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Sherman A1

Sherman A1's Journal
Sherman A1's Journal
August 24, 2018

Being a Go-Getter Is No Fun

If you believe that the Reward for Hard Work is simply More Work, You would be absolutely correct according to this article and study.

The phrase “shit hits the fan” has uncertain origins. Some claim it’s a descendant of a World War II adage “the garbage hit the fan.” As the Online Etymology Dictionary has it, it derives from an old poop joke. The Yale Book of Quotations doesn’t have a say on the phrase at all (though “shit happens” is attributed to Connie Eble of Chapel Hill).

In any case, people have probably heard the phrase in reference to something gone awry at work or in life. In either setting, when the shit does hit the fan, people will tend to look to the most competent person in the room to take over.

And too bad for that person. A new paper by a team of researchers from Duke University, University of Georgia, and University of Colorado looks at not only how extremely competent people are treated by their co-workers and peers, but how those people feel when, at crucial moments, everyone turns to them. They find that responsible employees are not terribly pleased about this dynamic either.

To begin, the researchers began by establishing that people do, in fact, assign more tasks to those they perceived as more competent. In a survey, participants read statements about a fictional employee “Sam”—different groups read different statements about Sam indicating how much self-control he had (self-control was used as a proxy for competence). When Sam was presented as someone with great self-control, participants expected much more of Sam’s performance at his manufacturing job. In a separate experiment, undergrads were asked to delegate essays for proofreading to other students with varying levels of self-control. Unsurprisingly those with more self-control ended up with more work assigned to them.

August 24, 2018

LOL! Procter & Gamble wants to trademark LOL

This is stretching things just a bit too far in my opinion.

Procter & Gamble is reported to have applied to trademark acronyms that are common in text speak.

If successful, terms including "LOL" (Laugh Out Loud), "NBD" (No Big Deal) and even WTF (too rude to spell out here) could be used to market products.

The global household products company has applied to use the acronyms in soap, detergents and air fresheners.

P&G reportedly registered the trademark applications with the US Patent and Trademark Office in April.

August 23, 2018

Racism keeping minimum wages down? Alabama ruling could help poor Texans. [Editorial]


Raising the minimum wage is typically a nonstarter in the Texas Legislature. Democrats keep introducing bills to push the state’s minimum wage above the federal level set nearly a decade ago at $7.25 an hour, and Republicans keep rejecting their efforts.

But a recent federal court ruling tying minimum wages to racial discrimination might be the key to higher incomes for lowly paid American workers everywhere.

Several cities have attempted to bypass similarly recalcitrant legislatures, including Birmingham, Ala., whose City Council two years ago passed a bill raising its minimum wage to $10.10 an hour. The Alabama Legislature responded by imposing a uniform statewide minimum wage that effectively voided Birmingham’s law. The city subsequently filed a federal lawsuit whose ripples could touch other states.

Twenty-five mostly Southern and border states, including Texas, have similar laws that prevent local governments from setting their own minimum wages. Many, like Alabama and Texas, have histories of racial discrimination. The Birmingham lawsuit recounts the racist past of that predominately black city and ties it to the decision of Alabama’s majority-white legislature to override its minimum wage increase.
August 22, 2018

Mattel is cutting 22% of its non-manufacturing workforce


Sad about the recent demise of Toys “R” Us? So is Mattel.

The New York-based toy manufacturer lost more than $240 million last quarter, more than quadrupling its loss from the same three months of 2017. It blamed the liquidation of Toys “R” Us for a 14% drop in net sales. Shareholders were clearly taken by surprise; Mattel’s stock dropped nearly 9% in after-hours trading.

But you may want to save your sympathy for the company’s employees. More than 2,200 of them, representing 22% of Mattel’s non-manufacturing workforce, are being let go, the company said.

Their fate may have been hastened by the disappearance of Toys “R” Us stores, but Mattel’s misfortunes predate the loss of what had once been a major customer.
August 21, 2018

Kirkwood to suspend curbside recycling; officials expect other cities will have to do same

FYI - Kirkwood is a suburb of St. Louis located in SouthWest St. Louis County and is a fairly well to do area.

KIRKWOOD • Kirkwood will soon suspend its program of curbside recycling collection for residents, and officials say their city just might be the first of many in St. Louis County to take the same step.

The city’s single-stream program allows a variety of recyclables — such as plastic, cardboard, paper, and aluminum — to be placed in a single cart.

Bill Bensing, public services director, said in a memo to other officials that the city’s recycling processor had started charging the city $35 per ton for single-stream material dropped off at its facility. This is a complete reversal from the past, when the company paid the city $15 per ton for the material.

