive Travis Kalanick, known for his brash style, started adopting a more subdued tone. “We haven’t done everything perfectly,” he told a conference in October. “We have made mistakes.”

Yet the company has still clashed with city after city, showing that its brazen approach has not entirely disappeared. In Austin, Uber pulled out after a voter referendum that demanded fingerprint checks for its drivers, a measure with which Uber refused to comply. In San Francisco, the company pushed ahead with testing self-driving vehicles even though it lacked a permit to do so — and continued to run the tests even after receiving a cease and desist letter from the state.

In addition to these city-level skirmishes, the bigger long-term threat to Uber’s business model is the question of whether its drivers are independent contractors or employees. The company considers all its drivers to be independent contractors, which means they do not receive benefits such as healthcare and are not guaranteed the minimum wage.

Uber's Travis Kalanick has had to become less abrasive this year © Charlie Bibby
In April, Uber agreed to a payout of up to $100m for drivers in California and Massachusetts, who argued that they should be classified as employees, not contractors. That settlement was thrown out and the case is now under appeal.

In London, a ruling in October found that Uber drivers should be considered “workers”, entitled to a minimum wage and holiday pay. Uber is appealing the ruling, but the result is expected to encourage other Uber drivers to bring similar lawsuits.

In the US, many so-called sharing economy companies that rely on independent contractors could see their business models upended if courts determine that their workers should be treated as employees.

Companies are trying to skirt the issue by making their contractors agree to arbitration — rather than class action — in the case of a dispute. This makes it much more difficult for workers to bring big class action cases.

How Airbnb and Uber have clashed with regulators
● Apr 2016 — Uber agrees to a settlement of up to $100m in class-action lawsuit from drivers in California and Massachusetts. That settlement was overturned in August and now under appeal
● May 2016 — Berlin enforces a ban on short-term rentals of entire apartments, including for Airbnb and its rivals
● Jun 2016 — French court finds Uber guilty of starting an illegal car-booking service in a criminal case, and fines the company €800,000
more
“Ultimately this issue is likely to go to the Supreme Court,” says Shannon Liss-Riordan, the lawyer who is spearheading the drivers’ case against Uber in California, referring to arbitration clauses. “The outcome there will hang in the balance of who is the next [Supreme Court] Justice.”

In contrast to Uber’s reputation for brazenness, Airbnb has tried to cultivate a good guy image. Over the past year it has poured resources into grassroots initiatives, setting up more than 100 Airbnb clubs for hosts and guests globally, in the hope these will grow into a political force to shape local regulation in its favour.

“They always had to be more careful than Uber, because Airbnb involves more trust and intimacy,” says Max Wolff, a strategist at 55 Capital who follows late-stage start-ups.

“A year or so ago, Airbnb got more of a feeling of invincibility,” he adds. “They believed their popularity with hosts who needed the money, and guests who liked the experience, would help provide political momentum.”

However, the regulatory setbacks have come thick and fast. In October, New York passed a law that imposes heavy fines on short-term apartment rentals. Airbnb sued the state in response, arguing that the law was unconstitutional, but settled the lawsuit in December. From Berlin to Barcelona to San Francisco, Airbnb has increasingly faced sanctions and restrictions on who can let their home and how often.

In response, the company has started to adjust its model in major markets, a tacit acknowledgment that it has too much to lose from doing battle with regulators.

In two of its largest markets, London and Amsterdam, Airbnb will begin blocking its hosts from letting homes for more nights than the legal limit next year, which will curb its revenue growth in those markets. In New York and San Francisco, the company has banned new hosts from having more than one listing, in an effort to limit commercial operators.

Such concessions are a stark reversal by a company that long resisted policing its hosts on the grounds that it is the hosts, not Airbnb, who are responsible for complying with local laws.

Some analysts see Airbnb’s new, conciliatory approach as a sign that it is eager to resolve regulatory conflicts ahead of its initial public offering, which could come as soon as 2018. This is expected to be a key issue for both Airbnb and for Uber as they must reassure potential investors about the risks of their business before going public.

