BossFeed Briefing for December 11, 2017. Last Sunday, demonstrators held a satirical Buddhist-themed protest against proposals by the Taiwanese government to erode labor protections. Last Thursday, the Seattle Times published an extensive report on sexual harassment allegations against anti-worker State Representative Matt Manweller (R - Ellensburg), who said he would remain in office, but in the future might decline to hold meetings with women. Today is Day 7 of Working Washington’s 12 Days of Giving online auction, which now includes lunch with Lt. Governor Cyrus Habib. Yesterday was International Human Rights Day, and Friday is the 226th anniversary of the US Bill of Rights becoming law.
Three things to know this week:
Nannies and house cleaners launched the Seattle Domestic Workers Alliance on Thursday, sharing their stories and calling for change. With the support of key city councilmembers and a representative of the mayor’s office, domestic workers unveiled a proposal for a bill of rights to improve working conditions, raise standards in the industry, and build power for workers.
The US Department of Labor is considering a new rule which would allow employers to pocket tips for themselves. Court decisions and administrative rules around tip pooling can get complicated, but the current proposal could very well be the worst possible approach for workers.
A bankruptcy court judge has approved a plan by Toys R Us to pay top executives $16 million in bonuses if some goals are met, in addition to $8 million in retention bonuses previously awarded to the same top executives, despite the company having lost more than $300 million in just six months. Front line workers are not in line for any bonuses, regardless of company performance, level of service, hours of work, or anything else.
Two things to ask:
And what if workers worked together? Based on their numbers and appetites, it appears that the spiders of the world could eat every human on earth in just a year, if they would just work together. There are believed to be an average of more than 100 spiders per square yard of the planet.
Will he notch another win? A federal judge has ruled that the lawsuit by Attorney General Bob Ferguson against Geo Group, the private prison company, may proceed. Ferguson has charged that Geo Group’s for-profit immigrant detention facility in Tacoma violates state law by paying prisoners less than minimum wage for their work.
And one thing that's worth a closer look:
More and more of our lives as workers & consumers are affected by crowdsourced ratings which are then aggregated online, but as anyone working in the gig economy can tell you, there’s often little correspondence between how many stars you get and anything that happened in the real world. Even knowing all that though, Oobah Butler’s story in Vice is still startling: he submitted his London shed as a restaurant to TripAdvisor, posted some curious pictures, and said the place was by appointment only. With disturbing speed and no verification by any actual customers, the restaurant ascended the ranks and became officially listed as the top-ranked joint in London — even though it didn’t even exist & had never served a meal. By the end of the experiment, hundreds of people had called in desperate to make reservations at this apparently uber-exclusive venue; companies had sent free promos in hopes of a marketing boost; and a nearby municipality even offered tax incentives if the “restaurant” would move there.
Read this far?
Consider yourself briefed, boss.