Union News, Workplace Stories, and Info on How The Working Man Continually Gets Fucked Over

Rambo

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Since this is continually coming up in the Trump thread I thought it might be easier to spin it off here. Also considered 'Workers Of The World, Unite In Despair". Open to suggestions on the title.

As usual, our tech overlords are not quite as magnanimous as they're made out to be in the press:

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/may/18/tesla-workers-factory-conditions-elon-musk

Tesla factory workers reveal pain, injury and stress: 'Everything feels like the future but us'
Exclusive: CEO Elon Musk defends workplace, saying ‘[we are not] just greedy capitalists who skimp on safety’ – and declares his $50bn company overvalued

When Tesla bought a decommissioned car factory in Fremont, California, Elon Musk transformed the old-fashioned, unionized plant into a much-vaunted “factory of the future”, where giant robots named after X-Men shape and fold sheets of metal inside a gleaming white mecca of advanced manufacturing.

The appetite for Musk’s electric cars, and his promise to disrupt the carbon-reliant automobile industry, has helped Tesla’s value exceed that of both Ford and, briefly, General Motors (GM). But some of the human workers who share the factory with their robotic counterparts complain of grueling pressure – which they attribute to Musk’s aggressive production goals – and sometimes life-changing injuries.

Ambulances have been called more than 100 times since 2014 for workers experiencing fainting spells, dizziness, seizures, abnormal breathing and chest pains, according to incident reports obtained by the Guardian. Hundreds more were called for injuries and other medical issues.

In a phone interview about the conditions at the factory, which employs about 10,000 workers, the Tesla CEO conceded his workers had been “having a hard time, working long hours, and on hard jobs”, but said he cared deeply about their health and wellbeing. His company says its factory safety record has significantly improved over the last year.

Musk also said that Tesla should not be compared to major US carmakers and that its market capitalization, now more than $50bn, is unwarranted. “I do believe this market cap is higher than we have any right to deserve,” he said, pointing out his company produces just 1% of GM’s total output.

“We’re a money-losing company,” Musk added. “This is not some situation where, for example, we are just greedy capitalists who decided to skimp on safety in order to have more profits and dividends and that kind of thing. It’s just a question of how much money we lose. And how do we survive? How do we not die and have everyone lose their jobs?”

Musk’s account of the company’s approach differs from that of the 15 current and former factory workers who told the Guardian of a culture of long hours under intense pressure, sometimes through pain and injury, in order to fulfill the CEO’s ambitious production goals.

“I’ve seen people pass out, hit the floor like a pancake and smash their face open,” said Jonathan Galescu, a production technician at Tesla. “They just send us to work around him while he’s still lying on the floor.”

He was one of several workers who said they had seen co-workers collapse or be taken away in ambulances. “We had an associate on my line, he just kept working, kept working, kept working, next thing you know – he just fell on the ground,” said Mikey Catura, a worker on the battery pack line.

Richard Ortiz, another production worker, spoke admiringly of the high-tech shop floor. “It’s like you died and went to auto-worker heaven.” But he added: “Everything feels like the future but us.”

Tesla sits at the juncture between a tech startup, untethered from the rules of the old economy, and a manufacturer that needs to produce physical goods. Nowhere is that contradiction more apparent than at the Tesla factory, where Musk’s bombastic projection that his company will make 500,000 cars in 2018 (a 495% increase from 2016) relies as much on the sweat and muscle of thousands of human workers as it does on futuristic robots.

“From what I’ve gathered, Elon Musk started Tesla kind of like an app startup, and didn’t realize that it isn’t just nerds at a computer desk typing,” said one production worker, one of several who asked not to be identified by name. “You really start losing the startup feel when you have thousands of people doing physical labor.”

In February, Tesla worker Jose Moran published a blogpost that detailed allegations of mandatory overtime, high rates of injury and low wages at the factory, and revealed that workers were seeking to unionize with the United Auto Workers.

Moran’s post shone a spotlight on a workforce that is almost entirely absent from Tesla’s official images of the factory.


The company did release more recent data, which indicates its record of safety incidents went from slightly above the industry average in late 2016, to a performance in the first few months of 2017 that was 32% better than average. The company said that its decision to add a third shift, introduce a dedicated team of ergonomics experts, and improvements to the factory’s “safety teams” account for the significant reduction in incidents since last year.

Musk said safety was paramount at the company. “It’s incredibly hurtful, and, I think, false for anyone to claim that I don’t care.” The CEO said his desk was “in the worst place in the factory, the most painful place”, in keeping with his management philosophy. “It’s not some comfortable corner office.”

In early 2016, he said, he slept on the factory floor in a sleeping bag “to make it the most painful thing possible”. “I knew people were having a hard time, working long hours, and on hard jobs. I wanted to work harder than they did, to put even more hours in,” he said. “Because that’s what I think a manager should do.”

He added: “We’re doing this because we believe in a sustainable energy future, trying to accelerate the advent of clean transport and clean energy production, not because we think this is a way to get rich.”

Sanchez and other workers said they believed more injuries occurred because, for years, the company did not take worker safety seriously, with some managers belittling their complaints and pressuring them to work through pain.

When workers told managers about pain, Sanchez said they responded: “We all hurt. You can’t man up?” Alan Ochoa, another Tesla worker who is currently on a medical leave with an injury, alleged that superiors “put the production numbers ahead of the safety and wellbeing of the employees”.

The company said that Ochoa and Sanchez are especially outspoken workers whose views do not represent the wider workforce. However, the Tesla spokesperson added: “In a factory of more than 10,000 employees, there will always be isolated incidents that we would like to avoid.”

