First job losses due to AI revealed; whistleblower says aliens exist

Data company adds 'AI' as a category for job losses for the first time; aliens exist, says whistleblower

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Jun 9, 2023

Tens of thousands have already lost their jobs through AI

Artificial Intelligence’s potential to scythe its way through jobs has so far been more of the feared than confirmed variety. But according a report published by Insider, 4,000 staff were laid off due to AI in America in May alone – or around 5% of the total of 80,000 people who lost their job in May. The figures come from Challenger, Gray, and Christmas’s monthly job-loss polling, and May was significant for being the first time job losses attributable to AI have been included. The tech industry accounted for all of the job losses. More than half of the US organizations who responded to the poll said they now use ChatGPT and chatbots to some extent. While Challenger expects the AI lay-off trend to continue, a spokesperson acknowledged companies could be hesitant to reveal AI as a motivating factor for layoffs. They also reinstated that it this point, it was unclear how the number of jobs created by AI will compare to the number of jobs that are eliminated because of it.

Whistleblower says US government has had contact with aliens

As whistleblower claims go, it’s well… out there! Former intelligence official-turned whistleblower, David Grusch, claims the US government is behind a massive extra-terrestrial cover-up. Grusch, who served as a senior intelligence officer in the National Reconnaissance Office, claims intact and non-human craft exist, including bodies of the pilots, and that their existence has been shielded from proper congressional oversight. “When you recover something that’s either landed or crashed, sometimes you encounter dead pilots and, believe it or not, as fantastical as that sounds, it’s true,” he said. Now, Mr Grusch is filing a whistleblower complaint, alleging that he suffered retaliation for disclosing the confidential information. The Intelligence Community Inspector General found Mr Grusch’s complaint to be “credible” and “urgent” in July 2022 and a summary was given to the Director of National Intelligence, Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

Norfolk Southern becomes first railroad to give all workers paid sick leave

Last year, bitter contract talks between railroads and trade unions over sick pay entitlement threatened to cause a national strike. But this week, Norfolk Southern was revealed to be the first major North American freight railroad to provide sick pay to all of its workers. Under the new deal, it will provide four days’ paid sick time and give workers the option to convert three more days of personal leave time into sick days. “This agreement will provide our hardworking yardmasters the time they need and deserve to take care of their personal wellbeing,” said Jeremy Ferguson, president of the Transportation Division of the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers union, which represents the Norfolk Southern yardmasters. According to the Transportation Trades Department – the AFL-CIO labor coalition that includes all the rail unions – much work remains to address workers’ concerns. Greg Regan, president of the TTD labor coalition said: “I think the railroads probably realize the only way this is going to go away is if they actually bargain in good faith.”

Bite of passage for posties still looms large

For many posties, what should be the simple job of pushing letters through people’s door is still like playing Russian roulette with their fingers. This week the United States Postal Service published its annual ‘dog bite data’ and it revealed that more than 5,300 USPS employees were attacked by dogs while making mail deliveries last year. It’s no laughing matter either, with many sustaining serious bites and infections. As part of the data’s release, the USPS revealed which states have the worst behaving mutts, with California having the highest number of dog bites in 2022 (675), followed by Texas (404) and New York (321). Meanwhile, Houston, Los Angeles and Dallas ranked highest amongst US cities with the most dog attacks against USPS workers. “When letter carriers deliver mail in our communities, dogs that are not secured or leashed can become a nemesis and unpredictable and attack,” said Leeann Theriault, USPS employee safety and health awareness manager. The data is being released to coincide with this week’s National Dog Bite Awareness Week.

Millions still suffering in silence with menopause at work

Not enough workplaces recognize menopause as a legitimate reason to take sick days or cover treatment expenses, causing millions of women to unnecessarily suffer in silence. This is according to new research from Bank of America, in partnership with the nonprofit National Menopause Foundation, which finds only 14% of women believe their employers recognize the need for menopause benefits. This is despite the fact more than half of women who have either gone through the menopause, or are currently going through it, say it challenged their work life. Menopause symptoms reported most often by those surveyed in the report included disrupted sleeping (45%), changes to mental health or mood (30%) and changes to physical health (20%). Employees also said menopause affected their relationships with family members and partners, as well as their ability to focus on work and to plan daily activities. Some employees said they would like to see employers host menopause-awareness sessions or set up cooling rooms where employees can take breaks when they experience hot flashes. “Menopause is a normal life stage in women’s lives, yet there is still a need and opportunity for workplaces to enhance their menopause policies and benefits,” said Claire Gill, founder of the National Menopause Foundation.

Best companies to work for named by US News & World

US News & World has published its list of the ‘Best Companies to Work for in 2023’. The list – based on employee perceptions across more than 1,000 companies – assesses firms for their employee wellbeing (including quality of pay and benefits), work/life balance, job & company stability, physical and psychological safety, career development, and belongingness. Companies that made this year’s non-ranked list are those, which score highly in each category. Companies recognized for work/life balance included Altria, General Motors, Brunswick Corporation, Aptiv PLC, Boeing, Etsy, Reinsurance Group of America, Alphabet, Essex Property Trust, and Agilent Technologies. In the wellbeing category, Whirlpool, was praised for its 17 employee resource groups (ERGs) worldwide; its annual global inclusion campaign; and activities that emphasize the importance of inclusive behaviors to create a culture of belonging. “We are honored to be named one of the Best Companies to Work For in 2023, in recognition of our unwavering commitment to supporting the wellbeing of all of our employees,” said Carey Martin, chief human resources officer at Whirlpool Corporation.

Semiconductor boss tells staff not to apply if they don’t like shift work

Mark Liu, chairman of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC) has told Americans not to bother entering the industry if they don’t like shift work. The remarkable statement, made at a shareholder meeting this week, was in response to several former and current employees in the US complaining about TSMC’s “brutal” corporate culture on Glassdoor – the site that lets members anonymously review corporate companies. But Liu, who is investing $40 billion to open two plants in Phoenix in 2024 and 2026, said: “Those who are unwilling to take shifts should not enter the industry [semiconductor manufacturing].” He added: “This field isn’t just about lucrative wages but rather a passion for it.” In August, one Glassdoor contributor wrote that some employees “slept in the office for a month straight,” adding: “Twelve-hour days are standard, weekend shifts are common. I cannot stress … how brutal the work-life balance is here.” In January, another employee wrote that TSMC was “about obedience [and is] not ready for America.” However, Liu also said TSMC did not ask US employees to conform to the same work culture standards observed in Taiwan, adding work environment expectations are open for discussion as long as everyone abides by the core company values of TSMC.