After Years Without a Grocery Store, Greensboro Neighbors Are Building One Themselves—And They’ll Own It by Dave Reed — YES! Magazine

Fed up with essentially begging for access to quality food, residents of this predominantly African-American and low-income neighborhood decided to open their own grocery store.

via After Years Without a Grocery Store, Greensboro Neighbors Are Building One Themselves—And They’ll Own It by Dave Reed — YES! Magazine.

Jimmy John’s Makes Low-Wage Workers Sign ‘Oppressive’ Noncompete Agreements

JIMMY JOHNS

 

Jimmy John’s Makes Low-Wage Workers Sign ‘Oppressive’ Noncompete Agreements.

A Jimmy John’s employment agreement provided to The Huffington Post includes a “non-competition” clause that’s surprising in its breadth. Noncompete agreements are typically reserved for managers or employees who could clearly exploit a business’s inside information by jumping to a competitor. But at Jimmy John’s, the agreement apparently applies to low-wage sandwich makers and delivery drivers, too.

By signing the covenant, the worker agrees not to work at one of the sandwich chain’s competitors for a period of two years following employment at Jimmy John’s. But the company’s definition of a “competitor” goes far beyond the Subways and Potbellys of the world. It encompasses any business that’s near a Jimmy John’s location and that derives a mere 10 percent of its revenue from sandwiches.

From the agreement:

Employee covenants and agrees that, during his or her employment with the Employer and for a period of two (2) years after … he or she will not have any direct or indirect interest in or perform services for … any business which derives more than ten percent (10%) of its revenue from selling submarine, hero-type, deli-style, pita and/or wrapped or rolled sandwiches and which is located with three (3) miles of either [the Jimmy John's location in question] or any such other Jimmy John’s Sandwich Shop.

It isn’t clear what sort of trade secrets a low-wage sandwich artist might be privy to that would warrant such a contract. A Jimmy John’s spokeswoman said the company wouldn’t comment.

The noncompete agreement is now part of a proposed class-action lawsuit filed this summer against Jimmy John’s and one of its franchisees. As HuffPost reported in August, Jimmy John’s workers recently brought two lawsuits accusing the company of engaging in wage theft by forcing employees to work off the clock.

5 Recent Examples of How Bad Silicon Valley Class Warfare Is :: Tech :: Lists :: Paste

5 Recent Examples of How Bad Silicon Valley Class Warfare Is :: Tech :: Lists :: Paste.

5 Recent Examples of How Bad Silicon Valley Class Warfare Is

While its residents toil away finding brilliant ways of disrupting our lives through groundbreaking technological innovations, Silicon Valley has become a place so ridiculous and prone to self-parody that TV shows mocking it are basically documentaries. But while its culture of extreme hubris mixed with extreme nerdiness may be amusing on its own, combined with the massive amounts of money flowing into the region, a decidedly 21st century form of class tension has emerged in the San Francisco Bay Area.

While this is far from a full examination of the complex socioeconomic implications of this trend, here are five particularly egregious examples of recent class warfare in Silicon Valley.

1. “In Downtown San Francisco the Degenerates Gather Like Hyenas”

Greg Gopman runs AngelHack, a startup that offers helpful services to other startups like hackathon planning, recruiting, and community management. Unfortunately, he’s not nearly as charitable towards those whose problems can’t be solved with clever coding. Here’s a fun game to play while reading these quotesfrom his Facebook page: modern day actual human being or cartoon 19th century Charles Dickens villain?

“In other cosmopolitan cities, the lower parts of society keep to themselves. They sell small trinkets, beg coyly, stay quiet, and generally stay out of your way. They realize it’s a privilege to be in the civilized part of town and view themselves as guests.”

“In downtown SF the degenerates gather like hyenas, spit, urinate, taunt you, sell drugs, get rowdy, they act like they own the center of the city, like it’s their place of leisure.”