Complaints about working conditions at Tesla are not universal. “I’ve got benefits, I’ve got stocks, I’ve got [paid time off],” said a worker who has been at the company for about a year. “I thoroughly enjoy my work and I feel I’m treated fairly.”

Another worker, a temporary employee, said that he sees some teams in the factory doing group stretches in the morning to prevent injuries.

Musk has a well-documented tendency to promise Mars and deliver the moon. His electric car company was, by his own admission, a gamble. Musk said starting a car manufacturer from scratch was likely “the worst way to earn money, honestly”, though he caveated that “maybe rockets are a bit worse”. He said: “On a risk-adjusted return basis, an auto company has to be the dumbest thing you could possibly start.”

The company has succeeded at increasing its production rate every quarter. In the first three months of 2017, the factory produced more than 25,000 cars – a Tesla record. To meet Musk’s goal for 2018, they will have to quintuple that rate.

“I think one of the major problems is that people at the top are making unrealistic quarterly goals,” said a worker on the battery pack line.

Three workers described a management tactic of assigning a monetary value to every delay on the assembly line. “One time the robot came down and [the supervisor] came back screaming at us, ‘That’s $18,000, $20,000, $30,000, $50,000 because you guys can’t get this done,’” Gelascu recalled.

Tesla argues the challenge in building vehicles from scratch with new production and manufacturing methods should not be underestimated, but that “nothing is more important” than protecting the health and safety of its workers.

“We’re trying to do good for the world and we believe in doing the right thing,” Musk said. “And that extends to caring about the health and safety of everyone at the company.”

It’s a more humanistic tone than the one he strikes with investors. “You really can’t have people in the production line itself. Otherwise you’ll automatically drop to people speed,” he told investors in an earnings call last year. “There’s still a lot of people at the factory, but what they’re doing is maintaining the machines, upgrading them, dealing with anomalies. But in the production process itself there essentially would be no people.”

This article was amended to include details of Tesla’s “modified work” program for injured workers.
 

Rambo

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this is a good one for doghouse Monkeyface and Chorn

Unemployment in the U.S. Is Falling, So Why Isn’t Pay Rising?
Eight possible explanations.

The U.S. economy is behaving mysteriously. Usually wage growth accelerates when the job market is tight: Employers have to pay more to attract and retain workers. But even though the unemployment rate hit a decade low of 4.4 percent in April, average hourly earnings grew just 2.3 percent over the past year—compared with an annual rate of more than 4 percent the last time the jobless rate was this low.


What has happened to the historical, and seemingly logical, link between unemployment and wages? A lot of people want to know, including the policymakers at the Federal Reserve, who’d ordinarily be raising interest rates much more than they have to prevent a wage-price inflation spiral. In the absence of a single convincing explanation, here are eight theories.


One is that the Phillips curve is effectively dead. In textbooks, wage growth is on the vertical axis and unemployment on the horizontal: The curve goes smoothly down to the right as unemployment rises and wage growth falls. In reality, the correlation has been so inconsistent in recent years that a Phillips curve graph looks more like a Jackson Pollock drip painting or the footprints of a staggering drunk. Steve Forbes, the editor-in-chief of Forbes and former Republican presidential candidate, calls the curve “a quack theorem.”


Economists aren’t as quick as Forbes to reject the Phillips curve; it just makes intuitive sense that a tight labor market such as this will eventually push up wages. So some fall back on the explanation that workers’ bargaining power has weakened. The decline of unions is a crucial factor, says Peter Temin, a retired MIT economics professor and author of a new book, The Vanishing Middle Class: Prejudice and Power in a Dual Economy. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says fewer than 11 percent of wage and salary workers were union members last year, down from 20 percent in 1983. Globalization has also weakened the leverage of American workers, says Jonas Prising, chairman of Manpower Group, by allowing companies to shift production where wages are cheaper. “Whether you know it or not, you are competing on a global scale,” Prising says.



It could be that workers are content with what they’re earning. Employees will be more willing to settle for small raises if they’re confident inflation will remain low, as it has since the recession of 2007-09. The tortoise-like pace of wage hikes has beaten the snail-like pace of consumer prices by almost 5 percentage points since unemployment peaked at 10 percent in 2009.

Alternatively, maybe companies are making do with the workers they have—retraining employees rather than paying top dollar for new recruits and raising pay only for the particular jobs where they need to attract talent. “We have very robust development programs to make sure that we got the right labor at the right time and the right place,” Todd Teske, chief executive officer of Briggs & Stratton Corp., which makes lawnmowers and other products, told analysts in an April earnings call.

Then again, maybe the workers simply aren’t worth more money. Output per hour of work has shrunk in four of the past six quarters, according to the BLS. If workers’ productivity is weak, companies may be resisting their wage demands to protect their profit margins, says Daniel Silver, an economist at JPMorgan Chase & Co. Weak productivity growth isn’t entirely workers’ fault: Companies have chosen to stash profits offshore or return them to shareholders rather than invest in the modern equipment and software that would enable their employees to do their jobs efficiently.

Some economists explain the Phillips curve anomaly by saying there’s more slack in the labor market—and therefore less leverage for workers—than the 4.4 percent unemployment rate indicates. Only 78.6 percent of people age 25-54 are employed, down from 80 percent before the last recession. If workers demanded big wage hikes, employers could try to pull people off the sidelines into the workforce. “The unemployment rate is not measuring the tightness of the labor market in the same way it used to,” says James Diffley, chief regional economist for IHS Markit Ltd., which collaborates with payroll services company Paychex Inc. on an index of small-business jobs.

