Sooner or later

BossFeed Briefing for October 2, 2017. Last Monday, temporary Seattle Mayor Tim Burgess announced a proposal for the city to set up retirement accounts for people whose employers don’t offer them. Last Thursday, the US Supreme Court announced it would hear Janus v. AFSCME, a test case pushed by extreme right-wing groups that could undermine many labor unions. And last Friday, Tom Price resigned as Secretary of Health & Human Services after it was revealed he had already spent $1 million of public money on government and private jets.

May 2014: Target workers in downtown Seattle strike for $15. 

May 2014: Target workers in downtown Seattle strike for $15. 

Three things to know this week:


Target Corporation announced they’re raising their internal store minimum wage to $15/hour by 2020. Target workers in downtown Seattle walked out on strike in 2014, helping lead the way to the city's first-in-the-nation $15/hour minimum wage law

The CEO of Equifax lost his job under mounting pressure over the data security disaster at the credit bureau, which stockpiles huge amounts of personal financial information on most Americans. Because the company opted to called the CEO's departure a resignation, he still has a $90 million payday coming to him.

TGI Friday’s has settled a massive wage theft complaint, paying $19 million to address violations affecting tens of thousands of workers. It’s the largest such settlement on record, but it may still be a bargain: the total value of unpaid wages could be more than four times the amount of the settlement.

Two things to ask:

What if campaigns don’t matter? New academic research suggests that mailers and ads and GOTV doorknocks and other direct voter contact by political campaigns have pretty much zero effect on voter behavior. Clearly people’s minds can and do change over time, and the balance of opinion on different issues can and does shift; but it seems these things typically happen in parallel to campaign contacts, not because of them.


Did someone ask him? Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz is yet again managing to get political writers to speculate about the possibility he might run for President. These writers are the only visible base of support signaling any interest in such a run.

And one thing that’s worth a closer look:


While Washington State long ago eliminated the subminimum wage for tipped workers, most states allow employers to pay servers as little as $2.13/hour, and industry lobby groups sporadically make efforts to bring it back here, too. In a new piece in The Guardian, Rose Hackman weaves together the voices of a range of servers for a good refresher on why this issue matters so much. Tipped workers are mostly women, they’re twice as likely to be living in poverty than other workers, and they’re exposed to extraordinary rates of sexual harassment from customers and managers. Subminimum base wages reduce servers' ability to confront this harassment; as one put it, “We have to jeopardize our integrity on a daily basis to pay rent.”

Read this far?


 Consider yourself briefed, boss.

Let us know what you think about this week's look at the world of work, wages, and inequality!

Let us know what you think about this week's look at the world of work, wages, and inequality!