Tag Archives: working conditions

(1243) Retail life

The Christmas shopping season and the expectations around next year’s increase to the minimum wage in Ontario brings our minds to the retail trade.  If so many of our fellow citizens are going to work in that sector we should hope for it not to be stupid, exploitive and awful.
Retail jobs don’t need to be bad. Here’s proof
nytimes.com
Living wages: explaining a growing movement
kitchener.ctvnews
Stronger protections needed to fight erratic scheduling, advocates say. As the passage of Bill 148 nears completion, workers worry that a loophole in new protections will leave them vulnerable to unpredictable schedules
thestar.com
Walmart: too big to fail?
strongtowns.org
Sears demise is Nortel all over again for pensioners, says expert. Some 16,000 retirees face uncertain future as company seeks approval to begin liquidating assets
cbc.ca/news
See also:
(1084) Good Santa
(348) Retail now Canada’s largest employment sector
image: Mike Kalasnick via Flickr/CC

(1214) Bagels & Bentleys: undercover with the temps


Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle meets Barbara Ehrenreich’s Nickel and Dimed in today’s Toronto Star. The paper sent a writer to work at a large industrial bakery in Toronto recently.  Her findings should shock us.
Wages are low.  The pace is fast.  Safety is a hit-and-miss affair in a profitable establishment making bread products for corporate clients.  There has been loss of life at the plant where most of the workers are female newcomers.  Their employer has received grants, loans and praise from the government.  The Workplace Safety and Insurance Board gives them rebates.  Through their lawyer the owners say that safety is important.
Temps pick their wages up in cash at a payday lending office thirty-five minutes away by bus.  Their employer drives a Bentley and lives in a mansion.
On Twitter alone, mentions of this feature have grown steadily all day.  This feature deserves a wide audience and is exactly the kind of reportage the Star should be coming up with.
Undercover in temp nation

(1111) Toronto gig economy survey

Economic systems tend to be somewhat stacked against young people from the start because they simply have had less time to accumulate things of value in those systems.  With the so-called gig or sharing economy it is starting to look like a significant structural  disadvantage to younger persons has begun to reveal itself.  Many a young worker has education and tech savvy to contribute.  Frustration is rising early on the occupational path as young workers with few options are often encounter the working conditions imposed by app-based and online employers.
“Sharing economy” or on-demand service economy?
A survey of workers and consumers in the Greater Toronto Area
policyalternatives.ca
Toronto’s ‘gig economy’ fueled by young workers starved for choice. A new survey by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives takes the first look at who is working through online platforms in the GTA
thestar.com

image: stavos via Flickr/CC

(1095) Giggy boo boo

Hey workers! Here’s a nice big steaming pile of Uber for you.
Small wonder the gig economy is subject to more than a little righteousness and more than a few hot takes these days.
Uber CEO Travis Kalanick caught on video arguing with driver about fares. Kalanick apologized after a video obtained by Bloomberg showed him in a heated exchange with a driver who told the CEO: ‘I’m bankrupt because of you’
theguardian.com
Uber is doomed
jalopnik.com

image: screenshot YouTube/Bloomberg