This week: the law won, Walmart surveillance, cheesemakers, a donkey, a calf, and a gray fox squirrel.
…And the law won. Again.
The State Supreme Court this week rejected a motion by Alaska Airlines and the Washington Restaurant Association to reconsider their landmark ruling that SeaTac’s $15 minimum wage law applies to airport workers. A Court spokesperson explained that the decision was effective immediately and the city of SeaTac said it was final… but Alaska Airlines is still saying there are “unanswered questions.”
And that’s reasonable: the highest relevant court has just clearly reaffirmed a major win for airport workers, but Alaska executives probably do still need to answer some questions about how they spent so much of their time, money, and reputation fighting a losing battle against living wages for the people who serve their customers.
And they also need to start paying.
Always on the down-low. Always.
Bloomberg Businessweek took a deep dive into Walmart’s paranoid and pervasive surveillance of worker organizing activity. Turns out that despite the company's public insistence that the Our Walmart movement has mobilized few people, the company has developed an in-store network of informants, hired Lockheed Martin to help keep tabs on workers, and even called the FBI.
And worth noting that their panopticon is a one-way mirror: the company barred media from stores on Black Friday, instead offering pre-packaged video on a national satellite feed for broadcast use.
Blessed are the cheesemakers?
Apparently not at Beecher’s Handmade Cheese in Seattle. In These Times reports on Deric Cole, a worker at their Pike Place Market outlet who pulled 15-hour shifts, sometimes worked off the clock, and couldn’t access the paid sick time guaranteed by Seattle law. (To emphasize: that means working sick when the company’s middle name is “Handmade.”)
It’s not just a cheezy sob story though — he’s fighting back with the assistance of Seattle’s groundbreaking Fair Work Center.
- When a loose donkey was reported in Norman, Oklahoma, police quickly nabbed the animal. It was soon released and it remains unclear whether the donkey actually violated any laws.
- A 650-pound calf named Kash was found wandering in the woods by a search party after he had escaped when he reportedly got “too excited” during a walk. He is still set to compete at the menacingly named “Winter Beef Classic.”
- And a vicious gray fox squirrel has attacked at least 8 people in Marin County, California, leaving at least one victim with a torn up arm and broken glasses after a “mad scramble.” The local humane society has urged calm.