It’s officially fall, y’all! We’re back from a brief Labor-Day-week break with plenty of interesting labor-themed news (and a little dose of escapism, as a treat).
Congratulations to our forever fave and comrade, the reason for every season, Fran Drescher, who was just elected as the SAG-AFTRA union president! We hope her platform of improving union member healthcare, “strengthen[ing] contract enforcement, improv[ing] pay rates and increas[ing] residuals for streaming shows” is a massive success!
The holiday season is approaching faster than any of us really wanted, which make it a good time to try and understand the supply chain shortages sparked by the pandemic, with no certain end in sight. For those who can’t get past the New York Times paywall, we found a wonderful explainer thread from the New Orleans-based SF/F bookstore Tubby & Coo’s. TL;DR: we live in hell, please be extra chill to retail and postal workers!!!
Elsewhere in the world of precarious work, if you read nothing else this week, please give this impressively reported article on the revolt of the delivery workers in New York City your time. We honestly had no idea how much real danger these workers face, and were equally impressed by their organizing efforts solidarity with one another:
For Cesar and many other delivery workers, the thefts broke something loose. Some started protesting and lobbying, partnering with nonprofits and city officials to propose legislation. Cesar and the Deliveryboys took another tack, forming a civil guard reminiscent of the one that patrolled San Juan Puerto Montaña, the small, mostly Indigenous Me’phaa village where they are from. That night, the space under the RFK overpass was a makeshift but welcoming way station… Some workers lingered only long enough for a quick fist bump before forming a convoy and departing. But a rotating crew of around a dozen stayed and chatted — sharing stories about who got in an accident and how they’re doing, how orders had slowed lately. Cesar, who hopes to be a video editor, livestreamed his nightly broadcast to the Deliveryboys page. It was something between a news bulletin and a pledge drive, with Cesar interviewing workers, thanking people for donating food, and shouting out to his viewers, who number in the thousands and tune in from Staten Island to their hometown in Mexico.
After tipping your delivery workers generously, you may now proceed to briefly escape into the world of the rich and famous, with a long look at last night’s Americana-themed Met Gala.
Until next week, stay cool and kind!