Looking ahead, a big wild card for Uber, Airbnb and many Silicon Valley start-ups will be the policies of the Trump administration. The president-elect’s scant remarks on tech policy mean that much is still unknown.

One potential area of political action could be employment law, which could be good news for Uber’s worker classification lawsuits. Bradley Tusk, an adviser to Uber and an investor in the company, says he is cautiously optimistic that Congress might pass legislation to create a third employment category that falls between full-time employee and independent contractor.

Both Uber and Airbnb already have ties to the incoming administration. Peter Thiel, an adviser on Trump’s transition team, is an investor in Airbnb. And Mr Kalanick, Uber’s chief executive, was recently appointed an adviser to Mr Trump’s business policy forum. Silicon Valley’s biggest start-ups have a seat at the table at last.

New York guild promises to strengthen Uber drivers’ rights

One of the ways Uber has tried to head off potential labour issues this past year is by lending its support to a new type of labour organisation: the guild. Falling somewhere between a formal labour union and a trade association, the Independent Drivers Guild for Uber drivers in New York City, launched in May, has been pioneering a different model of representation.
The guild has already signed up roughly 45,000 Uber drivers since it was launched, says Jim Conigliaro Jr, founder of the guild and the general counsel at the Machinists Union District 15, which is closely affiliated with the Independent Drivers Guild. The guild draws most of its financial support from Uber and it is free for drivers to sign up. It is planning to shift to a voluntary dues system soon, which will offer extra benefits such as life insurance.

Big issues for the guild so far have been tipping, which Uber still does not allow through its app, and “deactivation”, which refers to when Uber removes drivers from the system. Working with the guild, Uber has agreed that a committee of five Uber drivers can be the ultimate arbiter over whether drivers are reactivated. This is a step forward from the previous system, under which drivers had no recourse to become reactivated.

In the long term, however, the guild’s ambitions are much bigger. It hopes to work with Uber and the Freelancers Union to create a centralised portable benefit fund that would help all independent contractors access better options for healthcare and retirement.
Because Uber drivers are independent contractors, and not full-time employees, they are not eligible in the US for employee protections such as union membership, the right to collective bargaining and healthcare or pension plans.
“This excluded class of worker is growing, and they don’t have access to unions,” says Mr Conigliaro. “I think it is important for unions to pivot, and to have another lane where they can bring workers up, and raise the floor for workers regardless of their classification.”

Tags: IAMcorporate unionismunion bustingUberDrivers
Categories: Labor News

US railroads demand concessions from 145,000 workers

Current News - Sat, 12/31/2016 - 00:26

US railroads demand concessions from 145,000 workers
http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2016/12/31/rail-d31.html
By Jeff Lusanne
31 December 2016
Long drawn out contract negotiations between rail unions and the major US freight railroads have recently been terminated by railroad management, prompting the unions to seek federal mediation. The railroads leading the contract negotiation are demanding that workers pay more for health care, accept minimal raises and adopt even more concessions on working conditions.
The contract negotiation covers 145,000 employees in 11 unions, the largest of which are the United Transportation Union (UTU/SMART), Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET), and Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees (BMWED). Representatives from most of the largest US railroads—Union Pacific, Burlington Northern Santa Fe, Norfolk Southern, Kansas City Southern, and CSX—form the National Carrier’s Conference Committee (NCCC), which carries out the negotiations. Additional railroads and employees are covered or influenced by the contract, which sets the standard for the industry.
Negotiations began two years ago and agreements expired on December 31, 2015, but rail workers continue to labor under the previous contract. The railroads appear to be biding their time until the Trump administration takes office, a factor they apparently see working to their advantage.
Typical of railroad management’s attitude is a December 15 statement that declares, “Now is not the time for excessive demands. Railroad employees are among the most highly compensated in the nation.” That leads to a link describing compensation that is full of misleading data. That wages surpassed the inflation rate in the last 10 years is presented as an outrage. The wages that the railroad bosses decry often come from working far more than 40 hours a week, in potentially extreme circumstances.

