Labor Archive

Goodbye, Little Girl

This Thanksgiving, Ryan and I have a lot for which to be thankful. But we're most grateful for having had the opportunity to give an elderly, withdrawn little black cat a home. And to love her. Read More

Express Scripts: Loose Lips Get Thanksgiving Pink Slips

Why do some companies persist in thinking that human kindness and federal labor law are mere impediments to profitability? Spiritual bankruptcy, perhaps? You can fill your heart with fairness or you can try to fill the hole in your soul with money. But at the end of the day, you still have to live in the same community. Read More

Corporate Greed Is Not a Family Value

When a prominent company profits in the middle of a Great Recession, the right thing to do is share the joy around. The wrong thing to do is lay off a thousand workers during the holidays to ease up funds for a future acquisition. This is the story of a company that went wrong. Read More

Are Unpaid Social Media Internships Legal?

Chicago nonprofits and businesses often use unpaid social media interns as a cheap way to gain institutional knowledge about building online community. But according to the U.S. Department of Labor, federal law requires that unpaid internships be for the benefit of the intern--not the company. And now the fed is investigating. Read More

CTA Bus Tracker Vs. Union Negotiating Power

When CTA Doomsday eliminated 20% of Chicago bus service in February, labor leaders expected a public outcry from stranded transit riders to help save the jobs of 1,100 bus union workers. Instead, riders took the cutbacks in stride--because any rider with a smart phone can instantly find out exactly when the next bus is coming. Does the rise of transit-tracking smart phone apps spell doomsday for the union's ability to rile up the ridership? Read More

On Chicagosphere: Why the Sun-Times Deserves to Die

On Chicagosphere I asked whether the Chicago Sun-Times union truly understands the endgame faced by their paper and journalism in general, calling out the Chicago Reader's Michael Miner along the way for suggesting that columnists be forced to ditch commentary in favor of strict news analysis. There's nothing I find more tiresome than yet another reporter throwing the rest of the world under the bus for the failings of their own field. Read More

Every (Working) Woman

During Election 2006, I had the good fortune to participate in 7 Days @ Minimum Wage, a video diary of working Americans struggling to keep their families afloat on minimum-wage pay. I interviewed Jessica, a single mom in Chicago. Her searing answers and barely contained sorrow made her, much to my surprise, the centerpiece of the entire project. I wonder whether if we had spoken during Election 2008, the current economy would have removed even what little hope she expressed back then Read More