Other economists argue the real problem is that wage growth is being undermeasured. Neil Dutta, head of economics for Renaissance Macro Research, wrote in a May 15 note to clients that the oft-quoted average hourly earnings gauge devised by the BLS may not accurately capture what’s happening in the labor market. It’s true that average hourly earnings growth didn’t accelerate from the first quarter of 2016 to the first quarter of 2017, but other wage indicators from the BLS did, in some cases dramatically. Hourly compensation, which includes benefits along with wages and salaries, grew 3.9 percent in the 12 months through this year’s first quarter, up from 2.4 percent a year earlier. The wages and salaries measure in the Employment Cost Index rose 2.6 percent, up from 2 percent a year before. “Taking an average of all measures points to underlying wage growth of about 3.0 percent,” Dutta wrote. Consider construction: Desperate for skilled help, builders are showering workers with pay hikes and even signing bonuses, says Joseph Natarelli, a partner and head of the construction practice at Marcum LLC, an accounting and advisory firm. Yet according to the BLS, average hourly earnings in construction rose just 2.1 percent in the year through April. Says Natarelli: “I don’t know where that data is coming from.”

Last but not least is the theory that bigger wage increases will begin to appear soon—the forces of supply and demand can’t be denied. Last year, Federal Reserve Board Principal Economist Jeremy Nalewaik released a paper called Non-Linear Phillips Curves With Inflation Regime-Switching. The thrust was that the famous curve has a sharp bend: There’s a wide range of unemployment rates where wage growth is unaffected, but below a certain threshold, wages begin to rise rapidly. “It would be unwise to assume the Phillips curve remains so flat at all levels of the unemployment rate,” Nalewaik wrote.

Some members of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), the rate-setting arm of the Federal Reserve System, seem to be swinging in Nalewaik’s direction. Eric Rosengren, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, who was once a dove on monetary policy—favoring low interest rates—has become a hawk. In a May 10 speech in Vermont, he argued that the jobless rate is on the way to “overshooting”—becoming too low for comfort. He urged three quarter-point hikes in the federal funds rate over the rest of the year, vs. the median projection of two hikes among FOMC voters. Many economists simply don’t believe wage growth will remain modest with unemployment headed toward 4 percent or lower. Says JPMorgan’s Silver: “The logic behind the Phillips curve just makes sense.”

The bottom line: Globalization and low inflation may be among the reasons U.S. workers haven’t realized bigger wage gains.
 

Monkeyface

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this is a good one for doghouse Monkeyface and Chorn

Unemployment in the U.S. Is Falling, So Why Isn’t Pay Rising?
Eight possible explanations.

The U.S. economy is behaving mysteriously. Usually wage growth accelerates when the job market is tight: Employers have to pay more to attract and retain workers. But even though the unemployment rate hit a decade low of 4.4 percent in April, average hourly earnings grew just 2.3 percent over the past year—compared with an annual rate of more than 4 percent the last time the jobless rate was this low.


What has happened to the historical, and seemingly logical, link between unemployment and wages? A lot of people want to know, including the policymakers at the Federal Reserve, who’d ordinarily be raising interest rates much more than they have to prevent a wage-price inflation spiral. In the absence of a single convincing explanation, here are eight theories.


One is that the Phillips curve is effectively dead. In textbooks, wage growth is on the vertical axis and unemployment on the horizontal: The curve goes smoothly down to the right as unemployment rises and wage growth falls. In reality, the correlation has been so inconsistent in recent years that a Phillips curve graph looks more like a Jackson Pollock drip painting or the footprints of a staggering drunk. Steve Forbes, the editor-in-chief of Forbes and former Republican presidential candidate, calls the curve “a quack theorem.”


Economists aren’t as quick as Forbes to reject the Phillips curve; it just makes intuitive sense that a tight labor market such as this will eventually push up wages. So some fall back on the explanation that workers’ bargaining power has weakened. The decline of unions is a crucial factor, says Peter Temin, a retired MIT economics professor and author of a new book, The Vanishing Middle Class: Prejudice and Power in a Dual Economy. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says fewer than 11 percent of wage and salary workers were union members last year, down from 20 percent in 1983. Globalization has also weakened the leverage of American workers, says Jonas Prising, chairman of Manpower Group, by allowing companies to shift production where wages are cheaper. “Whether you know it or not, you are competing on a global scale,” Prising says.



It could be that workers are content with what they’re earning. Employees will be more willing to settle for small raises if they’re confident inflation will remain low, as it has since the recession of 2007-09. The tortoise-like pace of wage hikes has beaten the snail-like pace of consumer prices by almost 5 percentage points since unemployment peaked at 10 percent in 2009.

Alternatively, maybe companies are making do with the workers they have—retraining employees rather than paying top dollar for new recruits and raising pay only for the particular jobs where they need to attract talent. “We have very robust development programs to make sure that we got the right labor at the right time and the right place,” Todd Teske, chief executive officer of Briggs & Stratton Corp., which makes lawnmowers and other products, told analysts in an April earnings call.

Then again, maybe the workers simply aren’t worth more money. Output per hour of work has shrunk in four of the past six quarters, according to the BLS. If workers’ productivity is weak, companies may be resisting their wage demands to protect their profit margins, says Daniel Silver, an economist at JPMorgan Chase & Co. Weak productivity growth isn’t entirely workers’ fault: Companies have chosen to stash profits offshore or return them to shareholders rather than invest in the modern equipment and software that would enable their employees to do their jobs efficiently.

