July 17, 2018

Amazon’s Prime Day has a bit of a misleading name: the e-commerce site’s annual offering of deals actually lasts 36 hours, starting yesterday afternoon and going until midnight tonight. One matter that isn’t up for debate, however, is the promotion’s ability to bring in a lot of money. Analysts expect that this year’s Prime Day will generate about $3.4 billion in sales for Amazon, which would beat 2017’s total by more than $1 billion. But despite this upcoming windfall, so Continue reading

Continue reading...

March 20, 2018

If you love movies, then there’s a good chance you’ve never heard of the Sharknado series. After all, this Syfy franchise about tornados that scoop up hungry sharks probably won’t receive any Oscar nominations in the near future. But while Sharknado may be driven by a silly premise, the making of these movies is serious business. Along with hiring actors and designing sets, the producers must also bring in a crew that is capable of handling everything from setting up Continue reading

Continue reading...

December 21, 2017

Much like this year’s Thanksgiving season, the last week of December will see record numbers of travelers hitting the road or heading to the airport for the holidays. Along with more than 97 millions drivers, AAA estimates that some 6.4 million people will fly to their destinations. Due to a computer glitch, however, thousands of passengers who booked flights with American Airlines nearly missed out on being a part of this massive crowd of travelers.

The company’s problems came Continue reading

Continue reading...

November 17, 2017

Since Uber’s founding in 2009, the ride-hailing service has relied on tens of thousands of drivers that it considers to be independent contractors. Although this policy has been controversial from the start, executives claim it is a vital component of the company’s historic growth rate. After all, the money that Uber saves from paying employment benefits allows it to charge lower fares. That explanation simply isn’t good enough for many critics, however, who claim the company is depriving drivers of Continue reading

Continue reading...

For most non-rural people, the classic image of a dairy farm likely involves a solitary, bucket-toting farmer trudging out to the barn to milk the cows before dawn. As this video shows, though, modern American dairy farms are far more advanced than most city slickers would imagine. From automated milking machines to robot feeders, these high-tech tools help dairy farmers cut costs while also improving efficiency.

Questions:

 

  1. What are the advantages of automation on dairy farms?
  2. How have labor Continue reading
Continue reading...

john-edwardsIn 2007 members of the Writers Guild of America (WGA) went on strike for 100 days, bringing much of the entertainment industry to a halt. The action left tens of thousands of workers idled and reportedly cost the Los Angeles economy $2 billion. The writers eventually reached a deal with Hollywood studios and ended a dire situation that neither side wanted to see happen again.  

Ten years later, though, these two groups found themselves at yet another stalemate during Continue reading

Continue reading...

January 26, 2017

DaveSTo people familiar with sunny Silicon Valley, Finland may seem like a questionable tech hub. But thanks to the telecommunications giant Nokia, for years the snowy Scandinavian nation served as one of the central destinations in Europe for tech workers. Once Nokia began to collapse, however, the fortunes of many Finnish engineers declined as well.

These formerly prominent staffers then signed up for unemployment benefits in the hopes that the tech industry would turn around. When jobs largely failed to Continue reading

Continue reading...

January 19, 2017

ArvindGroverFor many corporate executives, non-compete agreements are just a part of doing business. Since companies want to hang on to top talent as long as possible, they often insert clauses in contracts that prevent employees from joining competitors for a certain amount of time. While this limits a staffer’s options when looking for a new job, their high-level status usually provides them with plenty of alternative choices.

That’s not quite the case for sandwich makers, however. While non-compete clauses are Continue reading

Continue reading...

November 1, 2016

MarkOhIn April 2013, more than one thousand Bangladeshi garment workers died when the Rana Plaza building collapsed. Considered to be the deadliest garment factory accident in history, the tragic event led to worldwide condemnation of many Western clothing companies. After all, brands like H&M, Walmart and Zara had long pushed producers in Bangladesh’s growing garment industry to make clothes faster and cheaper. While this allowed retailers to set low prices at their stores, the focus on efficiency forced Bangladesh’s factories Continue reading

Continue reading...

October 18, 2016

LindsayHolmwoodThe grisly nature of the meat industry practically ensures that the business will never be pretty. Still, conditions in a slaughterhouse can always get worse if management marginalizes their workforce. According to the global development agency Oxfam America, that’s precisely what’s happening at a number of U.S. poultry plants. In facilities owned by big names like Tyson, Perdue and Pilgrim’s Pride, workers complained that superiors regularly denied them bathroom breaks. Some even reported wearing diapers while working on the line. Continue reading

Continue reading...