“This drastic shift in the single stream recycling market is largely due to China placing more stringent contamination limits on recyclable materials (from the United States),” the memo said. “It is thought to be the beginning of the end of single stream recycling as we know it today.”

August 17, 2018

In Philly, union members protest immigration policy

About 2,000 union members staged a rally at Penn’s Landing in Philadelphia Wednesday to protest the Trump administration’s immigration policies, particularly the separation of children from their parents.

While the event drew support from unions that traditionally back progressive causes — particularly public employee unions — this one also had backing from some construction unions.

The building trades unions have more a conservative membership base than many unions, and some regard undocumented workers as competition for their jobs.

But this protest was organized largely by national leaders of UNITE HERE, which represents hospitality workers, and by the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades, whose national president, Ken Rigmaiden, spoke at the rally.


August 17, 2018

Union Says Reduce Caseloads To Improve Maine's Child Protection System

The labor union that represents Maine’s child protective caseworkers has released 10 recommendations to improve the state’s child protection system.

At the top of the list, says union-retiree Board Director and former caseworker Peggy Rice, is to reduce caseloads to no more than 12 per worker. Rice says that means more caseworkers need to be hired.

"So that you can actually do your job the way that you're supposed to do it and feel safe about doing it, both for you and for the vulnerable people who are relying on you,” she says.

Rice also says a top need is to hire more administrative support staff so caseworkers can focus on children and families.


August 17, 2018

NJ AG Grewal Files Brief to Protect Workers, State's Ability to Enforce Misclassification Laws

Trenton, NJ (WorkersCompensation.com) - Acting to protect New Jersey workers and preserve the State's ability to enforce its labor laws, Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal yesterday filed a brief urging a federal appeals court to rule that New Jersey's test for classifying workers as employees or independent contractors is not preempted by federal law.

Attorney General Grewal's amicus brief before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit was filed on behalf of the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development in a case involving delivery drivers who claim their employer, American Eagle Express (AEX), misclassified them as “independent contractors” and used that misclassification to avoid compliance with New Jersey wage and hour laws.

While Plaintiffs assert that they meet the criteria for “employees” under New Jersey's established test, AEX has argued that the 1994 Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act (FAAAA) – a law governing the federally-regulated motor carrier industry – preempts that test. Attorney General Grewal's amicus brief rejects that argument and asks the court to deny AEX's attempt to use the FAAAA as a “preemptive sword” that could inflict economic and social harms never intended by Congress.

“Workers are the backbone of New Jersey, and I am proud to defend not only them, but also our state's labor laws and our economic interests in court,” said Attorney General Grewal. “Misclassification of our workers means those workers lose wages and benefits they rightfully deserve, is unfair to the employers that play by the rules, and ultimately harms the state itself. Our state labor laws were intended to protect workers from these harms, and nothing in federal law prevents us from going after the companies that violate them.”


August 17, 2018

Metro must pay $82 million in wage increases to thousands of workers, arbitration panel says

An arbitration board has said Metro must provide $82 million in wage increases to thousands of workers by summer 2020 — an amount that is less than what leaders of the agency’s largest union had sought, but still a financial hit for the cash-strapped agency.

Members of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 689 have been working without a contract since July 2016, when their previous collective bargaining agreement expired. The two sides were unable to reach an agreement after lengthy and rancorous negotiations, so the issue was sent to a three-member arbitration board.

The panel’s decision, announced Wednesday by Metro, requires that the transit agency provide an average annual wage increase of 1.6 percent for workers over a four-year period ending in July 2020. The award is effective retroactively to July 1, 2016.


August 17, 2018

South Dakota Unions Against White Supremacy

Late last year, Kooper Caraway ran for president of the Sioux Falls, South Dakota AFL-CIO as part of a reform slate that pledged to revive new organizing within unions and support struggles outside of them, especially among immigrants and refugees. In January, Caraway and his slate were elected. One of their first orders of business: banning members of fascist and white-supremacist groups from holding elected or staff positions in its affiliated unions.

Caraway is twenty-seven years old; he comes from a working-class family, with a mother who is Native American and father descended from German immigrants. In high school, he led student actions against local immigration raids. He’s held multiple positions in the public-employees union AFSCME, including serving as a community and union organizer in South Dakota.

He spoke to Jacobin contributor Joe Allen about the changes he and his slate brought to the labor body and why it is labor’s duty to fight the far right. You can read Caraway’s editorial on that fight, published on the eve of the anniversary of the murder of Heather Heyer in Charlottesville, Virginia, by a white supremacist, here.


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