Thursday, June 22, 2017

Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Alex Collinson discusses how insecure work makes it impossible to reliably structure an individual's life:
Many respondents told us about how difficult it is to budget without knowing how much you’ll be earning from one week to the next.
The number of hours we are given every week changes, which sometimes makes it difficult to make ends meet.
Concerns about bills and budgets causes sleepless nights. These concerns also force those in insecure work to take any shift they’re offered, regardless of the personal impact.
It isn’t steady and I hardly get work but always have to be available to work just in case they phone. When they do phone I have to drop everything and say yes otherwise I can’t pay bills.
The precarious financial situation created by insecure work puts all of the power in the employers’ hands. It provides employers with the freedom and financial benefits of a flexible workforce, while burdening workers with financial risks and worries.
It’s not just the worker that loses out from insecure working.

The rise of low-paid self-employment and zero hours contracts is costing the economy billions every year in lost tax revenues.

That means we all lose out as a result of employers using zero hours contracts and shady “self-employment”.
- McKinsey examines the economic gains which would result from fairness for women in the workplace. And Michael Reich, Sylvia Allegretto and Anna Godoey are the latest to find that Seattle's minimum wage hike produced substantial wage gains while doing nothing to limit the availability of jobs, while Doruk Cengiz, Arindrajit Dube, Attila Lindner and Ben Zipperer find (PDF) similar results over a large number of U.S. minimum wage increases.

- Ben Doherty reports on a new study showing that Australia (like many other countries) is failing to adequately plan for the security and humanitarian consequences of climate change. The Economist discusses how our oceans are being used as dumping grounds rather than being treated with any respect or foresight. And Lynda Collins, Dayna Scott and David Boyd argue that we should ensure potentially dangerous chemicals are restricted until proven safe, rather than encouraging their deployment until their harms are indisputable.

- Marc Lee notes that British Columbia has plenty of fiscal room to fund the social policies which form the basis for the NDP/Green governing agreement. But Nick Falvo points out the challenges facing Saskatchewan and other oil-reliant provinces which have failed to account for the volatility of resource prices - but which still have a long way to go in meeting basic social requirements.

- Finally, Tammy Robert highlights the gap between Brad Wall's long-cultivated image, and the arrogance and gloom that surround his government. And Geoff Leo connects the dots between the Global Transportation Hub, Brightenview and the continued abuse of pay-for-play immigration schemes.

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