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March 15, 2013

DeviantArt launches new job site pairing freelancers with employers

This actually looks promising. It's so rare to see one of these massive work sites launch that isn't massively, obviously evil. Just to see one that is merely exploitative reads like a step up. DeviantArt’s New Service Turns Users Into Massive Outsourced Creative Team | The Passive Voice | Writers, Writing, Self-Publishing, Disruptive Innovation and the Universe
DeviantArt, the enormous online artist showcase, is moving into the creative services business with the launch of its new program, DreamUp. Over the past 13 years, DeviantArt has grown into one of the top 100 websites in the U.S. and has become the go-to portfolio site for DreamWorks directors, Marvel comic book artists, and millions of emerging talents. It has also become a popular spot for Kickstarter project creators to source a logo, photography, or other creative assistance. . . . . DevianArt’s new service, DreamUp, acts as a complimentary site to give art patrons a place to connect with designers, illustrators, and photographers to work on everything from story boards for a film to custom tattoo designs. With 26 million members and over 155,000 artworks uploaded every day, there’s plenty to choose from. . . . . Clients can post jobs like designing a book cover and have artists apply to be selected, or they can browse portfolios and pitch their project to an in-demand creator. Either way, DreamUp takes a cut and everybody wins. . . . . Unlike markets that get filled up with page after page of amateurs or hack submissions, DreamUp curates the designers with an invite-only policy. “We don’t allow any creative to work on any project,” explains DreamUp product manager Chinmay Lonkar. ”We vet them based on their portfolios. This helps avoid the photographers competing for logo projects.”

March 14, 2013

Chrysler is rolling back working conditions to the 1800s, firing anyone who talks Union

Short version: "Thanks for the bailout, America. Go fuck yourselves." Chrysler Firing Worker Activists - Lawyers, Guns & Money : Lawyers, Guns & Money
In case anyone thinks that companies aren’t very excited about the evisceration of unions and labor regulations so that they can go back to pre-1935 ways of dealing with workers, let’s take a quick look at Chrysler. The recently bailed out auto company has instituted a 10-hour day that includes Saturday work and the switching of workers from day to evening shift and back. This cuts back on lunch breaks and eliminates overtime pay on Saturdays. This is a pretty awful way to work. UAW Local 869 has fought back. Alex Wassell has led the fight against this, including writing articles publicizing it and leading a picking line. Chrysler has now fired Wassell, a man with a 20 year record of unblemished work. Why? The company claimed Wassell had violated one of its “standards of conduct”: “engaging in, participating in, aiding or approving conduct constituting or appearing to constitute a conflict with the interests of the Company.” In other words, we fire you because we can and who’s going to stop us? It’s possible of course that the National Labor Relations Board could step in. But with the recess appointments declared unconstitutional by a conservative hack judge, who knows if the NLRB will remain functional long enough to decide this. Even if it does decide in Wassell’s favor, we are looking at months if not over a year. What is he to do during that time?