Some economists explain the Phillips curve anomaly by saying there’s more slack in the labor market—and therefore less leverage for workers—than the 4.4 percent unemployment rate indicates. Only 78.6 percent of people age 25-54 are employed, down from 80 percent before the last recession. If workers demanded big wage hikes, employers could try to pull people off the sidelines into the workforce. “The unemployment rate is not measuring the tightness of the labor market in the same way it used to,” says James Diffley, chief regional economist for IHS Markit Ltd., which collaborates with payroll services company Paychex Inc. on an index of small-business jobs.

Other economists argue the real problem is that wage growth is being undermeasured. Neil Dutta, head of economics for Renaissance Macro Research, wrote in a May 15 note to clients that the oft-quoted average hourly earnings gauge devised by the BLS may not accurately capture what’s happening in the labor market. It’s true that average hourly earnings growth didn’t accelerate from the first quarter of 2016 to the first quarter of 2017, but other wage indicators from the BLS did, in some cases dramatically. Hourly compensation, which includes benefits along with wages and salaries, grew 3.9 percent in the 12 months through this year’s first quarter, up from 2.4 percent a year earlier. The wages and salaries measure in the Employment Cost Index rose 2.6 percent, up from 2 percent a year before. “Taking an average of all measures points to underlying wage growth of about 3.0 percent,” Dutta wrote. Consider construction: Desperate for skilled help, builders are showering workers with pay hikes and even signing bonuses, says Joseph Natarelli, a partner and head of the construction practice at Marcum LLC, an accounting and advisory firm. Yet according to the BLS, average hourly earnings in construction rose just 2.1 percent in the year through April. Says Natarelli: “I don’t know where that data is coming from.”

Last but not least is the theory that bigger wage increases will begin to appear soon—the forces of supply and demand can’t be denied. Last year, Federal Reserve Board Principal Economist Jeremy Nalewaik released a paper called Non-Linear Phillips Curves With Inflation Regime-Switching. The thrust was that the famous curve has a sharp bend: There’s a wide range of unemployment rates where wage growth is unaffected, but below a certain threshold, wages begin to rise rapidly. “It would be unwise to assume the Phillips curve remains so flat at all levels of the unemployment rate,” Nalewaik wrote.

Some members of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), the rate-setting arm of the Federal Reserve System, seem to be swinging in Nalewaik’s direction. Eric Rosengren, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, who was once a dove on monetary policy—favoring low interest rates—has become a hawk. In a May 10 speech in Vermont, he argued that the jobless rate is on the way to “overshooting”—becoming too low for comfort. He urged three quarter-point hikes in the federal funds rate over the rest of the year, vs. the median projection of two hikes among FOMC voters. Many economists simply don’t believe wage growth will remain modest with unemployment headed toward 4 percent or lower. Says JPMorgan’s Silver: “The logic behind the Phillips curve just makes sense.”

The bottom line: Globalization and low inflation may be among the reasons U.S. workers haven’t realized bigger wage gains.
Good source! Hadn't seen this article yet, thanks for posting.
 

doghouse

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this is a good one for doghouse Monkeyface and Chorn

Unemployment in the U.S. Is Falling, So Why Isn’t Pay Rising?
Eight possible explanations.

The U.S. economy is behaving mysteriously. Usually wage growth accelerates when the job market is tight: Employers have to pay more to attract and retain workers. But even though the unemployment rate hit a decade low of 4.4 percent in April, average hourly earnings grew just 2.3 percent over the past year—compared with an annual rate of more than 4 percent the last time the jobless rate was this low.


What has happened to the historical, and seemingly logical, link between unemployment and wages? A lot of people want to know, including the policymakers at the Federal Reserve, who’d ordinarily be raising interest rates much more than they have to prevent a wage-price inflation spiral. In the absence of a single convincing explanation, here are eight theories.


One is that the Phillips curve is effectively dead. In textbooks, wage growth is on the vertical axis and unemployment on the horizontal: The curve goes smoothly down to the right as unemployment rises and wage growth falls. In reality, the correlation has been so inconsistent in recent years that a Phillips curve graph looks more like a Jackson Pollock drip painting or the footprints of a staggering drunk. Steve Forbes, the editor-in-chief of Forbes and former Republican presidential candidate, calls the curve “a quack theorem.”


Economists aren’t as quick as Forbes to reject the Phillips curve; it just makes intuitive sense that a tight labor market such as this will eventually push up wages. So some fall back on the explanation that workers’ bargaining power has weakened. The decline of unions is a crucial factor, says Peter Temin, a retired MIT economics professor and author of a new book, The Vanishing Middle Class: Prejudice and Power in a Dual Economy. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says fewer than 11 percent of wage and salary workers were union members last year, down from 20 percent in 1983. Globalization has also weakened the leverage of American workers, says Jonas Prising, chairman of Manpower Group, by allowing companies to shift production where wages are cheaper. “Whether you know it or not, you are competing on a global scale,” Prising says.



It could be that workers are content with what they’re earning. Employees will be more willing to settle for small raises if they’re confident inflation will remain low, as it has since the recession of 2007-09. The tortoise-like pace of wage hikes has beaten the snail-like pace of consumer prices by almost 5 percentage points since unemployment peaked at 10 percent in 2009.

Alternatively, maybe companies are making do with the workers they have—retraining employees rather than paying top dollar for new recruits and raising pay only for the particular jobs where they need to attract talent. “We have very robust development programs to make sure that we got the right labor at the right time and the right place,” Todd Teske, chief executive officer of Briggs & Stratton Corp., which makes lawnmowers and other products, told analysts in an April earnings call.

