Ground Control

The week in work: raising the minimum wage & the economy; GoFundMe & medical expenses; parental leave & discrimination; Bezos & billions; Uber & sexism; astronauts & strikes.

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Taking off

BossFeed Briefing for May 30, 2017. Yesterday was Memorial Day, a day off for many people who don’t work in retail, food, healthcare, or other frontline public-facing jobs, and also a day off for BossFeed. Last Tuesday was the annual Amazon shareholder meeting, which saw protests from various groups including security officers, delivery pilots, and anti-foie gras activists. And the second special session of the Washington State Legislature is now underway, after the first special session ended without visible signs of progress.

Three things to know this week:

Longshore workers at an Oakland shipping terminal walked off the job after finding nooses on work property. They halted cargo operations for several hours until the employer made a plan to address the racial harrassment and a return to work was negotiated.

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Uber has admitted they took millions of dollars in fare revenue that should have belonged to their New York drivers. A spokesperson said the systematic miscalculation was just a mistake and that they’re “working hard to regain driver trust”. 

Truck drivers earn an average of $43,600 a year — less than they did in 1980, after adjusting for inflation. The job is isolating, dangerous, in demand, and facing an uncertain future.

 

Two things to ask:

Do you think they left a tip? ICE agents raided a Michigan restaurant and questioned kitchen workers about their immigration status… but only after they finished eating breakfast there first. The agents claimed to be seeking a person who was not present, then detained three other people.

Where might they have gotten that idea? The New York City Council has passed a package of new laws that will provide more stable and predictable schedules for people who work at retail and fast-food chains in the city. Seattle workers won a landmark secure scheduling law last September.

 

And one thing that’s worth a closer look:

Four years ago yesterday, on May 29, 2013, the first Seattle fast food workers walked out on strike for $15/hour. Exactly a year after that, the Seattle City Council passed the nation’s first citywide $15 minimum wage. By now you’ve heard plenty of news about this from plenty of Important People — but if you want to hear from the workers who made it happen, we got you covered in video and book formats.

 

Read this far?

Consider yourself briefed, boss.


The BossFeed Briefing is our weekly look at the world of work, wages, and inequality.

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Like pulling teeth

BossFeed Briefing for May 22, 2017. On Friday, more than 35,000 AT&T workers launched a 3-day national strike for good jobs, which a company spokesperson described as “baffling”. Tomorrow, President Trump is slated to release a 2018 budget proposal which is expected to include drastic cuts to Medicaid and other public programs. And the Governor of Tennessee is set to sign a bill this week which will make community college free in that state.

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Three things to know this week:

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One Amazon security flaw fixed. In a victory for religious freedom & immigrant rights, security officers at Amazon’s Seattle headquarters have won access to prayer space they can use on their breaks.

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McDonald’s and Uber have joined forces to offer delivery from more than 1,000 McDonald’s locations across the country. While they can apparently negotiate a national business partnership across multiple franchisees and tens of thousands of drivers in several states, both companies still claim utter impotence around wages.

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94% of low-wage workers in the U.S. don’t have access to paid family leave. Time with family is becoming an elite benefit, magnifying inequality in an especially troubling way.
 

Two things to ask:

Where to begin? Alex Tizon’s revealing account of Eudocia Tomas Pulido, who for 56 years until her death was enslaved to his family, led the Seattle Times to thoughtfully re-evaluate a previously published obituary of Pulido. Turns out the paper's original less-than-forthcoming source had been Tizon himself.

Does this sound like the future? Ambulances were called to the Tesla factory more than 100 times in the past few years to aid workers experiencing serious medical issues. CEO Elon Musk says it’s hurtful and false to claim he doesn’t care, and that he intentionally put his desk “in the worst place in the factory, the most painful place.”

 

And one thing that’s worth a closer look:

While purely cosmetic tooth whitening has become a $1 billion industry, 1 in 5 Americans over 65 have no real teeth leftthe Washington Post details in an important piece. Even people who do have health benefits often lack dental coverage, and are only able to afford care at touring charity clinics. Compounding the issue, poor dental health can limit career prospects — missing or broken teeth are taken as an indicator of poverty, which all too often gets treated as a moral & cultural failing, which can make a job applicant less likely to be hired. 

 

Read this far?

Consider yourself briefed, boss.


The BossFeed Briefing is our look at the world of work, wages, and inequality.

Support the BossFeed Briefing — Contribute Today

Life & death

BossFeed Briefing for April 24, 2017. The State Legislature completed its regular session Sunday without passing paid family leave or agreeing on a budget. They return for a special session beginning today. Friday is Workers Memorial Day, which honors the thousands of workers who die on the job each year. May Day is one week away.

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A star is born

App-based companies like Uber & Lyft urge customers to rate service on 5-star systems and often de-activate workers whose rating falls below about 4.6, but there’s no standard definition of what each star level is supposed to indicate...

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The opposite of Nostradamus

Last Tuesday was Equal Pay Day, which marks how far into the year it takes for the median woman worker to earn what the median male worker earned in the previous year. Last Friday the U.S. Senate voted to confirm the nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. May Day is exactly three weeks from today.

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Not a real person

The Washington State House introduced a budget proposal last Monday which included start-up funding for paid family leave. In Washington, DC, a Senate committee voted on Thursday to advance the nomination of Alexander Acosta to be the next Secretary of Labor. And tomorrow marks the anniversary of the assassination of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

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"The only difference is the compensation"

A Senate committee held confirmation hearings last Wednesday on the nomination of Alexander Acosta to be the next Secretary of Labor. The US House of Representatives was scheduled to vote on a repeal of the Affordable Care Act last Thursday, and then last Friday, and now not for the foreseeable future. Later this afternoon the Washington State Legislature will hold a work session on portable benefits for app-based workers.

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A bigger rat

It's been less than a week and a least a half-dozen controversies since the President's address to a joint session of Congress. And we're just two days from a major cutoff at the State Legislature: any bill that doesn't pass its "house of origin" by March 8th is likely dead for the year... unless it's declared "necessary to implement the budget." 

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Short month, long year 

BossFeed Briefing for February 27, 2017. We are now one week into the second month of the Trump Administration, and approaching the third month of the 2017 State Legislative session. The Congressional recess is now officially over, and the State of the Union is set for tomorrow.

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__________ Day

BossFeed Briefing for 2/20/2017. Today is a holiday for lots of people who don’t work in front-line customer service jobs, healthcare, or emergency services. It’s the one month anniversary of Inauguration Day. And it’s been five days since bills to roll back the minimum wage advanced out of a State Senate committee. 

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The collapse

It's been four weeks since inauguration day. Confirmation hearings for fast food CEO Andy Puzder to be the next Secretary of Labor are scheduled for Thursday, February 16th. Our State Legislature is considering bills to provide paid family leave… and to roll back the minimum wage.

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