A bridge and trestle on a route between Mullens and Princeton, West Virginia, closed in 2015 after over a century of operation
Most egregious, perhaps, is the bulleted statement claiming that workers enjoy “11 national holidays and three weeks of vacation each year.” Railroads operate on nearly every major national holiday, and have strict “absenteeism” policies that penalize what they consider excessive time off. Notoriously, there is no schedule for operating employees, and they often work 12-hour shifts, longer if travel time is included, and are frequently away from home. A common challenge faced by many railroad workers is being forced to miss family events, holidays, and even funerals.
Presently, employees pay at least $229 a month for health coverage, but the railroads are insisting that this is “below average” and must rise. The BMWED notes that it offered “savings” in health care that do not cost any railway worker or the railroads any money, raising the question of whether the unions are proposing lower-quality health plans for workers. Nevertheless, the railroads rejected that proposal.
The railroads have welcomed the intervention of the National Mediation Board, a federal agency that coordinates labor-management relations. Its three members consist of two Democrats and one Republican, and membership will likely change with the new administration.
The Railway Labor Act of 1926 was designed to prevent any possibility of a railroad strike. Whenever the mediation board declares an impasse in the negotiations—which could take months or even years—a 30-day cooling off period begins, during which negotiations continue. After that period, railroads could lock out employees, or unions could call a strike, unless the president authorizes a Presidential Emergency Board. The unions, tied to the Democratic Party, entirely accept this framework, so that even as negotiations have progressed, railroads have been able to impose cuts without opposition.
For their part, the major railroad unions are concerned that the huge concessions demanded by railroads could spark a rebellion by workers. Dennis Pierce, the national president of the BLET, writes that “the level of concessions that were demanded on our health and welfare benefits [are] way beyond anything rail unions have seen in decades” and that the low wage increases would not even cover increased health care costs.
The rail unions have overseen decades of concessions and a dramatic drop in railroad employment (from 1.5 million in 1947 to less than 250,000 today.) The two crewmembers in the cab of a freight train are split between two unions, which have a history of working with the railroads to gain the edge by offering concessions. In 1994, the BLET asked engineers to cross the UTU (conductors) picket line at Soo Line railroad, though the engineers themselves refused by 98 percent. In 2014, the UTU/SMART tried to push a contract with one-man operation, under the condition that they got to collect union dues from the one remaining crewmember who now did two people’s work. Workers also rejected that. Whether the railroads are pushing one-person or even crewless trains in this round of negotiations has not been stated, but it is highly likely.
As certain traffic (particularly coal and oil) fell off over the last two years, many railroads imposed furloughs (layoffs) of thousands of employees. This is not uncommon with the increase and decrease of traffic, but this time, more permanent cuts were also made. Yards, shops, and maintenance bases were closed, and routes in the South and Appalachia closed, downgraded, or sold off to short line and regional operators. Those operators often pay less to employees, effectively serving as cheaper subcontractors to the large railroads, which often maintain the right to all traffic generated on the sold off routes.
Beyond that, there have been significant operational changes aimed at using fewer crews despite the fact they impose more difficult working conditions and increased safety hazards. CSX Railroad has made the most dramatic changes. Historically, the length and tonnage of freight trains has gradually risen, and it is not uncommon for a train traveling longer distances to be over a mile in length. CSX enacted new policies that suddenly have combined what used to be two trains into one monster train, which can be up to 3 miles long and 25,000 tons. The benefit to management is that they only need to employ one crew instead of two.
Employees point out that such monster trains are more prone to problems, operate more slowly and cause traffic delays because they exceed capacity. In the end, they may end up going so slowly that they require just as many crews. Despite this, managers know how to manipulate that data to make it look good for investors.

