Also: Oakland’s mayor won’t back down, and Uber and Lyft could do a lot more for the planet.

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What We’re Following

May Day: Today is International Workers’ Day, also known as Labour Day in most countries. The holiday commemorates a U.S. labor strike in 1886 that pushed for the eight-hour work day (Quartz).

There’s no doubt conditions have improved since then, but workers still face legitimate threats today: low wages, automation, the gig economy. And then there’s forced arbitration: Tucked into employment contracts, these binding clauses prevent millions of workers from suing their employers for any reason, even surrendering the right to join a class action. Now the Supreme Court is considering how far companies can run with these waivers, and it all may come down to a precedent set by a case against Waffle House. CityLab’s Kriston Capps has the story.

Some suggested reading to understand the ties between cities and workers:

Andrew Small


More on CityLab

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf Is Not Backing Down

Oakland's outspoken mayor talks about standing up for racial equity, and staring down the federal government on cannabis and immigration.

Brentin Mock

Uber and Lyft Could Do a Lot More for the Planet

Carbon offsets and bike-sharing services are great. But the ride-hailing industry still hasn’t confronted the heart of the problem it has created.

Laura Bliss

The Rise of the Alt-Labor Movement

Nationwide, the battle for worker rights and protections is often being waged by non-traditional organizations that can do what formal unions can't.

Dwyer Gunn

Thanos May Be Powerful, But He Is Not a Very Strong Economist

Both the Mad Titan and the GOP need to learn there’s a better way to address a resource problem.

Kriston Capps

Making Products With Crop Waste Could Improve India's Air and Water

A company that makes packaging out of plant fibers hopes to address two problems at once: air pollution from the burning of crop stubble, and landfills and waterways clogged with plastic.

Priti Salian


Uncharted Territory

Chart showing survey responses about frequency of cyberattacks

Recent cyberattacks in Atlanta and Baltimore highlighted how unprepared local government cybersecurity can be. Those attacks were largely preventable, and it seems most local governments don’t know how to stop it from happening to their own systems. In a survey of local government officials, conducted by the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, more than 27 percent said they’re targeted by hackers at least once an hour. Another 19 percent say that happens once a day. But 62 percent also said they don’t know how often actual breaches of information occur.

Read the full story on CityLab: Why Don’t Cities Know When They’re Being Hacked?


What We’re Reading

Investigation finds 103 Uber drivers accused of sexual assault or abuse (CNN)

The head of ICE is retiring, but Trump’s immigration agenda marches on (Vox)

Kalamazoo’s bet on philanthropy raises hopes—and suspicions (The Chronicle of Philanthropy)

Snooty dog owners hijacked a New York City park for a “private” kennel club (New York Post)

A visual guide to the road signs and numbers of U.S. highways (99 Percent Invisible)


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