US Ikea workers complain about factory conditions

There’s some controversy over working conditions at an Ikea plant in Virginia.  Apparently wages start at $8/hr, with 12 days of paid vacation (8 of which are determined by the company).  Oh, and also you’ll often be informed Friday evening that you have no choice but to work over the weekend too.  And don’t even think about unionizing.  Sweet!  It’s just like we keep saying about all those workers in China that make our cheap plastic crap.  “At least they’ve got jobs.”  I sense that we’re going to have to re-learn all of the lessons about balancing the rights of labor and capital that we already learned so bloodily about 100 years ago.  Only now, maybe we get to learn it in the context of becoming an exploited low-wage nation in a global economy.  Ikea workers doing the same jobs in Sweden make $19/hr and get 5 weeks of paid vacation a year.  And they’re all unionized.

Links for the week of December 9th, 2010

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Continue reading Links for the week of December 9th, 2010

Links for the week of November 6th, 2009

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Continue reading Links for the week of November 6th, 2009

Shared Links for Mar 11th

  • The Missing $1,000,000 Tax Bracket – There's a fair amount of debate over what the "top marginal tax rate" should be, but it's infrequently noted that there's actually vastly more variation in the income threshold at which that rate becomes applicable. In inflation adjusted dollars, it's fluctuated between around $80,000 (Regan) and $80,000,000 (!) during the Depression. Ignoring this while debating the highest income tax rate is kind of absurd. (tagged: usa tax policy )
  • True Traffic Tales – Ah, bikes and cars living harmoniously together. (tagged: cartoon bicycle transportation )
  • Evangelical Climate Initiative – A Christian take on climate change, given its reality, what is the appropriate response for a conscientious person of faith? From my point of view as an atheist, it's not so important what other peoples' motivations are for taking action, as long as they take action. I'm curious how this has been received by the evangelical movement. (tagged: religion climate science christian green )
  • Sailfish Cooperating to Hunt Sardines – I had no idea sailfish were so colorful (and changeable), let alone this cooperative. Glad National Geographic still exists, even if our maps no longer have "Terra Incognita" on them (tagged: fish cooperation nature )
  • Communicating the Second Premise: Whether Obama or Bush, Values Drive Science Policy Decisions – A good look at the division between science facts/findings and science policy in the context of stem cell research and Bush's vs. Obama's take on it. Facts alone do not imply any "shoulds". We need values to tell us what's right or wrong. Sometimes those values are so obvious we don't even think about them, and sometimes they're not, especially when new and poorly understood technology is involved. (tagged: science policy obama bush stemcells biology )