David Bensman

David Bensman is a professor of labor studies and employment relations at Rutgers University. He is the co-author of Rusted Dreams: Hard Times in a Steel Community.

Recent Articles

Workers on the Edge

AP Images/Amy Sancetta

One of the most significant contributing causes of the widening inequality and insecurity in the American workforce is the accelerating shift to what economists call contingent employment. That means any form of employment that is not a standard payroll job with a regular paycheck. It can take the form of temps, contract workers, part time jobs, or jobs with irregular hours. A study by the GAO found that fully one-third of the U.S. workforce, or 42.6 million workers, was contingent, meaning in a work arrangement that is “not long-term, year-round, full-time employment with a single employer. “

A Long Haul

How the government's policy to modernize trucks collides with its policies to promote high-wage jobs

The Obama administration has defined the misclassification of employed workers as independent contractors to be an important problem resulting in workers losing legal protections and benefits, and governments losing tax revenue and insurance contributions from employers. Yet at the very same time, the administration's agencies are supporting and encouraging misclassification in at least two sectors of the trucking industry -- port trucking ("drayage") and ground express delivery.

Stuck on the Low Road

Deregulation turned truck driving from a good job into a bad one.
Now, thanks to local organizing and government action, there's a better road.

(AP Photo/Jeff Lewis)

Rotterdam, Europe's largest port, is a marvel of efficiency. More than 7,000 container ships visit its docks annually, most stopping for barely more than a day. New terminal facilities, built on landfill where the river meets the sea, handle 10 million containers with a minimum of congestion and pollution.