Welcome to Bookmarker!

This is a personal project by @dellsystem. I built this to help me retain information from the books I'm reading.

Source code on GitHub (MIT license).

3

Losing Our Voice

1
terms
2
notes

Greenhouse, S. (2019). Losing Our Voice. In Greenhouse, S. Beaten Down, Worked Up: The Past, Present, and Future of American Labor. Knopf Publishing Group, pp. 3-20

3

THROUGHOUT MARY COLEMAN’S six years as a cook at a Popeyes restaurant in Milwaukee, she remained stuck at the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour. One afternoon, when she arrived for her shift after an hour-long bus commute, her manager told her to go home without even clocking in. Business was slow, he said, and she wasn’t going to be paid for the day.


For ten years, Keith Barrett worked as a behind-the-scenes software engineer at Disney World in Orlando, helping monitor computers that handled ticket sales and hotel reservations. One day, Barrett and 250 fellow tech workers were stunned to receive layoff notices—Disney was replacing them with guest workers from India on temporary work visas. Many of the laid-off workers grew even more upset when Disney told them they wouldn’t receive any severance unless they agreed to train their replacements.


Jamie Workman became pregnant while working as a CVS cashier in Rocklin, California, northeast of Sacramento. Her eight-hour shifts soon became tiring and painful because she had to stand the whole time; her feet and legs became swollen. At one point, her shift supervisor gave her a stool to sit on for a few hours, but then the store manager ordered her to stop using it, telling her that cashiers weren’t allowed to sit.


Most mornings Jorge Porras reported to his car-wash job in Santa Fe at 8:15 A.M., as instructed, but his boss often didn’t let him clock in until 11:00, sometimes not until noon, whenever customers began lining up. Many days his boss paid him for six hours of work, even though he had worked nine and a half. One day, when the heavy chain that pulled the cars forward got stuck, Porras tried fixing it, but the chain suddenly lurched forward and cut off the top of his right ring finger. That injury forced Porras to miss two weeks of work, during which he didn’t receive any wages or workers’ compensation. When he and several co-workers complained about the unpaid hours and unsafe conditions, the car-wash owner fired them.


Patricia Hughes, a licensed practical nurse, came down with severe pneumonia while caring for a paraplegic in Thornton, Colorado. Coughing, vomiting, and with a 103 fever, Hughes called her manager to say she needed to miss work for two days. “I told him I was so weak that there was no way I could care for and move the patient,” she said. “He responded, ‘If you don’t come in tomorrow, don’t bother ever coming back.’ ” Too sick to work the next day, Hughes was fired, and as a result of losing that job, she was evicted from her apartment.


John Billington, proud of his 4.9 rating as an Uber driver in Los Angeles, was shocked when Uber suddenly chopped its L.A. fares from $2.50 a mile to $1 a mile. As a result, his average weekly gross income fell from over $1,500 to around $750, and that’s before subtracting the cost of gas, auto insurance, maintenance, and depreciation on his car. “Uber dictates everything,” Billington said. “We don’t get any input. It’s unfair.”


After seventeen years of teaching, Laura Fox, an elementary school music teacher in a suburb of Phoenix, was having such a hard time making ends meet that she took a twenty-hour-a-week job at McDonald’s. Fox, whose school district hadn’t raised pay in a decade, often worked at McDonald’s until 11:30 p.m., arrived home around midnight, and woke up at 6:30 to get ready for school. “Some days I was exhausted,” she said. “I work to teach the people who are going to be the future of society. It makes me feel disrespected that they pay teachers so little.”


A week after graduating from college in North Carolina, Desmond Anthony moved to New York to pursue a career as an actor. To support himself, he took a job as a sales clerk and cashier at the Express clothing store in Herald Square. At first his boss assigned him thirty hours of work each week, but after several months his hours were cut to just twelve or fifteen, and some weeks he was assigned no hours at all. Working fifteen hours a week, Anthony earned around $500 a month, not enough to cover his $800 monthly rent, let alone the several hundred dollars more needed for phone, subway, and food. Some days he went hungry, and some weeks he had to ask his parents for money. Anthony repeatedly urged his boss to assign him more hours, but instead of giving him more hours, the store hired more part-time workers, giving it more flexibility to plug workers into its ever-changing schedule. Anthony quit in frustration.

great opening stories and every single one of them infuriating

new tag for working class stories?

