In their prime

BossFeed Briefing for January 29, 2018. BossFeed Briefing for January 29, 2018. Last Monday the “no lines” Amazon Go store opened to a media frenzy and long lines. Last Tuesday the World Economic Forum got underway in Davos, Switzerland, drawing several thousand attendees who can afford the six-figure price of admission, along with the journalists who follow them around. Last Wednesday, Uber announced their interest in portable benefits. This Tuesday Donald Trump will deliver his first State of the Union address. Friday is Groundhog Day.


Three things to know this week:


Starbucks announced a more equitable paid parental leave policy for store employees… and said it was because of lower corporate tax rates. The improvements actually came after more than a year of organizing by front-line workers, which Working Washington underscored by blasting out a press release with a simple 6-word statement:Baristas did it, not tax cuts.


A Whatcom County blueberry farm treats workers so poorly that conditions amount to forced labor, a new lawsuit claims. There was a strike at the farm last year after a worker died when he wasn’t allowed to see a doctor, but the company describes their own operations as “exemplary.”


The total wealth of the world’s 2,000 or so billionaires rose by $762 billion in the past year. Just one-seventh of that increase would be enough to eradicate extreme poverty across the globe.



Two things to ask:


Do you even want to know what’s in the drafts folder? When an immigrant living in Seattle applied online for a delivery job, he got an email in response stating only that “If you no speak English, I will send you home.” The person who wrote that message had the job title of “HR Manager/Hiring Manager.”

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Could we already have the headline of the year? Kimberly-Clark, the maker of Kleenex and Huggies, announced they would take advantage of new corporate tax policy to cover the costs of closing 10 plants and eliminating several thousand jobs. The Everett Herald headline nails it: “Tax bill will help fund 5,000 layoffs, Kimberly-Clark says.”


And one thing that's worth a closer look:


In the latest example of how expensive it is to be poor, Bank of America announced they are going to start charging $12/month for their most basic checking account. While the fee can be waived if you keep a $1,500 minimum balance, about half of Americans don’t have even $400 saved for an emergency. In a curious twist explained by The Atlantic, it turns out the move from free checking at all the big banks is partly happening because of pushback against the practice of assessing punitive fees for bouncing checks, as collecting those fees from people who with low account balances had been a multi-billion-dollar revenue stream for big banks. You can take that as example of one of those legendary “unintended consequences” of regulations… or you can get real and call it what it is: yet more evidence that trillion-dollar financial conglomerates will do whatever they we let them get away with


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!