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A labor group has made an app to help Walmart workers organize — and the company is freaking out

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Walmart has long been the toughest nut for labor organizers to crack, as the company’s brutally effective anti-union campaigns have regularly crushed unions’ efforts to get workers to sign up.

However, a labor group called OUR Walmart has come out with a new mobile application that Walmart workers can use on their phones to help them organize for better wages and benefits — and it seems that Walmart is not happy about it.

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The Wall Street Journal reports that Walmart has sent out warnings to all of its employees that they should not download and install the WorkIt app onto their devices because it will allegedly swipe all their important personal information. In reality, the Journal notes, it only asks users to register and share their job titles and Walmart store numbers — and its permissions do not include location data, contacts or photos.

The purpose of the app is to help workers communicate with one another so they can learn about their rights as employees, as well as to develop strategies for improving workplace policies. While there are already a lot of online forums where Walmart employees gather to talk about issues at work, OUR Walmart wants to give employees a centralized hub to help them with all of their complaints and questions.

Bloomberg notes that the app takes advantage of IBM’s Watson artificial intelligence chatbot to quickly answer employees’ questions about company policies and worker rights.

“On the first day, a group of 18 current and former employees identified 50 main issues and wrote questions workers might ask,” Bloomberg writes. “They spent the next day answering them, relying on policy manuals that OUR Walmart had pieced together over the years, their own experience, and some expert advice. By the end they’d trained Watson to answer 93 questions.”

And because Watson is designed to keep learning, the app will only get smarter the more that people use it.

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The app is now available for Android phones and can be downloaded at this link.


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North Korea announces ‘test of very great importance’ occurred at the Sohae Satellite Launching Ground: report

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North Korea state media reported on a "successful" test at a missile launch site.

"A very important test took place at the Sohae Satellite Launching Ground on the afternoon of December 7, 2019," a spokesperson for the Academy of the National Defense Science said.

The spokesperson said the test was "of great significance to the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea.

https://twitter.com/nktpnd/status/1203486463209431041

#UPDATE North Korea conducts a "very important test" at its Sohae satellite launch site, state media reports, as nuclear negotiations between Pyongyang and Washington remain deadlocked https://t.co/abYhRDvBic pic.twitter.com/neCYEQTEhf

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Here’s why Ukrainians are shocked about Rudy Giuliani’s new associate

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President Donald Trump's personal attorney is causing "shock" among Ukrainians for working with Andrey Artemenko, according to new reports.

"In an attempt to exonerate President Donald Trump, Rudy Giuliani has been working with right-wing media outlet One America News Network (OAN) to produce a television special featuring a string of current and former Ukrainian officials defending Trump’s conduct in withholding military aid to Ukraine and seeking investigations of the Bidens," Law & Crime reported Saturday.

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‘Irony and Outrage’: How different — and how similar — are Samantha Bee and Fox News?

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Sean Hannity and Bill O’Reilly are masters of outrage — not just the emotion, but a genre of political theater — just as Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart are masters of ironic satire. They’re poles apart, and yet — ironically or outrageously — they’re profoundly similar, both in how they’re impacting their audiences, and why their genres emerged when they did. That’s perhaps the central thesis of “Irony and Outrage: The Polarized Landscape of Rage, Fear, and Laughter in the United States,” by Dannagal Goldthwaite Young, who’s both a professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Delaware and an improv comedian with the troupe ComedySportz Philadelphia. That’s among the many different hats she wears.

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