Then again, maybe the workers simply aren’t worth more money. Output per hour of work has shrunk in four of the past six quarters, according to the BLS. If workers’ productivity is weak, companies may be resisting their wage demands to protect their profit margins, says Daniel Silver, an economist at JPMorgan Chase & Co. Weak productivity growth isn’t entirely workers’ fault: Companies have chosen to stash profits offshore or return them to shareholders rather than invest in the modern equipment and software that would enable their employees to do their jobs efficiently.

Some economists explain the Phillips curve anomaly by saying there’s more slack in the labor market—and therefore less leverage for workers—than the 4.4 percent unemployment rate indicates. Only 78.6 percent of people age 25-54 are employed, down from 80 percent before the last recession. If workers demanded big wage hikes, employers could try to pull people off the sidelines into the workforce. “The unemployment rate is not measuring the tightness of the labor market in the same way it used to,” says James Diffley, chief regional economist for IHS Markit Ltd., which collaborates with payroll services company Paychex Inc. on an index of small-business jobs.

Other economists argue the real problem is that wage growth is being undermeasured. Neil Dutta, head of economics for Renaissance Macro Research, wrote in a May 15 note to clients that the oft-quoted average hourly earnings gauge devised by the BLS may not accurately capture what’s happening in the labor market. It’s true that average hourly earnings growth didn’t accelerate from the first quarter of 2016 to the first quarter of 2017, but other wage indicators from the BLS did, in some cases dramatically. Hourly compensation, which includes benefits along with wages and salaries, grew 3.9 percent in the 12 months through this year’s first quarter, up from 2.4 percent a year earlier. The wages and salaries measure in the Employment Cost Index rose 2.6 percent, up from 2 percent a year before. “Taking an average of all measures points to underlying wage growth of about 3.0 percent,” Dutta wrote. Consider construction: Desperate for skilled help, builders are showering workers with pay hikes and even signing bonuses, says Joseph Natarelli, a partner and head of the construction practice at Marcum LLC, an accounting and advisory firm. Yet according to the BLS, average hourly earnings in construction rose just 2.1 percent in the year through April. Says Natarelli: “I don’t know where that data is coming from.”

Last but not least is the theory that bigger wage increases will begin to appear soon—the forces of supply and demand can’t be denied. Last year, Federal Reserve Board Principal Economist Jeremy Nalewaik released a paper called Non-Linear Phillips Curves With Inflation Regime-Switching. The thrust was that the famous curve has a sharp bend: There’s a wide range of unemployment rates where wage growth is unaffected, but below a certain threshold, wages begin to rise rapidly. “It would be unwise to assume the Phillips curve remains so flat at all levels of the unemployment rate,” Nalewaik wrote.

Some members of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), the rate-setting arm of the Federal Reserve System, seem to be swinging in Nalewaik’s direction. Eric Rosengren, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, who was once a dove on monetary policy—favoring low interest rates—has become a hawk. In a May 10 speech in Vermont, he argued that the jobless rate is on the way to “overshooting”—becoming too low for comfort. He urged three quarter-point hikes in the federal funds rate over the rest of the year, vs. the median projection of two hikes among FOMC voters. Many economists simply don’t believe wage growth will remain modest with unemployment headed toward 4 percent or lower. Says JPMorgan’s Silver: “The logic behind the Phillips curve just makes sense.”

The bottom line: Globalization and low inflation may be among the reasons U.S. workers haven’t realized bigger wage gains.
 

doghouse

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well if we're looking at the end of the chart, while its flattened the average compensation has decreased, which is effectively the same problem.
No, one's a result of the other.
 

Rambo

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Lost productivity is holding down wages. I'm busy making my first G&T, so the TL;DR version is we need robots.
hang on. we're more productive than ever as evidenced by that chart. we must be talking about different things here.
 

doghouse

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hang on. we're more productive than ever as evidenced by that chart. we must be talking about different things here.
No, our productivity flat lined, which is a reason wages aren't ticking up with the falling employment rate.
 

Rambo

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No, our productivity flat lined, which is a reason wages aren't ticking up with the falling employment rate.
but according to the chart compensation is falling, not flatlining. if they were directly correlated wouldn't the changes sync?
 

OfficePants

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but according to the chart compensation is falling, not flatlining. if they were directly correlated wouldn't the changes sync?
Don't worry Rambo, he'll post a twitter joke that will clarify everything for you.
 

InstaHate

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Maybe InstaHate can make sense of his ramblings.
Nope. Nope nope nope. Newp. Done with that noise. No point. Snark and hate, snark and hate. I learned my lesson.

Edit:
God fucking damn it.

So production comes from labor and capital, and productivity of labor is generally increased by investing in capital (labor is largely constant in its ability to produce). As our capital improves, you need fewer workers to produce more goods. Even as we become more productive, our demand for labor falls, and thus wages don't increase to the same degree as production (or productivity, I don't recall what was on the chart.) Except that the headline said something about low unemployment. So that's probably not the full story. Couple of drinks, so I'm just going off the graph (looks like a long article) .

That's one reason why productivity doesn't always lead to increase in wages. It also might be due to the weakness of unions. Companies claiming a greater share of the rent. Companies also might be relying on long term employees so it isn't going to reflect a market wage necessarily. Really it's useless unless they have at least a by sector breakdown.
 
Last edited:

Fwiffo

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I wasn't sure whether to post this here or the macroeconomic thread.

