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Global News and Analysis

How European Workers Coordinated This Month’s Massive Amazon Strike—And What Comes Next

Source: In These Times

As Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ net worth topped $150 billion last week, making him the richest man in modern history, thousands of Amazon workers across Europe went on strike.

The work stoppage, which lasted three days at some facilities, was one of the largest labor actions against Amazon to date, and the first to receive widespread coverage in the U.S. media. But the strikes and protests in Spain, Germany and Poland were just the latest in an escalating series of actions against Amazon in Europe, where workers belonging to both conventional unions and militant workers’ organizations are forging a transnational movement against the internet juggernaut. read more

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Global News and Analysis

The Adjunct’s Lament

Source: In These Times

Even in the ivory tower, work is often solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short.

“She was a professor?” That’s the question an incredulous caseworker asked when confronted with the predicament of Margaret Mary Vojtko, an 83-year-old French teacher who spent the final months of her life destitute and nearly homeless before dying on September 1. The story of her death has become the symbol of a surprising economic reality: “Adjunct professors are the new working poor,” as one CNN headline proclaimed. read more

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Global News and Analysis

Are Co-ops the Answer?

Source: In These Times

Around the world, people are democratizing the workplace.

Long before the Occupy movement sparked renewed protest of rising inequality, another global movement was quietly engaged in building a more democratic economy. From coffee growers in Kenya seeking a fair market price to worker-owned green businesses reviving the American Rust Belt, cooperatives are helping to spur a reinvention of work in a period of worldwide recession.

Globally, an estimated 1 billion people are members of cooperatives, and many believe that the scope of worker- and member-owned enterprises across the world represents a revolution already in the making. With combined earnings rivaling Canada’s GDP, co-ops could be the fastest-growing business model by the end of the decade. To promote awareness of their potential, the United Nations has declared 2012 the “International Year of Cooperatives.” Cooperative organizers, though they have generally worked on a separate track from protest movements, have called on Occupy and other mass movements to help build “an economy worth occupying.” read more