Tags: US railroad contractsconcession
Categories: Labor News

Uber, Lyft respond to accusations of discrimination on ride-hailing platforms

Current News - Fri, 12/30/2016 - 16:36

Uber, Lyft respond to accusations of discrimination on ride-hailing platforms
http://www.mercurynews.com/2016/12/30/uber-lyft-respond-to-accusations-o...
A driver displaying Lyft and Uber stickers on his windshield drops off a passenger in downtown Los Angeles, Calif. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)
AP Photo/Richard Vogel/FileA driver displaying Lyft and Uber stickers on his windshield drops off a passenger in downtown Los Angeles, Calif. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)
By MARISA KENDALL | mkendall@bayareanewsgroup.com
PUBLISHED: December 30, 2016 at 1:00 pm | UPDATED: December 30, 2016 at 1:34 pm
SAN FRANCISCO — Two months after a report found African-American passengers were subjected to bias on ride-hailing platforms, Uber and Lyft say they are taking steps to address those concerns.

Pressed by a U.S. senator to explain how they prevent their drivers from discriminating against minority passengers, both ride-hailing companies said they have strong anti-bias policies in place — which they recently reiterated to drivers — and promised to look into doing more.

“While no single technology can eliminate bias in society, we always strive toward a better experience for all of our customers,” Uber CEO Travis Kalanick wrote in a letter to Democratic Sen. Al Franken from Minnesota. “In light of that goal, and the survey’s findings, we are committed to examining any root issues and possible product mitigations.”

The news highlights a tricky issue faced by sharing-economy companies, which try to prevent racism on their platforms without taking full responsibility for their users’ actions. Airbnb earlier this year unveiled new anti-discrimination measures after an outpouring of complaints from guests who said they were denied a place to stay based on their race or gender identity.

Franken wrote letters to Uber and Lyft in early November after a study released by the National Bureau of Economic Research found African-American passengers in Seattle and Boston waited longer to get rides and were more likely to have their trips canceled. The senator asked the ride-hailing companies to explain how they would address these issues, requesting answers no later than Dec. 16. Uber and Lyft responded Nov. 30 and Dec. 16, respectively (with Lyft just barely making the senator’s deadline), and Franken released the letters to the public this week.

Uber said it has met with the researchers who conducted the discrimination study, and the company looks forward to “continuing the conversation.” Uber also promised to experiment with new ways to guard against discrimination and to review how it notifies drivers of its nondiscrimination policy.

Lyft vowed to start studying ride cancellations in communities with a high concentration of minority residents.

“Lyft takes allegations of discrimination extremely seriously,” Lyft co-founder and CEO Logan Green wrote. “Any discrepancy of service experienced by passengers due to race is unacceptable. The gains in transportation equity that have been realized over the last few years since the widespread introduction of ridesharing cannot be our ceiling; instead they have to be our floor.”

Both companies stressed that drivers will be booted from the apps if they discriminate against passengers based on race, religion, gender or any other attribute protected by law. And they emphasized that ride-hailing platforms bring transportation options to underserved communities, which often are communities of color.

Lyft also pointed out that the study found minuscule differences in the wait times for African-American and white passengers using the Lyft app.

And the ride-hailing study found that unlike Uber drivers, Lyft drivers in Boston did not cancel rides for African-American riders more frequently — possibly because Lyft let drivers see the name and photo of passengers as soon as they requested a ride, allowing the driver to determine the rider’s race before accepting the ride.

The researchers who conducted the discrimination study had suggested Uber and Lyft hide riders’ names and photos from drivers, thereby making it more difficult for drivers to reject or cancel trips based on race. But both companies rejected that idea, arguing that sharing that information ensures a more friendly trip and increases passenger safety by making sure riders don’t get into the wrong car.

Airbnb rejected similar advice, instead promising to experiment with making guests’ photos less prominent.

