Big Yak Attack

BossFeed Briefing for February 26, 2018. Last Tuesday, the Yakima Herald reported that incomes are up and unemployment is down since the minimum wage increase, the exact inverse of what the newspaper’s editorial board insisted would happen. Last Friday was the 150th anniversary of the birth of WEB Du Bois, the groundbreaking thinker, civil rights leader, and NAACP co-founder. This Thursday marks the beginning of the last week of this year’s state legislative session. And Sunday is March 4th, the only date on the calendar that’s also a sentence.

  Above: May 2013 — Caroline Durocher reaches out to customers after becoming the first Seattle fast food worker to walk out on strike.

Above: May 2013 — Caroline Durocher reaches out to customers after becoming the first Seattle fast food worker to walk out on strike.

Three things to know this week:

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Taco Bell has surpassed Burger King to become the 4th largest fast food chain in the US, with nearly $10 billion in sales last year. The very first Seattle fast food strike took place at a Taco Bell in the Ballard neighborhood, where workers on the late night shift walked out over poverty wages and helped spark the nationwide fight for $15. 

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A woman in Kent was held at knife point and threatened with rape while working an early-morning shift at an espresso stand. The attacker, who was wearing a Bluetooth earpiece, fled after apparently being spooked by the headlights of an arriving customer. 

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan reiterated her support for a Domestic Workers Bill of Rights, which would build power and improve conditions for nannies, housecleaners and other domestic workers in the city. In her first State of the City address, Durkan also proposed to provide free transit passes to all high school students, and committed to defend Seattle’s status as a sanctuary city.  

 

Two things to ask:

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Why not Washington?  The state of Alaska recently ruled that workers with disabilities cannot be be paid less than other workers. There’s a growing movement to eliminate these special sub-minimum wage rates for disabled workers in the forty-seven states  — including Washington — that still allow them.

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WWJD ( What will Janus do?) The US Supreme Court is set to hear arguments today in the case of Janus vs. AFSCME, a suit funded by extreme right-wing groups determined to undermine the financial standing of labor unions. A negative ruling by the conservative court majority could significantly set back the workers' rights movement.

 

And one thing that's worth a closer look:

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Someone is defrauding relatives of people detained by Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE), asking them to wire money to various accounts in order to secure the release of their relatives. As detailed in The Guardian, it’s not random — the fraudsters have detailed and specific knowledge of the people in detention, strongly suggesting they have access to what should be confidential files held by ICE and CoreCivic, the creepily-named private prison company where those targeted are being detained. And yeah, sure, you may think people should be more skeptical upon getting a phone call that says a relative could be released because they won a “lottery” and all that’s necessary is to send a few thousand dollars. But then you consider the brutal and Kafkaesque reality of the US system of family detention, where essentially nothing adheres to any kind of logical or humane standard — and in fact, when people are released, their relatives really are expected to pay for plane tickets to get them back home.

 

Read this far?

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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!