BossFeed Briefing for August 7, 2017. Last Tuesday was Primary election day, with fairly low turnout in local races across the state. Last Wednesday was a national Amazon job fair, which drew about 50,000 people to wait on line across the country for the chance to apply for warehouse jobs. This Tuesday marks the anniversary of the invention of the electric washing machine, which transformed domestic labor. And the entire state is currently in the midst of a heat wave, sparking a host of national reports loaded with cliches about flannel, salmon, coffee, and grunge.
Three things to know this week:
In 2013, the Seattle Times Editorial Board wrote that if SeaTac voters passed the nation's first $15 law, "forget about anyone ever building another hotel in the city of SeaTac." Workers won the election anyway, and in 2017 the New York Times reported that nine hotels are currently under construction in the city.
Burien's sanctuary city ordinance remains in place for now after a productively rowdy City Council meeting. Immigrant rights supporters successfully urged Councilmembers to delay voting on a ballot measure that would abolish the human rights ordinance, which the Council passed earlier this year.
Taylor Shellfish is paying $160,000 and adopting new training and other policies to settle racial discrimination claims by an African-American mechanic who worked at their Samish Bay farm. The EEOC found he faced discrimination from his first day of work, including being consistently assigned to the worst jobs, having profanities screamed at him, and then being retaliated against by managers after bringing his treatment to their attention.
Two things to ask:
Who are they going to sue now? A Federal judge has dismissed a Chamber of Commerce lawsuit which had aimed to strike down Seattle's law providing Uber, Lyft, and other drivers the right to organize. The law remains enjoined until a second case is decided.
Could it happen here? Five hundred people who work in the cafeteria at Facebook headquarters in California have voted to form a union. It's the latest victory in a surge of successful organizing by service workers in Silicon Valley, who are generally paid low wages to serve wildly rich companies while living in one of the most expensive parts of the country.
And one thing that’s worth a closer look:
August 1st was Black Women’s equal pay day, marking how far into the year it takes for black women's income to finally catch up to what white men earned the previous year. As detailed by Casey Quinlan in Think Progress, the wage gap persists at every level of education and just about every occupation: black women who have advanced degrees make $7/hour less than white men who only have a bachelor’s degree and black women doctors average $18/hour less than white male doctors. We're not making progress very fast either; at the current rate of change, we won't achieve equal pay until 2124.
Read this far?
Consider yourself briefed, boss.
The BossFeed Briefing is our weekly look at the world of work, wages, and inequality.