Tags: UberracismdiscriminationLyft
Categories: Labor News

USA: World's Largest Hedge Fund Builds Algorithmic Model From Employees’ Brains

Labourstart.org News - Fri, 12/30/2016 - 16:00
LabourStart headline - Source: WSJ
Categories: Labor News

BART ATU 1555 And Alameda CLC Pass Resolution On Trump

Current News - Fri, 12/30/2016 - 15:38

BART ATU 1555 And Alameda CLC Pass Resolution On Trump
Alameda Labor Council Resolution: Resolution in Protest of the Inauguration of President Donald Trump
https://wibailoutpeople.org/2016/12/08/alameda-labor-council-resolution-...

Alameda Labor Council Resolution: Resolution in Protest of the Inauguration of President Donald Trump

WHEREAS, the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States has sparked fear and anger in our community, especially among those most marginalized, including immigrants, Muslims, people of color, women, the disabled, and LGBTQ populations.

WHEREAS, the President Elect has publicly supported and endorsed anti-union policies including federal Right to Work laws and is considering appointing to his cabinet people with a track record of promoting such policies

WHEREAS, newly appointed Supreme Court Justices will swing the court to be more consistently anti-union

WHEREAS, the privatization of Social Security and Medicare is likely to be pushed early in the Trump administration

WHEREAS, the diverse membership of the working class and of our unions includes populations that candidate Trump threatened with bigoted policies and hateful rhetoric

WHEREAS, that hateful rhetoric has already been seen in the form of an increase of hate crimes and violence against marginalized communities which overlap with our membership

WHEREAS, it is the obligation of organized labor to defend our members from attacks and promote an elevated and equal quality of life for all workers

Whereas, spontaneous demonstrations have erupted across the country immediately following the election of Donald Trump. Many organizations of students, labor, women, and various communities are continuing to plan massive protests including on Martin Luther King, Jr Day and culminating in action on the day of the inauguration of Donald Trump, January 20, 2017

WHEREAS, the day on which we celebrate Martin Luther King Jr who fought against racism and bigotry and championed the issues of the working class is just four days before the inauguration of Donald Trump.

WHEREAS, the power of organized labor is not reliant upon the occupant of any government office up to and including the office of President of the United States

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Alameda County Labor Council endorses and encourages all members to participate in the nationwide call for protest and actions beginning with those honoring and continuing the struggle of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr on his day, Monday, January 16 and culminating in a national day of action and protest and a reassertion of the power of organized labor on Friday January, 20, the day of the Inauguration of President Donald Trump

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Alameda County Labor Council encourages each of its affiliates to use the day of action on Friday, January 20 to display our power, unity and solidarity by planning an action around an existing labor dispute and inviting all of its members to participate as well as support their members who want to participate in inauguration protests.

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that we urge all affiliates to pass similar resolutions.

Submitted by Chris Finn ATU 1555 President; Adopted by the Alameda Labor Council Executive Committee 12/05/16 & Delegates 12/05/16

Respectfully, Josie Camacho, Executive Secretary-Treasurer

Tags: ATU 1555Alameda Central Labor CouncilTrumpProtest
Categories: Labor News

ILWU Labor leader Harry Bridges’ big victory

Current News - Fri, 12/30/2016 - 14:38

ILWU Labor leader Harry Bridges’ big victory
http://www.sfchronicle.com/news/article/Chronicle-Covers-Labor-leader-Ha...
By Tim O’Rourke
December 30, 2016 Updated: December 30, 2016 12:05am

Photo: The Chronicle 1939The Chronicle’s front page from Dec. 30, 1939, covers San Francisco labor leader Harry Bridges’ deportation case victory.

He was one of the labor movement’s most important figures, but was he a Communist?

The Chronicle’s front page from Dec. 30, 1939, covers the culmination of one of the deportation cases against San Francisco labor leader Harry Bridges.

“James M. Landis, Harvard Law School dean, acting as a special Labor Department examiner, submitted to Secretary (Frances) Perkins today a finding that Harry Bridges, West Coast CIO (Congress of Industrial Organizations) leader, is neither a member nor affiliated with the Communist party,” the story read.

