👓 Have y’all been following what’s happening with Instacart this week?

Read a thread by Sasha PerigoSasha Perigo (Twitter)

Have y’all been following what’s happening with Instacart this week? The company is retaliating against workers, and it’s really, really bad. I’m going to share what I know in a thread.  Instacart is a grocery delivery service. “Shoppers” are the workers who pick up items at the store and deliver them to customers.

Instacart keeps wages really, really low. A Shopper in Menlo Park says she makes a few hundred a week.

Shoppers went on strike this week with two demands:
- The app increase the default tip option from 5% to 10%.
- Instacart stop charging “service fees” and pocketing them. Instacart not only didn’t honor the workers strike demands, but they retaliated and cut pay further!

They cut bonuses which can be up to 40% of the workers’ income.

The workers are contractors so they aren’t as protected from this retaliation.

Instacart Shoppers wrote a Medium post explaining what’s happening to them and asking for software engineers and other employees to speak out against their bosses. @GoogleWalkout shared it today.

Instacart flagged it to Medium, and it’s been TAKEN DOWN!
link.medium.com/VW7Oy3D9r1

What can you do?
- Share this story widely and generate bad press for @Instacart.
- DON’T use Instacart right now.
- Organize with the gig workers at your company. Their struggle is your own!
- Follow @GigWorkersRise for updates and donate to support them.

mentions 

Calling Instacart to give them negative customer feedback could help turn this around too.

If you're a customer who's boycotting, let them know!

👓 WTF Is Going on at Wright State? | Inside Higher Ed

Read WTF Is Going on at Wright State? (Inside Higher Ed)
It's ugly, but it was foreseeable, maybe even inevitable.

The glut of Ph.D. graduates is slowly killing academia. We need a better pathway for highly educated people to do something besides teach with these degrees because there just aren’t enough spots to employ them all.

I’m curious what other economic pressures are causing this issue and ones like it? Solidarity and unions are a stopgap at best, eventually the entire system is going to come down unless some drastic changes are made. Eventually it’ll only be the tier 1 schools that have tenure anymore, and everyone else will just be teachers. But even the tier 1 schools may have problems eventually too…

Apparently tenure numbers in rankings don’t mean enough after some point to force colleges to grant it at a reasonable level.

🎧 ‘The Daily’: Justice Kennedy’s Last Decision | New York Times

Listened to ‘The Daily’: Justice Kennedy’s Last Decision by Michael Barbaro from New York Times

With Justice Anthony Kennedy announcing his retirement from the Supreme Court, little attention was paid to his final ruling — one that could forever alter labor unions.

👓 ‘I Live Paycheck to Paycheck’: A West Virginia Teacher Explains Why She’s on Strike | New York Times

Read ‘I Live Paycheck to Paycheck’: A West Virginia Teacher Explains Why She’s on Strike by Jess Bidgood (New York Times)
We spoke to Katie Endicott, a high school English teacher, about why teachers are not returning to the classroom, despite a deal that offered them a 5 percent raise.

This is just painful to hear. We really need to double teachers’ salaries and create some competition in the market to improve schools. We really can’t afford any more uneducated people in this country.

🎧 Containers Episode 7: The Lost Docks

Listened to Containers Episode 7: The Lost Docks from Containers
It’s 1979 and containerization is sweeping through the San Francisco waterfront, leaving the old docks in ruins. As global trade explodes, a group of longshoremen band together to try to preserve the culture of work that they knew. They take pictures, create a slide show, and make sound recordings. Those recordings languished in a basement for 40 years. In this episode, we hear those archival tapes as a way of exploring the human effects of automation.

A nice bit on the human side of shipping, and in particular how things have changed for longshoremen.

As I listen to this and some of the culture discussed in the episode, I can’t help but wonder about how things change for the modern-day versions of longshoremen. So for example, a lot of programmers have some of this type of culture. I’ll admit it’s early days right now, but what happens to the class of programmers now fifty years on? Could make an interesting plot for a sci-fi story?