The jobs that weren't saved

"For a guy who didn't go to college, he says, the work is hard to beat: the union offered job security and enough overtime to make up to $75,000 a year, a salary that enabled him to buy his own home with an in-ground pool. Bousum's son joined him at the plant after graduating from high school.

By the end of the summer, however, they'll both be out of a job. Rexnord, a $1.9 billion company based in Milwaukee, is closing the Indianapolis plant and moving its operations to Mexico. Before that happens, some of the workers here are taking advantage of Rexnord's offer of an extra $4 to $10 an hour to train their Mexican replacements.
...
'The blue collar life is all I've known,' Bousum says, drawing from his glass of whiskey. 'How the hell am I going to survive?'
...
Between sips of whiskey at his friend's place, Brian Bousum takes the more diplomatic view. He turned down the training offer--but not because he couldn't use the money. Bousum lost that nice house after his divorce, and after breaking up with his girlfriend he has temporarily become a middle-aged couch surfer. He will likely be laid off just months before being able to tap into his pension.

What he'll miss most about Rexnord is working alongside his son, taking a moment to pray together every day. There is some government money available for retraining, but Bousum is skeptical about his ability to transition as a middle-aged machinist with a high school diploma. Though for decades, that was good enough.

After voting twice for Barack Obama, Bousum pulled the lever for Trump. He liked that Trump was at least talking about reviving American manufacturing and restoring the middle class. Now, Bousum is praying for Trump to make good--even if he knows the faith may not be rewarded."

I may have started having some sympathy for this chap until I read he pushed his son into this same dead end career right after he finished high school. Then you read further and there's a divorce, a girlfriend (what the hell, you're about to walk into oblivion with your kid and you're worried about shagging someone), and I don't know how to explain it. The man was in a bubble. He became complacent. Then he visited the sins of his complacency on his own progeny which is even more damning; bad enough to screw up your own life. Even if the President saves his plant rounds of automation investments will eliminate their jobs and give one programmer or engineer the (singular) replacement job to manage the robots.
 

Fwiffo

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How privileged are you?

"Privilege isn’t just defined by economic capital (or by race or gender, for that matter). It is increasingly defined by social and cultural capital – those intangible assets that allow people to navigate professional and personal networks to gain power and status. Upper-middle-class kids know the codes. Poorer kids don’t. And a minority student at the University of Toronto is likely to accumulate a lot more social capital than a white high-school dropout who drives a cab."

The Test - Yes/No

"Your family income – or your parents’ family income, if you’re young – is $120,000 a year or more. (That’s the approximate cutoff point for the upper one-fifth of earners.)

You grew up in a stable, two-parent household. (Children who grow up in stable families do much better than children in lone-parent or divorced families.)

Your mother graduated from university. (Maternal education is an important predictor of children’s educational attainment.)

Your folks took you to the museum/theatre when you were a kid.

Your family helped/will help you with a down payment on a house (or you helped your kids.)

You’ve been to Europe more than once.

You graduated from a good university. (Bonus point for each graduate degree.)

Most of your high-school friends went to good universities.

If there are two forks in a place setting, you know which one to use first.

You got an internship through family connections (or helped somebody else get one).

You can paddle a canoe.

You Tweet, or know people who do. (Tweeting is considered an elite activity.)"

Dear God, I said yes to all of it except the canoe and postgraduate studies. I leave kayaking and canoeing to my brother.

"My point is not that you didn’t earn your privilege. You probably did. But it’s easy to forget how much of our advantage comes from things over which we had no control. Sure, we’re smart, and we work hard. But we’re also lucky. The question then becomes what the smart and lucky owe to those who are less so, especially in a world where the gap is going to widen."

Why do I owe anything to the white high school drop out cab driver? I'm entitled to my entitlements.

"On the right hand, conservatives like to insist that anyone who works hard and plays by the rules can get ahead. But what if that is less and less true? Look at the United States, where millions of people have been caught in a devastating collapse of industries and traditional institutions, and where entire communities are being ravaged by an opioid epidemic. These people are not going to become software programmers. So now what?"

Put a cap on social security before they deplete everything?
 

Pimpernel Smith

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The Iron Law of Oligarchy is still true: large organisation = bureacracy = oligarchy.

The best way out of it, is to keep individual business units incredibly small, ideally 12 people or less. The removes the risk of social loafing and developing meaningless positions where people are involved in something vaguely to do with long term strategies or trite cost saving/safety initiatives and meetings. Small units everyone is tactically involved and delivering something.

The video assumes that technology and automation should be delivering the 3 day week. No, it will deliver higher productivity which is not necessarily a ticket to a shorter working week. I don't have a PA, or do I use a travel agency or department, I can do all of this myself, but this means there are more tasks to do. So the workload has increased.
 
Last edited:

Rambo

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https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/oct/05/japanese-woman-dies-overwork-159-hours-overtime

Japanese woman 'dies from overwork' after logging 159 hours of overtime in a month
Fate of media worker Miwa Sado, 31, piles pressure on authorities to address large number of deaths linked to labour practices




Commuters in rush hour in downtown Osaka. Japan is considering capping monthly overtime at 100 hours. Photograph: Getty

Justin McCurry in Tokyo

Thursday 5 October 2017 03.11 EDTLast modified on Thursday 5 October 2017 17.00 EDT

Japan has again been forced to confront its work culture after labour inspectors ruled that the death of a 31-year-old journalist at the country’s public broadcaster, NHK, had been caused by overwork.