Bridges was an Australian-born union man who was one of the forces behind the 1934 San Francisco General Strike, which helped lead to the unionization of all the West Coast ports. “Bloody Thursday,” one of the defining events of the labor movement, came a few months after the walkout’s start, with police and longshoremen clashing in broad daylight.

Two strikers were killed. Riots followed.

Bridges became a powerful figure in the International Longshoremen’s Association and the leader of the newly formed International Longshore and Warehouse Union. He would hold sway for decades in the city, and the U.S. government would try to force him from the country on multiple occasions, including through the 1939 case.

Bridges’ response to this day’s victory was printed on the front page:

“Naturally, I am very happy tonight to learn that after a fair hearing this constant charge of membership in the Communist party has been cleared up and that Dean Landis has not recommended deportation from a country I happen to want to live in just as much as those luckily born here.

“I intend to continue to do whatever I can to improve the condition of the working class in this country, and I hope that now this red herring has been worn out by its frequent dragging across the trail.”

Chronicle Covers is a yearlong project that will highlight one classic Chronicle newspaper page from our archive every day for 366 days. Library director Bill Van Niekerken and producers Kimberly Chua, Alexandra Irving and Jillian Sullivan contributed to the project. Tim O’Rourke is the executive producer and editor of SFChronicle.com. Email: torourke@sfchronicle.com Twitter: @TimothyORourke

Tags: ilwuharry bridgestrials
Categories: Labor News

ILWU Labor leader Harry Bridges’ big victory

Current News - Fri, 12/30/2016 - 14:37

ILWU Labor leader Harry Bridges’ big victory
http://www.sfchronicle.com/news/article/Chronicle-Covers-Labor-leader-Ha...
By Tim O’Rourke
December 30, 2016 Updated: December 30, 2016 12:05am

Photo: The Chronicle 1939The Chronicle’s front page from Dec. 30, 1939, covers San Francisco labor leader Harry Bridges’ deportation case victory.

He was one of the labor movement’s most important figures, but was he a Communist?

The Chronicle’s front page from Dec. 30, 1939, covers the culmination of one of the deportation cases against San Francisco labor leader Harry Bridges.

“James M. Landis, Harvard Law School dean, acting as a special Labor Department examiner, submitted to Secretary (Frances) Perkins today a finding that Harry Bridges, West Coast CIO (Congress of Industrial Organizations) leader, is neither a member nor affiliated with the Communist party,” the story read.

Bridges was an Australian-born union man who was one of the forces behind the 1934 San Francisco General Strike, which helped lead to the unionization of all the West Coast ports. “Bloody Thursday,” one of the defining events of the labor movement, came a few months after the walkout’s start, with police and longshoremen clashing in broad daylight.

Two strikers were killed. Riots followed.

Bridges became a powerful figure in the International Longshoremen’s Association and the leader of the newly formed International Longshore and Warehouse Union. He would hold sway for decades in the city, and the U.S. government would try to force him from the country on multiple occasions, including through the 1939 case.

Bridges’ response to this day’s victory was printed on the front page:

“Naturally, I am very happy tonight to learn that after a fair hearing this constant charge of membership in the Communist party has been cleared up and that Dean Landis has not recommended deportation from a country I happen to want to live in just as much as those luckily born here.

“I intend to continue to do whatever I can to improve the condition of the working class in this country, and I hope that now this red herring has been worn out by its frequent dragging across the trail.”

Chronicle Covers is a yearlong project that will highlight one classic Chronicle newspaper page from our archive every day for 366 days. Library director Bill Van Niekerken and producers Kimberly Chua, Alexandra Irving and Jillian Sullivan contributed to the project. Tim O’Rourke is the executive producer and editor of SFChronicle.com. Email: torourke@sfchronicle.com Twitter: @TimothyORourke

Tags: ilwuharry bridgestrials
Categories: Labor News

ILWU Labor leader Harry Bridges’ big victory

Current News - Fri, 12/30/2016 - 14:37

ILWU Labor leader Harry Bridges’ big victory
http://www.sfchronicle.com/news/article/Chronicle-Covers-Labor-leader-Ha...
By Tim O’Rourke
December 30, 2016 Updated: December 30, 2016 12:05am

Photo: The Chronicle 1939The Chronicle’s front page from Dec. 30, 1939, covers San Francisco labor leader Harry Bridges’ deportation case victory.

