An acclaimed Apple critic made up the details
The monologist Mike Daisey’s account of Chinese factory conditions in “The Agony and Ecstasy of Steve Jobs” made people think differently about their iPhones and iPads. But after an adaptation aired on This American Life, reaching China, an investigation there of his allegations found they were fabricated. Given other news reports on the conditions, will that matter?
Warehouse workers in California claim they were shorted on pay
Warehouse workers in Southern California filed a lawsuit in federal court on Thursday alleging labor law violations against a Walmart contractor, the latest in a string of complaints lodged by workers in major U.S. distribution hubs. In their proposed class action, three employees of Schneider Logistics claim the company devised an “unlawful scheme” to have them work overtime without paying them at overtime rates. The workers also say managers required them to take “voluntary” time off when they preferred to work and failed to give them rest breaks and legal wage statements.
This Sunshine Week, still waiting for OSHA to improve worker fatality info
To mark Sunshine Week, the annual initiative to promote freedom of information and government openness, I’m examining OSHA’s performance in disclosing information about worker fatality cases. I gave OSHA’s new leadership credit for reminding visitors to its website that workers are killed everyday on the job, many from preventable causes. The weekly postings by OSHA listed the name of the employer, the incident date and a brief description, such as “Victim was working from the raised bucket of an aerial device. The boom and bucket fell to the ground.”
Religion at work can bring fire and brimstone
Employees have religious rights in the workplace, but wearing your religion on your sleeve at work can be hazardous to your career. The question of how much religion in the workplace is too much is playing out in a California court this week with a closely watched case involving a former NASA employee.
Can you trash your boss and still keep your job?
Gailen David has worked two decades plus as a flight attendant for American Airlines. It’s not surprising that he, like most employees, has some funny things to say about his employer. Unlike most workers, however, he decided to share those humorous tidbits on YouTube via a series of parody videos about the airline’s business practices and the way cutbacks have impacted employees. Unfortunately, his employer isn’t laughing. David was fired this week, but the big question is, was American Airlines legally right in doing so. It’s a common belief that your boss can fire you for whatever the heck you do in social media, but in reality that’s not the case.
Dollar Tree in Newark could pay fines for unsafe working conditions
The Newark Dollar Tree store on Raymond Boulevard could be fined $121k for two repeated safety violations, the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration said yesterday. The violations included storing materials in an unsafe manner and obstructing exit routes with boxes and product carts. Both violations occurred before at other New Jersey stores, including one in Dover, in the last few years.
Labor campaign calls on Olympic brand companies to play fair
The world’s greatest games are about to begin in London. But outside the sporting spectacle this summer, few will notice where the real cheating is going on: in Asian factories that pump out plush mascots and other Olympiad gear, corporations have freely exploited lax labor regulations. As the Olympics approach, activists are racing to push the brands behind the games to play by the rules of fair trade and human rights.