Posts tagged automation

    Amazon’s new robot can recognize objects!

    November 16, 2022 // The company says it can run operations more efficiently and safely by using robots in its warehouses. Amazon, “Sparrow “By taking on repetitive tasks, it will allow our employees to focus their time and energy on other things, while also increasing safety.” sparrow, It will help us increase efficiency by automating a critical part of our order fulfillment process so we can continue to deliver fast to our customers.” He added that he was able to create more than 700 new job categories using robots.

    Op-ed: Competition key to determining effects of increased unionization

    September 27, 2022 // We often take it for granted that businesses would prefer to bargain individually with workers, rather than collectively through a union. A cynical explanation might be that profit-hungry corporations prioritize greed over worker welfare, but academic research offers some deeper insight. It shows that companies that are unionized experience reductions in product quality and face a higher likelihood of going out of business. Professors Omesh Kini (Georgia State University), Mo Shen (Auburn University), Jaideep Shenoy (University of Connecticut) and Venkat Subramaniam (Tulane University) find that unionized manufacturers experience a higher rate of product recalls than non-unionized companies.

    Before the holiday season, workers at America’s busiest ports are fighting the robots

    September 13, 2022 // The need for some kind of change is evident. The Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are consistently rated the least efficient in the world. More modern ports in the Middle East and China, where 24/7 operations are the norm, get ships in and out much faster.

    Another Weirdness of the COVID Labor Market

    September 2, 2022 // The early retirements problem came into view as pandemic unemployment “cleared” and the labor market returned to status quo ante. The 65-plus group accounts for between 50 percent and 100 percent of the decline in the population-to-employment ratio, amounting to .7 percent of the entire workforce, perhaps a million or so workers, and about half that number were among those who chose to hang up their cleats ahead of time. These early retirements are interacting with the overall market in some unique ways. In a normal recession, businesses tend to cut labor costs through automation. As the old jobs are eliminated, workers are “reallocated,” meaning they move into new occupations. The NBER study finds that the COVID-19 recession saw almost no reallocation except in low-skill leisure and hospitality occupations. In the meantime, the number of workers in professional occupations grew as a share of the labor market. This relative expansion of professional jobs was also accompanied by “downskilling” (i.e., the relaxation of educational and experience requirements reflected in help-wanted ads) as firms responded to the tight labor market by making it easier for less credentialed workers to qualify for openings further up the value chain.

    Already strained supply chain at risk in ongoing port labor talks

    June 22, 2022 // Both Tirschwell and Larian point out that it wouldn't take a strike or a management lockout to slow or stop the flow of cargo. In the past, union members have slowed cargo simply by following strictly the terms of their existing contact, rather than trying to work most effectively. "Maybe they won't go on strike, but they can slow down everything," said Larian, the toymaker CEO. "A strike is very unlikely. A lockout is very unlikely," said Tirschwell. "But there's a definite possibility of an industrial action that disrupts the flow of cargo. That's what happened for six months in 2014 and 2015." Jim McKenna, Isaac Larian, Peter Tirschwell,

    What West Coast ports’ labor negotiations mean for your packages

    May 27, 2022 // The employers’ right to automate their operations has become a prominent issue in the contract. The 2002 deal introduced new technologies such as scanners and character-recognition technology, while the 2008 pact explicitly authorized automation. Last year, Total Terminals International LLC announced its intention to fully automate its Long Beach operations, a project the ILWU strongly opposed. This would make it San Pedro Bay’s fourth terminal with some automation out of the port complex’s 14 hubs.

    Could Netflix be the next big tech company to unionize?

    May 20, 2022 // Netflix’s updated dictum is a clear message that it doesn’t plan to change its content menu to cater to the tastes of its workforce. But as the Netflix worker demand list indicates, some employees are simply looking to influence company culture, which may, as a byproduct, influence the choices the company makes.