Miwa Sado, who worked at the broadcaster’s headquarters in Tokyo, logged 159 hours of overtime and took only two days off in the month leading up to her death from heart failure in July 2013.

A labour standards office in Tokyo later attributed her death to karoshi (death from overwork) but her case was only made public by her former employer this week.

Sado’s death is expected to increase pressure on Japanese authorities to address the large number of deaths attributed to the punishingly long hours expected of many employees.

The announcement comes a year after a similar ruling over the death of a young employee at Dentsu advertising agency prompted a national debate over Japan’s attitude to work-life balance and calls to limit overtime.

Matsuri Takahashi was 24 when she killed herself in April 2015. Labour standards officials ruled that her death had been caused by stress brought on by long working hours. Takahashi had been working more than a 100 hours’ overtime in the months before her death.

Weeks before she died on Christmas Day 2015, she posted on social media: “I want to die.” Another message read: “I’m physically and mentally shattered.”

Her case triggered a national debate about Japan’s work practices and forced the prime minister, Shinzō Abe, to address a workplace culture that often forces employees to put in long hours to demonstrate their dedication, even if there is little evidence that it improves productivity.

The government proposes to cap monthly overtime at 100 hours and introduce penalties for companies that allow their employees to exceed the limit – measures that critics say still put workers at risk.

In its first white paper on karoshi last year, the government said one in five employees were at risk of death from overwork.

More than 2,000 Japanese killed themselves due to work-related stress in the year to March 2016, according to the government, while dozens of other victims died from heart attacks, strokes and other conditions brought on by spending too much time at work.

According to the white paper, 22.7% of companies polled between December 2015 and January 2016 said some of their employees logged more than 80 hours of overtime each month – the level at which working hours start to pose a serious risk to health.

Research shows that Japanese employees work significantly longer hours than their counterparts in the US, Britain and other developed countries. Japan’s employees used, on average, only 8.8 days of their annual leave in 2015, less than half their allowance, according to the health ministry. That compares with 100% in Hong Kong and 78% in Singapore.

Sado, a political reporter, covered the Tokyo metropolitan assembly elections and national upper house elections in June and July 2013. She died three days after the upper house elections.

Masahiko Yamauchi, a senior official in NHK’s news department, conceded that Sado’s death reflected a “problem for our organisation as a whole, including the labour system and how elections are covered”.

Yamauchi said NHK had waited three years to make Sado’s death public out of respect for her family, according to Kyodo news.

In a statement issued through NHK, Sado’s parents said: “Even today, four years on, we cannot accept our daughter’s death as a reality. We hope that the sorrow of a bereaved family will not be wasted.”

In the UK the Samaritans can be contacted on 116 123. In the US, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. In Australia, the crisis support service Lifeline is on 13 11 14. Other international suicide helplines can be found at www.befrienders.org.
 

Monkeyface

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https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/oct/05/japanese-woman-dies-overwork-159-hours-overtime

Japanese woman 'dies from overwork' after logging 159 hours of overtime in a month
Fate of media worker Miwa Sado, 31, piles pressure on authorities to address large number of deaths linked to labour practices




Commuters in rush hour in downtown Osaka. Japan is considering capping monthly overtime at 100 hours. Photograph: Getty

Justin McCurry in Tokyo

Thursday 5 October 2017 03.11 EDTLast modified on Thursday 5 October 2017 17.00 EDT

Japan has again been forced to confront its work culture after labour inspectors ruled that the death of a 31-year-old journalist at the country’s public broadcaster, NHK, had been caused by overwork.

Miwa Sado, who worked at the broadcaster’s headquarters in Tokyo, logged 159 hours of overtime and took only two days off in the month leading up to her death from heart failure in July 2013.

A labour standards office in Tokyo later attributed her death to karoshi (death from overwork) but her case was only made public by her former employer this week.

Sado’s death is expected to increase pressure on Japanese authorities to address the large number of deaths attributed to the punishingly long hours expected of many employees.

The announcement comes a year after a similar ruling over the death of a young employee at Dentsu advertising agency prompted a national debate over Japan’s attitude to work-life balance and calls to limit overtime.

Matsuri Takahashi was 24 when she killed herself in April 2015. Labour standards officials ruled that her death had been caused by stress brought on by long working hours. Takahashi had been working more than a 100 hours’ overtime in the months before her death.

Weeks before she died on Christmas Day 2015, she posted on social media: “I want to die.” Another message read: “I’m physically and mentally shattered.”

Her case triggered a national debate about Japan’s work practices and forced the prime minister, Shinzō Abe, to address a workplace culture that often forces employees to put in long hours to demonstrate their dedication, even if there is little evidence that it improves productivity.

The government proposes to cap monthly overtime at 100 hours and introduce penalties for companies that allow their employees to exceed the limit – measures that critics say still put workers at risk.

In its first white paper on karoshi last year, the government said one in five employees were at risk of death from overwork.

More than 2,000 Japanese killed themselves due to work-related stress in the year to March 2016, according to the government, while dozens of other victims died from heart attacks, strokes and other conditions brought on by spending too much time at work.

According to the white paper, 22.7% of companies polled between December 2015 and January 2016 said some of their employees logged more than 80 hours of overtime each month – the level at which working hours start to pose a serious risk to health.

Research shows that Japanese employees work significantly longer hours than their counterparts in the US, Britain and other developed countries. Japan’s employees used, on average, only 8.8 days of their annual leave in 2015, less than half their allowance, according to the health ministry. That compares with 100% in Hong Kong and 78% in Singapore.

