Just write the check

BossFeed Briefing for December 4, 2017. Last Tuesday, the city of Spokane passed a fair chance employment ordinance, which bars private employers in the city from categorically rejecting job applicants because of a criminal record. Early Saturday morning, the Senate voted for a budget bill which would cut taxes on the rich, slash Medicare, and do a host of other things that people are still figuring out because the bill was passed just a few hours after it was released and some of the language was literally handwritten in the margins. Yesterday the Seattle Times Editorial Board argued for a new round of public beneits for Boeing. And Wednesday is the 110th anniversary of the Monongah coal mine disaster, which killed 361 miners in the worst such disaster in US history. 


Three things to know this week:


Thanks to a “glitch” in their scheduling system, every pilot at American Airlines who requested vacation during the holiday season had that vacation approved. The union contract negotiated by the pilots bars the company from just canceling the previously-approved vacation, so instead they’re desperately offering pay premiums to anyone willing to work in hopes of avoiding the potential cancelation of 15,000 flights. 

Someone drove a school bus directly through a picket line during a one-day strike by Seattle drivers on Wednesday, forcing one person to jump up onto the hood to avoid injury. According to the Seattle Police Department, “it is not clear whether a crime has been committed.”

Working Washington is hosting its first ever online auction, where you can bid on unique items & experiences like a custom chef’s knife, your very own ice cream party, and more. Check out the preview here — and of course all the proceeds go to support our statewide movement for workers’ rights!


Two things to ask:


Who’s the boss? Two different people are making claims to be the rightful heir to the throne of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the federal agency tasked with protecting consumer interests against predatory financial interests. One of the dueling bosses, Leandra English, has spent years as Chief of Staff and then Deputy Director working to help the agency succeed; the other, Mick Mulvaney, has called the agency a fraud. 

WTF? Sexual harassment cases are routinely dismissed by the courts if the conduct involved fails to meet the threshold of being “severe or pervasive”. Lawsuits can only go so far to change workplace behavior when judges frequently reject cases that involved quite egregious conduct, including physical contact and comments about wanting to have their baby.


And one thing that's worth a closer look:

While the stock market continues to hit new highs, the returns on that capital go almost exclusively to the top 1%, who hold almost all of the stock and other capital wealth. It doesn’t have to be that way, argues Matt Bruenig of the People’s Policy Project in a New York Times opinion piece that makes the case for a different approach. Bruenig argues for the establishment of a “social wealth fund”: the federal government would create an investment fund, owned equally by all adults, and the returns on those investments would be paid out to everyone in a “universal basic dividend.” While more equitable ownership may seem like a far-away dream, the idea of a social wealth fund has a long history, and there are already numerous current examples of social wealth funds in the world, including one which provides an annual check to everyone who lives in Alaska, and one which supports social benefits for the people of Norway.


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!