He was one of the labor movement’s most important figures, but was he a Communist?

The Chronicle’s front page from Dec. 30, 1939, covers the culmination of one of the deportation cases against San Francisco labor leader Harry Bridges.

“James M. Landis, Harvard Law School dean, acting as a special Labor Department examiner, submitted to Secretary (Frances) Perkins today a finding that Harry Bridges, West Coast CIO (Congress of Industrial Organizations) leader, is neither a member nor affiliated with the Communist party,” the story read.

Bridges was an Australian-born union man who was one of the forces behind the 1934 San Francisco General Strike, which helped lead to the unionization of all the West Coast ports. “Bloody Thursday,” one of the defining events of the labor movement, came a few months after the walkout’s start, with police and longshoremen clashing in broad daylight.

Two strikers were killed. Riots followed.

Bridges became a powerful figure in the International Longshoremen’s Association and the leader of the newly formed International Longshore and Warehouse Union. He would hold sway for decades in the city, and the U.S. government would try to force him from the country on multiple occasions, including through the 1939 case.

Bridges’ response to this day’s victory was printed on the front page:

“Naturally, I am very happy tonight to learn that after a fair hearing this constant charge of membership in the Communist party has been cleared up and that Dean Landis has not recommended deportation from a country I happen to want to live in just as much as those luckily born here.

“I intend to continue to do whatever I can to improve the condition of the working class in this country, and I hope that now this red herring has been worn out by its frequent dragging across the trail.”

Chronicle Covers is a yearlong project that will highlight one classic Chronicle newspaper page from our archive every day for 366 days. Library director Bill Van Niekerken and producers Kimberly Chua, Alexandra Irving and Jillian Sullivan contributed to the project. Tim O’Rourke is the executive producer and editor of SFChronicle.com. Email: torourke@sfchronicle.com Twitter: @TimothyORourke

Tags: ilwuharry bridgestrials
Categories: Labor News

ILWU Labor leader Harry Bridges’ big victory

Current News - Fri, 12/30/2016 - 14:37

ILWU Labor leader Harry Bridges’ big victory
http://www.sfchronicle.com/news/article/Chronicle-Covers-Labor-leader-Ha...
By Tim O’Rourke
December 30, 2016 Updated: December 30, 2016 12:05am

Photo: The Chronicle 1939The Chronicle’s front page from Dec. 30, 1939, covers San Francisco labor leader Harry Bridges’ deportation case victory.

He was one of the labor movement’s most important figures, but was he a Communist?

The Chronicle’s front page from Dec. 30, 1939, covers the culmination of one of the deportation cases against San Francisco labor leader Harry Bridges.

“James M. Landis, Harvard Law School dean, acting as a special Labor Department examiner, submitted to Secretary (Frances) Perkins today a finding that Harry Bridges, West Coast CIO (Congress of Industrial Organizations) leader, is neither a member nor affiliated with the Communist party,” the story read.

Bridges was an Australian-born union man who was one of the forces behind the 1934 San Francisco General Strike, which helped lead to the unionization of all the West Coast ports. “Bloody Thursday,” one of the defining events of the labor movement, came a few months after the walkout’s start, with police and longshoremen clashing in broad daylight.

Two strikers were killed. Riots followed.

Bridges became a powerful figure in the International Longshoremen’s Association and the leader of the newly formed International Longshore and Warehouse Union. He would hold sway for decades in the city, and the U.S. government would try to force him from the country on multiple occasions, including through the 1939 case.

Bridges’ response to this day’s victory was printed on the front page:

“Naturally, I am very happy tonight to learn that after a fair hearing this constant charge of membership in the Communist party has been cleared up and that Dean Landis has not recommended deportation from a country I happen to want to live in just as much as those luckily born here.

