October 4, 2018

Amazon’s market capitalization recently hit $1 trillion, placing the e-commerce giant on a level of success shared only with Apple. What’s more, last year the company’s revenue topped out at $178 billion, about a 40 percent increase from 2016. These factors allowed CEO Jeff Bezos to claim the title of world’s richest person as his net worth climbed past the $150 billion mark.

According to critics, though, Amazon’s workers have been largely left out of this bonanza of profit. Continue reading

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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

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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

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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

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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

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April 1, 2016

This week, America’s labor lobby scored a major victory thanks to a split Supreme Court decision that upheld unions’ right to collect membership fees from public sector workers. The short video linked below brings clarity to this complicated story and focuses on the perspectives of both sides.

http://on.wsj.com/1VSf1RU

Questions:

  1. Is it ethical to require teachers like Rebecca Friedrich to pay for membership to unions they oppose?
  1. What benefits do union members receive from the dues they pay?
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March 30, 2015

Near the end of February, the Wisconsin legislature passed a controversial bill that could change the face of labor in the state. Under the new “right-to-work” law, employees in unionized, private sector workplaces can choose whether or not to pay their union dues. According to Governor Scott Walker and his supporters, the law grants more freedom for individuals to choose where they work. “This legislation will ensure that Wisconsin’s workers have the sole power to determine whether they wish to Continue reading

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March 1, 2013

The revival of American manufacturing is often cited as a clear indicator of the economy’s slow but sure recovery. After all, manufacturers added half a million new jobs since 2009, marking one of the few positives in this relatively sluggish upturn. But that statistic doesn’t tell the whole story: none of the workers who landed those manufacturing jobs are in a union. In fact, the number of union factory workers dropped by four percent from 2010 to 2012, just as Continue reading

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