Bangladesh, whose garment industry is second only to China’s in size, is responding to both international and domestic pressure and undergoing the most radical revamping of worker safety it has ever seen, in large part due to consumer and client pressure.Read More
After a major fire, labor standards in Bangladesh are improving, but workers must have a voice if these changes are to be sustainable.Read More
Americans don’t save enough - in 2005, Americans’ personal savings rate was negative for the first time since the Great Depression ─ instead of piling up savings, we are piling up debt. Two behavioral economics columns on how switching signup for a 401K plan from opt-in (say yes to be enrolled) to opt-out (say no to be un-enrolled) dramatically raises enrollment rates.Read More
The minimum wage issue has been debated endlessly, with arguments both for and against its effectiveness. An increase, tested in some states and enacted in others, immeasurably betters the quality of life for low-income families.Read More
In prison, most inmates are alienated from social practices and can be a tax burden for the states. The Colorado Correctional Industries is a program that positions inmates in different forms of labor such as making stuffed toys, farming fish, picking fruit, tending livestock, and creating crafts to be sold at grocery stores. The program makes inmates into taxpayers instead of tax burdens and offers skills that are useful for future employment once they leave prison.Read More
America’s system of health care is based on an old industrial-era model, without taking into account a decentralized, mobile, independent workforce that remains largely unprotected without health and unemployment insurance. The Freelancers Insurance Company, based in New York State, offers competitive premiums by having their executives receive salaries at low wages. The model keeps costs under control, which in turn makes health care more accessible to independent workers.Read More
Companies who outsource often fuel the race to the bottom for global workers' standards. Two companies, Digital Divide Data and Samasource, offer a model for outsourcing which is profitable and also prioritizes social impact.Read More
After years of banning labor unions in Bangladesh, garment workers unionized to fight for higher wages and safer working conditions. For women, this isn't traditionally a space they were welcomed in, but now they’re holding their own meetings to ensure women’s safety is ensured on the job.Read More
Throughout India, wastepickers – people who scour landfills for garbage they can sell to recyclers – live at the bottom of society. But the city of Pune did something radical: with the help of a collective, they did away with expensive garbage trucks, and now all household garbage is collected by wastepickers with pushcarts. Pune saves millions of dollars each year and recycles more – and the wastepickers have decent wages and social standing. The concept is now spreading globally.Read More
Many independent workers feel that the battle for affordable health insurance is one they are losing. The Freelancers Union is working to provide protections for “contingent” workers that go beyond just health care.Read More
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