“I intend to continue to do whatever I can to improve the condition of the working class in this country, and I hope that now this red herring has been worn out by its frequent dragging across the trail.”

Chronicle Covers is a yearlong project that will highlight one classic Chronicle newspaper page from our archive every day for 366 days. Library director Bill Van Niekerken and producers Kimberly Chua, Alexandra Irving and Jillian Sullivan contributed to the project. Tim O’Rourke is the executive producer and editor of SFChronicle.com. Email: torourke@sfchronicle.com Twitter: @TimothyORourke

Tags: ilwuharry bridgestrials
Categories: Labor News

ILWU Labor leader Harry Bridges’ big victory

Current News - Fri, 12/30/2016 - 14:37

ILWU Labor leader Harry Bridges’ big victory
http://www.sfchronicle.com/news/article/Chronicle-Covers-Labor-leader-Ha...
By Tim O’Rourke
December 30, 2016 Updated: December 30, 2016 12:05am

Photo: The Chronicle 1939The Chronicle’s front page from Dec. 30, 1939, covers San Francisco labor leader Harry Bridges’ deportation case victory.

He was one of the labor movement’s most important figures, but was he a Communist?

The Chronicle’s front page from Dec. 30, 1939, covers the culmination of one of the deportation cases against San Francisco labor leader Harry Bridges.

“James M. Landis, Harvard Law School dean, acting as a special Labor Department examiner, submitted to Secretary (Frances) Perkins today a finding that Harry Bridges, West Coast CIO (Congress of Industrial Organizations) leader, is neither a member nor affiliated with the Communist party,” the story read.

Bridges was an Australian-born union man who was one of the forces behind the 1934 San Francisco General Strike, which helped lead to the unionization of all the West Coast ports. “Bloody Thursday,” one of the defining events of the labor movement, came a few months after the walkout’s start, with police and longshoremen clashing in broad daylight.

Two strikers were killed. Riots followed.

Bridges became a powerful figure in the International Longshoremen’s Association and the leader of the newly formed International Longshore and Warehouse Union. He would hold sway for decades in the city, and the U.S. government would try to force him from the country on multiple occasions, including through the 1939 case.

Bridges’ response to this day’s victory was printed on the front page:

“Naturally, I am very happy tonight to learn that after a fair hearing this constant charge of membership in the Communist party has been cleared up and that Dean Landis has not recommended deportation from a country I happen to want to live in just as much as those luckily born here.

“I intend to continue to do whatever I can to improve the condition of the working class in this country, and I hope that now this red herring has been worn out by its frequent dragging across the trail.”

Chronicle Covers is a yearlong project that will highlight one classic Chronicle newspaper page from our archive every day for 366 days. Library director Bill Van Niekerken and producers Kimberly Chua, Alexandra Irving and Jillian Sullivan contributed to the project. Tim O’Rourke is the executive producer and editor of SFChronicle.com. Email: torourke@sfchronicle.com Twitter: @TimothyORourke

Tags: ilwuharry bridgestrials
Categories: Labor News

Turkey: ‘We Want Our Jobs Back’: Turkish Workers Protest Post-Coup Purges

Labourstart.org News - Thu, 12/29/2016 - 16:00
LabourStart headline - Source: Equal Times
Categories: Labor News

Pakistan: Worst of the worst – shipbreaking in Pakistan

Labourstart.org News - Thu, 12/29/2016 - 16:00
LabourStart headline - Source: IndustriALL Global Union
Categories: Labor News

Afghanistan: Risking life & limb, miners need safe work environment

Labourstart.org News - Wed, 12/28/2016 - 16:00
LabourStart headline - Source: The Frontier Post
Categories: Labor News

Bangladesh: 1,600 garment workers in Ashulia sacked over unrest, more to come

Labourstart.org News - Tue, 12/27/2016 - 16:00
LabourStart headline - Source: The Daily Star
Categories: Labor News

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