Sado, a political reporter, covered the Tokyo metropolitan assembly elections and national upper house elections in June and July 2013. She died three days after the upper house elections.

Masahiko Yamauchi, a senior official in NHK’s news department, conceded that Sado’s death reflected a “problem for our organisation as a whole, including the labour system and how elections are covered”.

Yamauchi said NHK had waited three years to make Sado’s death public out of respect for her family, according to Kyodo news.

In a statement issued through NHK, Sado’s parents said: “Even today, four years on, we cannot accept our daughter’s death as a reality. We hope that the sorrow of a bereaved family will not be wasted.”

In the UK the Samaritans can be contacted on 116 123. In the US, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. In Australia, the crisis support service Lifeline is on 13 11 14. Other international suicide helplines can be found at www.befrienders.org.
What does 100 hours of overtime per month mean? If 40 hours is a standard workweek, then 100 hours extra/month would mean only 60 hours a week? I’ve never worked below 70 since the start of my career, so does that mean I’m going to die soon too?
 

fxh

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What does 100 hours of overtime per month mean? If 40 hours is a standard workweek, then 100 hours extra/month would mean only 60 hours a week? I’ve never worked below 70 since the start of my career, so does that mean I’m going to die soon too?
It means you are inefficient if you can't get your job done in normal hours.
 

fxh

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Most Japanese white collar jobs involve a major degree of presenteeism
 

Pimpernel Smith

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This is oddly specific.
It comes from specific research into social loafing.

I believe the upper limit for a coherent group with optimal cooperation is about 150 people. 12 is just a random number.
12 is not a random number at all. It comes from theories on social loafing.

Most Japanese white collar jobs involve a major degree of presenteeism
Indeed, that's why it is not unusual for Japanese salary men to sleep at their desks, or individuals nod off during meetings. All socially acceptable. As is, only arranging meetings in the afternoon, in case the manager has been to his favourite whisky bar the night before.
 

InstaHate

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I’ve not seen social loafing as a primary topic of interest in an article in an elite journal published after 1995, so it is probably a subject that has been “researched out.”

There isn’t any specific number because there are far too many moderators of the relationship between group size and the degree of social loafing. A quick skimming of the literature suggests: individualism (strengthens the relationship between size and SL), number of tasks assigned to the group (weakens), complexity of the tasks (weakens), task attractiveness (weakens), task interdependence (weakens), group tenure (u-shaped), average individual job tenure (don’t recall), degree of oversight (weakens), outcome salience (weakens), value congruence (weakens), visibility (weakens), etc. With that many interactions, even a size range is pretty meaningless (which is one reason no research is going to give a solid magic number for optimum group size to balance social loafing with productivity gains from group size; another major reason is that there are other more important mediating mechanisms in the relationship between group size and productivity)

A meta-analysis in JPSP is a good place to start for anyone interested in SL: Karau & Williams (1993)

The seminal work on the issue is also in JPSP: Latane, Williams, & Harkins (1979)

Other research in top journals on the subject:
Brewer & Kramer (1986) JPSP
Earley (1989) ASQ
Harkins & Petty (1982) JPSP
Jackson & Williams (1985) JPSP
Liden, Wayne, Jaworski, & Bennet (2004) JOM
Williams & Karau (1991) JPSP
Zaccaro (1974) PSPB

What is clear is that there is a positive relationship between size and social loafing, and that the relationship is linear (or at least no curvilinear effects have been found).
 

Pimpernel Smith

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I’ve not seen social loafing as a primary topic of interest in an article in an elite journal published after 1995, so it is probably a subject that has been “researched out.”

There isn’t any specific number because there are far too many moderators of the relationship between group size and the degree of social loafing. A quick skimming of the literature suggests: individualism (strengthens the relationship between size and SL), number of tasks assigned to the group (weakens), complexity of the tasks (weakens), task attractiveness (weakens), task interdependence (weakens), group tenure (u-shaped), average individual job tenure (don’t recall), degree of oversight (weakens), outcome salience (weakens), value congruence (weakens), visibility (weakens), etc. With that many interactions, even a size range is pretty meaningless (which is one reason no research is going to give a solid magic number for optimum group size to balance social loafing with productivity gains from group size; another major reason is that there are other more important mediating mechanisms in the relationship between group size and productivity)

A meta-analysis in JPSP is a good place to start for anyone interested in SL: Karau & Williams (1993)

The seminal work on the issue is also in JPSP: Latane, Williams, & Harkins (1979)

Other research in top journals on the subject:
Brewer & Kramer (1986) JPSP
Earley (1989) ASQ
Harkins & Petty (1982) JPSP
Jackson & Williams (1985) JPSP
Liden, Wayne, Jaworski, & Bennet (2004) JOM
Williams & Karau (1991) JPSP
Zaccaro (1974) PSPB

What is clear is that there is a positive relationship between size and social loafing, and that the relationship is linear (or at least no curvilinear effects have been found).
Out in the real world, it's still relevant and considered by the big consultancies and in industrial psychology.

I bet social loafing research has been cited more times in subsequent research than A. Chatterjee's and D.C. Hambrick's seminal study ''It's All About Me: Narcissistic Chief Executive Officers and Their Effects on Company Strategy and Performance''.
 

InstaHate

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Oh absolutely (though Hambrick & Mason,1984 has more cites than the major works on social loafing).

Just because something isn’t researched anymore doesn’t mean it isn’t relevant. It just means that the topic has been so well explored that there really isn’t anything new to uncover. Social loafing is extraordinarily well understood, which is why so few people research it now.
 
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