—p.3 by Steven Greenhouse 4 years, 3 months ago

THROUGHOUT MARY COLEMAN’S six years as a cook at a Popeyes restaurant in Milwaukee, she remained stuck at the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour. One afternoon, when she arrived for her shift after an hour-long bus commute, her manager told her to go home without even clocking in. Business was slow, he said, and she wasn’t going to be paid for the day.


For ten years, Keith Barrett worked as a behind-the-scenes software engineer at Disney World in Orlando, helping monitor computers that handled ticket sales and hotel reservations. One day, Barrett and 250 fellow tech workers were stunned to receive layoff notices—Disney was replacing them with guest workers from India on temporary work visas. Many of the laid-off workers grew even more upset when Disney told them they wouldn’t receive any severance unless they agreed to train their replacements.


Jamie Workman became pregnant while working as a CVS cashier in Rocklin, California, northeast of Sacramento. Her eight-hour shifts soon became tiring and painful because she had to stand the whole time; her feet and legs became swollen. At one point, her shift supervisor gave her a stool to sit on for a few hours, but then the store manager ordered her to stop using it, telling her that cashiers weren’t allowed to sit.


Most mornings Jorge Porras reported to his car-wash job in Santa Fe at 8:15 A.M., as instructed, but his boss often didn’t let him clock in until 11:00, sometimes not until noon, whenever customers began lining up. Many days his boss paid him for six hours of work, even though he had worked nine and a half. One day, when the heavy chain that pulled the cars forward got stuck, Porras tried fixing it, but the chain suddenly lurched forward and cut off the top of his right ring finger. That injury forced Porras to miss two weeks of work, during which he didn’t receive any wages or workers’ compensation. When he and several co-workers complained about the unpaid hours and unsafe conditions, the car-wash owner fired them.


Patricia Hughes, a licensed practical nurse, came down with severe pneumonia while caring for a paraplegic in Thornton, Colorado. Coughing, vomiting, and with a 103 fever, Hughes called her manager to say she needed to miss work for two days. “I told him I was so weak that there was no way I could care for and move the patient,” she said. “He responded, ‘If you don’t come in tomorrow, don’t bother ever coming back.’ ” Too sick to work the next day, Hughes was fired, and as a result of losing that job, she was evicted from her apartment.


John Billington, proud of his 4.9 rating as an Uber driver in Los Angeles, was shocked when Uber suddenly chopped its L.A. fares from $2.50 a mile to $1 a mile. As a result, his average weekly gross income fell from over $1,500 to around $750, and that’s before subtracting the cost of gas, auto insurance, maintenance, and depreciation on his car. “Uber dictates everything,” Billington said. “We don’t get any input. It’s unfair.”


After seventeen years of teaching, Laura Fox, an elementary school music teacher in a suburb of Phoenix, was having such a hard time making ends meet that she took a twenty-hour-a-week job at McDonald’s. Fox, whose school district hadn’t raised pay in a decade, often worked at McDonald’s until 11:30 p.m., arrived home around midnight, and woke up at 6:30 to get ready for school. “Some days I was exhausted,” she said. “I work to teach the people who are going to be the future of society. It makes me feel disrespected that they pay teachers so little.”


A week after graduating from college in North Carolina, Desmond Anthony moved to New York to pursue a career as an actor. To support himself, he took a job as a sales clerk and cashier at the Express clothing store in Herald Square. At first his boss assigned him thirty hours of work each week, but after several months his hours were cut to just twelve or fifteen, and some weeks he was assigned no hours at all. Working fifteen hours a week, Anthony earned around $500 a month, not enough to cover his $800 monthly rent, let alone the several hundred dollars more needed for phone, subway, and food. Some days he went hungry, and some weeks he had to ask his parents for money. Anthony repeatedly urged his boss to assign him more hours, but instead of giving him more hours, the store hired more part-time workers, giving it more flexibility to plug workers into its ever-changing schedule. Anthony quit in frustration.

great opening stories and every single one of them infuriating

new tag for working class stories?

