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.
Temp agencies on rise as province seeks to protect vulnerable workers. Statistics obtained by the Star show a 20 per cent increase in temp agencies in Ontario over the past decade, with much of that growth driven by businesses registering in the Toronto area
image: Sonny Abesamis via Flickr/CC
Hemp-based materials and clean electric power. Some things from visions of the future now past we still wouldn’t mind getting our hands on. Either way, wasn’t general prosperity supposed to infuse the whole deal?
Tesla’s Fremont factory workers describe long hours, preventable injuries, and low pay
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
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
image: stavos via Flickr/CC
Precarious employment really is a form of second-class citizenship that isn’t good for us. A confluence of recent studies back that up, including a recent survey of Ontario Federation of Labour members.
Cross country check up: will you win or lose in an Uber-style sharing economy?
cbc.ca/radio [Podcast 1:53:00]
image: Patrick Marioné
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’
Uber is doomed
image: screenshot YouTube/Bloomberg
Elements of the movement for a fifteen dollar per hour minimum wage that started up south of the border in the fast food industry seems to have arrived at Canada’s biggest, busiest, richest airport. And so it should!
CBC Metro Morning (6:20)
See also: (965) Pearson workers look for better
image: AdolfGalland via Flickr/CC