[iDC] Salubriations!

Sam Dwyer hellosamdwyer at gmail.com
Sat Oct 4 17:07:25 UTC 2014

Hello List,

I'm Sam Dwyer, and I'm a New School dropout, and, uh, "independent
researcher," I guess. I used to be a digital marketing technology analyst
for a British company called Econsultancy, but then I got fired. Following
this, I wrote and starred in a YouTube series called "the spectacle show,"
then spent a year working with the bastard son of Gamal Abdel Nasser on an
as-yet unproduced television screenplay about 14th Dynasty Egypt.

For the past 7 months, I have been an UPS man; brown shorts, brown truck,
delivering throughout downtown Brooklyn. For those of you who don't know,
this is a damn good American job: pay for guys who have achieved seniority
is currently $34/hour, overtime, there is no-cost comprehensive health
insurance for the family, 401k, and a pension at 25 years service. This is
the kind of job that inspires young men working Dunkin' Donuts counters
look up at you with awe and respect, and ask "how can I become a UPS

The reason this job is so *unusually* good is because UPS is a unionized
shop, represented by the Teamsters. But will this last?  Because of "the
ecommerce revolution," the parcel delivery business is rapidly expanding,
but the competitive pressures are enormous, and there are some storm clouds
on the horizon for the men in brown.  Amazon recently enticed the USPS into
delivering on Sundays at no rate premium, and rivals like Fedex and
Lazership classify much of their workforce as independent contractors.
Amazon, and other tech companies such as Google, are also in the early
stages of developing their own logistics operations.

Presumably, these new operations won't be offering their employees pensions.

Anyway, I will be at the Digital Labor conference, and look forward to
discussing the future of box carrying and carriers, and to hearing from all
of you!

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