—p.3 by Steven Greenhouse 4 years, 3 months ago

naturally accompanying or associated

10

“the decline in unionization” (and the concomitant decline in worker bargaining power) “explains about half of the rise in incomes for the richest 10 percent”

—p.10 by Steven Greenhouse
notable
4 years, 3 months ago

“the decline in unionization” (and the concomitant decline in worker bargaining power) “explains about half of the rise in incomes for the richest 10 percent”

—p.10 by Steven Greenhouse
notable
4 years, 3 months ago
12
  • From 1948 to 1973, worker productivity and hourly pay rose in tandem (productivity increased 95.7 percent during that span, while hourly compensation climbed 90.9 percent). But from 1973 to 2016, a period of waning union and worker power, productivity rose over six times as fast as compensation. This means that workers are receiving a far smaller share of the increased productivity that they’re providing to their employers.
  • Hard though it may be to believe, average hourly pay for American workers remains below the levels of 1973, after accounting for inflation.
  • CEOs at the largest 350 corporations make 312 times as much as the average worker, up from 59 times in 1990 and 20 times in 1965.
  • Nearly fifty million American workers earn less than $15 an hour. For a full-time worker, that translates to $31,200 a year.
  • The top 1 percent of households received 22 percent of the nation’s income in 2015, up from 9 percent in 1984. That’s the highest percentage the 1 percent has received since the 1920s. The top 10 percent now receive nearly half of the nation’s income (50 percent in 2015), up from one-third in the 1970s. (That of course leaves less for the bottom 90 percent of households.)
  • Americans average 1,780 hours of work per year. That’s 70 hours per year more than the Japanese, 100 hours (two and a half workweeks) more than British workers, 266 hours (six and a half workweeks) more than French workers, and 424 hours (ten and a half workweeks) more than German workers.
  • For college graduates who entered the workforce in June 2018, average hourly pay ($20.37) was just 2.5 percent higher than seventeen years earlier, after adjusting for inflation. For high school graduates with no college credits, average hourly pay ($11.85 for entry-level jobs) was actually down 1.4 percent from 2001.
  • The federal minimum wage of $7.25 is 37 percent below its 1968 level, after factoring in inflation. Indeed, the ratio of America’s federal minimum wage to median hourly income is the lowest among thirty-six industrial nations—the ratio is just 35 percent in the United States, compared with 61 percent in France and 49 percent in Britain.
—p.12 by Steven Greenhouse 4 years, 3 months ago
  • From 1948 to 1973, worker productivity and hourly pay rose in tandem (productivity increased 95.7 percent during that span, while hourly compensation climbed 90.9 percent). But from 1973 to 2016, a period of waning union and worker power, productivity rose over six times as fast as compensation. This means that workers are receiving a far smaller share of the increased productivity that they’re providing to their employers.
  • Hard though it may be to believe, average hourly pay for American workers remains below the levels of 1973, after accounting for inflation.
  • CEOs at the largest 350 corporations make 312 times as much as the average worker, up from 59 times in 1990 and 20 times in 1965.
  • Nearly fifty million American workers earn less than $15 an hour. For a full-time worker, that translates to $31,200 a year.
  • The top 1 percent of households received 22 percent of the nation’s income in 2015, up from 9 percent in 1984. That’s the highest percentage the 1 percent has received since the 1920s. The top 10 percent now receive nearly half of the nation’s income (50 percent in 2015), up from one-third in the 1970s. (That of course leaves less for the bottom 90 percent of households.)
  • Americans average 1,780 hours of work per year. That’s 70 hours per year more than the Japanese, 100 hours (two and a half workweeks) more than British workers, 266 hours (six and a half workweeks) more than French workers, and 424 hours (ten and a half workweeks) more than German workers.
  • For college graduates who entered the workforce in June 2018, average hourly pay ($20.37) was just 2.5 percent higher than seventeen years earlier, after adjusting for inflation. For high school graduates with no college credits, average hourly pay ($11.85 for entry-level jobs) was actually down 1.4 percent from 2001.
  • The federal minimum wage of $7.25 is 37 percent below its 1968 level, after factoring in inflation. Indeed, the ratio of America’s federal minimum wage to median hourly income is the lowest among thirty-six industrial nations—the ratio is just 35 percent in the United States, compared with 61 percent in France and 49 percent in Britain.
—p.12 by Steven Greenhouse 4 years, 3 months ago