Living wage on a prayer

This week: same sexism different day, same racism different day, and same New Jersey different day.


Someone call California Closets and let’s get the Greek debt crisis solved

If you wear the same thing to work every day and you’re a poverty-wage worker, it’s called a uniform. If you wear the same thing to work every day and you’re a man with a fancy office jobit’s called a suit. But if you wear the same thing to work every day and you’re a woman with a fancy office job, it’s a trend piece. Because what women wear is apparently always news, and always news that involves pictures of mirrors, even if the news is supposedly about not worrying about what you wear.

Lower-complexity closets may be bad for the employment prospects of ladies-in-waiting, but according to the neurological experts of the Lifestyles section, it’s supposedly quite a boon for productivity, because making “trivial decisions, like whether to wear a white or blue shirt, burn glucose almost as fast as deciding what to do about the federal deficit”. But somehow picking out a tie doesn’t affect men’s affect brain function?

Doesn’t sound like they have the best instincts in this area

A large-scale survey of Zara employees in New York City found that black customers were far more likely to be tracked as suspected shoplifters than white customers, and that black employees had more problems with their schedules than white employees. At least one black Zara employee reported being identified as a “special order” — internal company lingo for a suspicious customer — and followed around the store under the presumption he’d shoplift, then barred from entering a back office… where he was headed because he was just trying to pick up a paycheck.

The company denies it of course, but they also recently sold a shirt that seems to have been modeled off the uniforms worn in Nazi concentration camps, as well as a T-shirt with the slogan “White is the new Black”.

We hear Count Chocula basically never paid Frankenberry either

Cherry growers in Washington State are struggling with a shortage of pickers — workers are reportedly changing jobs in the middle of the day if there’s a better rate on offer at a nearby farm. While job hopping is considered a savvy tactic for software developers to advance their careers, when farmworkers do it, it’s apparently an economic crisis.

There may be good reason to change employers, because some of the them don’t even pay in the first place: blueberry workers are suing a multibillion-dollar Canadian conglomerate that owns thousands of acres of Washington farmland (and also the Vancouver Canucks and therefore at least one zamboni) for hiring a unbonded, unlicensed labor contractor that owes workers thousands in back wages.

It’s enough to make you want to walk out, which is what Skagit Valley berry pickers working for Sakuma Brothers farm threatened to do yet again as part of a successful negotiation to ensure that workers could get paid $10/hour for picking 15 pounds of berries an hour. That may sound like a lot from the perspective of a U-Pick family outing, but the company initially wanted to raise the minimum standard to 35 pounds an hour.

Of course it was New Jersey

A German train passenger called police after seeing a bearded man wearing blue clothes with a red hat who appeared to be dead. It turned out to be a partially deflated Papa Smurf balloon.

A British woman found a “large alien looking jellyfish”, whose size she measured with her foot. The size of her foot was not separately gauged.

And a fish with human-like teeth that reportedly eats testicles was discovered in New Jersey. Jon Bon Jovi’s whereabouts are unknown.