“I’ve traveled around the world and I gotta say there is nothing more grotesque than walking down Market Street in San Francisco. Why the heart of our city has to be overrun by crazy, homeless, drug dealers, dropouts, and trash I have no clue. Each time I pass it my love affair with SF dies a little.”

greggopman.jpg

He would later go on to apologize in the Facebook post above, but his Facebook friends didn’t seem to have a problem with the distasteful things he said.

2. The Great Google Bus Hoax

With housing near Silicon Valley itself become ever scarcer, many of its employees live in towns up to 40 miles away. So companies like Google began deploying private shuttles to ferry their workers to and from their offices. However, these buses soon became the automobile embodiment of Silicon Valley’s poisonous influence on nearby communities whether it’s obnoxious private use of public services like bus stops, gentrification like skyrocketing rent costs in areas near the stops, or the idea that Google could make the whole thing just go away by throwing some money towards transit for low-income children.

But the whole episode reached a new level of insanity late last year when protesters actually hired an actor to pretend to be a Google employee saying things so horrible they were literally unbelievable, “This is a city for the right people who can afford it. You can’t afford it? You can leave. I’m sorry, get a better job.” And even though protesters later clarified that this was merely an act of “political theater,” the surprisingly large number of people actually fooled by the hoax demonstrates how the fact of Silicon Valley class warfare is now stranger than any fiction.

3. Six Californias

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As the continued struggles of Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico have shown us, adding just one more star to the United States flag is pretty tough. But if tech investor Tim Draper had his way we’d be adding five with his “Six Californias” plan. The logic goes like this: California is a huge, densely populated state with lots of disparate groups of people that can’t be effectively served by a single state government. So let’s split it up into six smaller states that can better handle more local issues and concerns.

Sounds reasonable enough, but then start looking at the specifics of the plan. These six new hypothetical Californias would include Jefferson, North California, Central California, West California, South California, and of course, Silicon Valley. Setting aside just how dystopian the idea of Silicon Valley as an actual state with its own license plates and technocratic government would be, the separation would also siphon wealth, political power, and precious resources like water away from poorer areas. Fortunately, the initiative failed to qualify as a 2016 ballot measure, so would-be residents of the great state of Silicon Valley will have to wait to realize their dream of finally freeing themselves from the burden that is the rest of the country.

4. SketchFactor

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One of the great successes of modern society, at least here in America, is that we’ve made outright racism mostly unacceptable. If someone were to say something as blatantly awful as “I don’t want to walk through that neighborhood. There are too many black people,” most would agree that’s pretty uncool.

Unfortunately, nowadays it’s as easy as switching to a simple code word to share one’s fear and distaste for “the others.” And there’s even an app for it. SketchFactor uses crowdsourced user data to rank how “sketchy” certain neighborhoods are and determine whether or not to avoid them. However, many worry that by depending on information as reliable as the gut feelings of anonymous Silicon Valley dwellers predominantly minority and lower-income communities will be disproportionately, negatively affected by digital white flight. But don’t take our word for it, download the app yourself and try to spot the institutional racism in action.

5. Tinder Minus Poor People

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And finally, continuing the theme of removing inherently inferior people out of one’s life from the comfort of a smartphone screen comes LUXY, self-described as “Tinder minus the poor people.” It’s understandable that people are drawn to those similar to them, and a person’s wealth can definitely make them more or less attractive. But nothing better sums up Silicon Valley’s current mantra of “technology as a tool for class stratification” than an app that strategically plucks out less affluent users looking for love so rich people can get together and have lots of rich babies that dominate the world.

From the LUXY press release: “Who doesn’t want to date somebody both attractive and wealthy? Privately, we all know we prefer to have both of these things. One user said: ‘Tinder was pretty awesome when it came out, but there’s a lot of riff raff on there. I would rather know the guy has a couple bucks in his pocket.’ With the rise of high-speed digital dating, it’s about time somebody introduced a filter to weed out low-income prospects by neighborhood.”

Riff raff.

 

Student Talks with His Former Teacher About How He Helped His Mom to Make Ends Meet When He Was a Kid

Student Talks with His Former Teacher About How He Helped His Mom to Make Ends Meet When He Was a Kid.

