The Frustration with Productivity Culture: Why we’re so tired of optimizing our work lives, by Cal Newport

In 1999, the management theorist Peter Drucker noted that the productivity of the manual worker had grown fiftyfold during the last century. “On this achievement rest all of the economic and social gains of the 20th century,” Drucker concluded. In other words, the increase in productivity is why today most Americans own a smartphone, while a century ago they didn’t have indoor plumbing. By Cal …

On commuting, what our jobs or employers require, and what we give or take back

Excerpt from The Myth of the Productive Commute, by Anne Helen Petersen, Sept 19, 2021 …Anyone who’s actually commuted will tell you: these are fantasies. Or, at the very least, they were available to a vanishingly small portion of the office-working population. None of these bikes have kid seats on the back. None of these dudes are carrying large backpacks …

10 Charts on the State of U.S. Workers: Affluent Americans, who are more likely to be white, have had much more flexibility to work at home

While workers are continuing to struggle under Covid, corporate lobbyists are converging on Capitol Hill to block proposed pro-labor reforms. Affluent Americans, who are more likely to be white, have had much more flexibility to work at home, lowering their exposure to the physical, mental, and economic harms of Covid-19. According to a Census survey, adults in households with annual incomes …

Many who worked from home during COVID want to keep it that way, with no commute, increased productivity, and fewer interruptions

As large swaths of the office-worker community went remote during COVID and showed that it could work, many want to keep it that way, including folks who took the latest What’s Working survey on working from home. Most respondents did at one time or another during the pandemic (73.7%) and still do (63.2%).   https://coloradosun.com/2021/08/14/work-from-home-remote-jumpstart-united-airlines-jobs/ Increased productivity was key, said Linda Chadwick-Wirth, …

Heat Wave Shows Climate Change Is a Workers’ Rights Issue

June 2021 While the 100 million computer workers in this country are more likely to be able to work safely indoors, other urgent and necessary work must continue outdoors, no matter the severity of the weather. The entirety of the working class is (or will be) affected by climate change, but it’s farm workers, letter carriers, construction workers, sanitation workers and other outdoor …

Juneteenth Is about freedom, snuffed out by the reactionary forces of property and white supremacy. Not only were promises of land overturned, ‘simply acting free was grounds for white retaliation’

By Dale Kretz, Jacobin, 19 June 21 Today, as we celebrate Juneteenth, we should remember not only the struggle against chattel slavery but the struggle for radical freedom during Reconstruction — snuffed out by the reactionary forces of property and white supremacy. t’s a funny thing how folks always want to know about the War,” mused Felix Haywood about that …

Nearly 40,000 agricultural workers in Colorado, 3,000 live in employer-provided housing and have long endured unsanitary, cramped conditions and grueling work hours with few breaks

June 2021, The Counter – There are nearly 40,000 agricultural employees in Colorado, 3,000 of whom live in employer-provided housing and have long endured unsanitary,  cramped conditions and grueling work hours with few breaks, according to advocates and workers themselves.  Senate Bill 87, also known as the Farmworker Bill of Rights, will require that farmworkers be paid Colorado’s minimum wage—$12.32 an hour …

Reforming heavy rail commuter transit in the US

Excerpt from Mass Transit and Governing – https://www.masstransitmag.com/rail/news/21224126/us-commuter-rail-reform-faces-high-labor-infrastructure-costs May-June 2021 Staffing levels on the Berlin S-Bahn, the German capital city’s regional rail network, are about one-third the size of the Long Island Rail Road (America’s busiest commuter rail system), which in turn serves only about a third of the passengers. “In Spain or Germany, you just have the train driver, …

Pseudo issues and real discourse; e.g. longer work hours lead to more deaths

Excerpt from Hamilton Nolan, In These Times, June 2021 There is much hand-wringing today over the idea that misinformation and conspiracy theories and omnipresent propaganda have created a situation in which Americans don’t seem to have a single set of mutually agreed upon facts. That is true. But it does not capture an even more elementary flaw in what we are doing. We …