By keeping us focused on ourselves and our individual happiness, DWYL distracts us from the working conditions of others while validating our own choices and relieving us from obligations to all who labor, whether or not they love it. It is the secret handshake of the privileged and a worldview that disguises its elitism as noble self-betterment. According to this way of thinking, labor is not something one does for compensation, but an act of self-love. If profit doesn’t happen to follow, it is because the worker’s passion and determination were insufficient. Its real achievement is making workers believe their labor serves the self and not the marketplace. [...]The whole thing is worth a read—even if, like me, you do love what you do.
Ironically, DWYL reinforces exploitation even within the so-called lovable professions where off-the-clock, underpaid, or unpaid labor is the new norm: reporters required to do the work of their laid-off photographers, publicists expected to Pin and Tweet on weekends, the 46 percent of the workforce expected to check their work email on sick days. Nothing makes exploitation go down easier than convincing workers that they are doing what they love.
A fair day's wage
- You can go see Misty Upham onscreen with Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts in August: Osage County. So you might think she's the kind of person who can hire someone to clean her big house for her, not a domestic worker like the character she plays in the movie. But in fact, she was cleaning houses for a living at the time she was asked to audition for the movie, and she's written a great piece about that:
For many years, domestic workers have worked in relative invisibility—unseen, unprotected and undervalued. Most are excluded from basic federal and state labor laws that protect the rest of us from workplace abuses, wage theft, and unpaid overtime. And their work is not just practical, but emotional as well. Like Johnna, domestic workers often report for work during a family’s most trying, intimate moments. Whether the need is for childcare as new parents navigate their emotional return to the workplace, or like the Westons, for elder care when a parent receives a difficult diagnosis, domestic workers provide positive solutions when families need them most.
Where the film’s fiction and the real world diverge is in the way domestic workers today are changing their circumstances by organizing and mobilizing. Across the country, hundreds of thousands of workers are waging—and winning—campaigns to pass domestic worker bill of rights laws that restore basic labor protections to this vital workforce. In September 2013, the National Domestic Workers Alliance and Caring Across Generations—two organizations that I actively support and encourage you to explore—joined allies across the country in celebrating a historic victory when the Department of Labor updated its regulations to extend minimum wage and overtime protection to millions of the nation’s homecare workers. This landmark change is just the beginning of the road to opportunity for this workforce. More is needed, including a living wage.
- Hey Macklemore, can we go new wireless provider shopping?
- Tennessee Republicans want to roll back a law requiring meal breaks for workers who've worked six consecutive hours.
- The fable of dependency: How the GOP kills unemployment benefits.
- Go, team!
The Raiderettes, cheerleaders for the NFL’s Oakland Raiders, sued the franchise in a California court Wednesday, alleging that the team failed to pay them for all hours worked and engaged in other unfair employment practices.
According to the suit, the Raiders withheld the cheerleaders’ annual pay until after the season ended and forced them to pay for many of their other expenses, the San Jose Mercury News reported. Their annual salary, according to the suit, is $1,250, which works out to less than $5 per hour worked once games, practice, and other events are included (the California minimum wage is currently $8 per hour).
- Fan-freaking-tastic. The postal service is putting outlets in Staples stores using Staples' low-wage workers rather than postal workers making a living wage and benefits.
- Lovely. Concerns about privatizing airport security further. Because, again, we want our lives monitored by low-wage workers rather than professionals who stay on the job for a while?
- Kellogg's cereal has locked out its overwhelmingly black Memphis workforce and brought in scabs rather than bargain a reasonable contract.
- Rep. Charlie Rangel and nine New York City councilmembers were among the 32 arrested rallying for higher wages for LaGuardia airport workers.
- What would it look like if magazines covered single mothers like they cover celebrities?
- Republicans are always trying to push vouchers in urban areas. So why don't Republicans want school vouchers in places Republicans actually live?
- Oh, look. Another charter school opening in a rich area to serve rich kids. The big nod to diversity here is that they didn't actually locate the charter school inside the gated community.
- New York's all-day pre-K plan: Good for teachers?
- Diane Ravitch:
An independent investigation found that nearly half of Chicago’s charter schools are under-enrolled, but the mayor-controlled school board plans to open more. This will drain more students and resources from the public schools. Mayor Emanuel hopes to destroy public education as his legacy to the city.