In the most recent episode of the animated video series from StoryCorps, A young college man named Noe Rueda talks with his former teacher Alex Fernandez about his childhood and how he found inventive ways to help his mom to make ends meet while growing up poor in Chicago.

Noe Rueda grew up poor in Little Village, a neighborhood on Chicago’s West Side. As young as 8 years old, Noe often relied on his entrepreneurial talents to help his mom and three siblings make ends meet. At StoryCorps, Noe tells his high school teacher Alex Fernandez about his childhood, and Alex shares his dreams for Noe’s future.

What Would a Real ‘Right to Work’ Look Like?

Originally posted on Notes on a Theory...:

I just asked this question on Twitter, and realized I wasn’t going to be able to explain it  in 140 characters.  So I thought I’d elaborate here. First, the question:

There has been a lot of talk about how we need to reframe the horribly inaptly named “right to work” laws, which essentially require unions to represent workers who refuse to join or otherwise support the union in any way.  Since no one is ever required to join a union, this whole framing in nonsense, a cover for a policy designed to weaken unions that can’t be defended on the merits.

‘Right to work for less’ is a common one, but it is fairly clunky.  I like the idea of ‘loafer laws’ or even better, ‘freeloader laws’…

View original 320 more words

Rice Bucket Challenge: Put Rice In Bucket, Do Not Pour Over Head : Goats and Soda : NPR

via Rice Bucket Challenge: Put Rice In Bucket, Do Not Pour Over Head : Goats and Soda : NPR.

More than a million people worldwide have poured buckets of ice water over their heads as part of a fund-raising campaign for ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease.

But when word of the challenge made its way to India, where more than 100 million peoplelack access to clean drinking water, locals weren’t exactly eager to drench themselves with the scarce supply.

And so, a spinoff was born.

Manju Kalanidhi, a 38-year-old journalist from Hyderabad who reports on the global rice market, put her own twist on the challenge. She calls her version the Rice Bucket Challenge, but don’t worry, no grains of rice went to waste.

Instead, they went to the hungry.

“I personally think the [Ice Bucket Challenge] is ideal for the American demographic,” she says. “But in India, we have loads of other causes to promote.”

Kalanidhi came up with a desi version — that’s a Hindi word to describe something Indian. She chose to focus on hunger. A third of India’s 1.2 billion people live on less than $1.25 USD a day, and a kilogram of rice, or 2 pounds, costs between 80 cents and a dollar. A family of four would go through roughly 45 pounds of rice a month, she says.

That’s why she’s challenging people to give a bucket of rice, cooked or uncooked, to a person in need. Snap a photo, share it online and, just as with the Ice Bucket Challenge, nominate friends to take part, she suggests. For those who want to help more than one person at a time, she recommends donating to a food charity.

Kalanidhi kicked off the campaign Friday, giving nearly 50 pounds of rice to her 55-year-old neighbor. He has a family of five to feed and makes a living selling breakfast to the neighborhood. But if he falls sick, his business suffers.

She took a photo with her neighbor, along with the rice, and posted it on her personal Facebook page. Responses poured in by the hundreds, prompting her to create a page for the campaign on Saturday. It received a hundred likes in just five hours. As of today, the number of likes has topped 40,000 in what she calls a “social tsunami.”

With 3 to 4 billion people in the world depending on rice as a dietary staple, the challenge has spread beyond India’s borders. People in California, Canada and Hong Kong are among the participants.

Based on the photos, Kalanidhi estimates that at least 200 people have taken part and more than 4,000 pounds of rice have been donated. Another 4,850 pounds were donated Wednesday by 2,200 students at Apoorva Degree College in a town near Hyderabad, she says.

The photos have been pouring in: Radio hosts, police officers, doctors and students have all taken part.

What if a recipient doesn’t want to be photographed — or if the donor thinks it’s not a good idea to take a picture? No worries, says Kalanidhi. A photo of the rice bucket will do.