On schedule

BossFeed Briefing for April 2, 2018. BossFeed Briefing for April 2, 2018. Saturday was officially declared to be Cesar Chavez Day in Washington State by Governor Jay Inslee. Today BossFeed returns after a brief hiatus. Wednesday marks the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. And this Thursday a Seattle City Council committee will discuss a research report looking at workers’ hours & schedules before the city’s secure scheduling law took effect in July.

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Three things to know this week:


Boeing facilities in South Carolina and Washington have reportedly been hit by the WannaCry ransomware virus. Top company officials initially sent internal emails expressing alarm the virus had spread to factory floor machine tools, and even using the word “metastasizing,” but corporate flacks now claim little damage was done.



Amazon is rebooting its effort to sell housecleaning services, recently launching a “smart key” and purchasing a company that makes a “smart doorbell.” Now they’re directly hiring employees to clean houses too, apparently determining this is a “smarter” approach than the on-demand, contacted-out Uber-style model they had previously used.


After more than a year of organizing, workers at the regional Portland-area Burgerville fast food chain have officially filed for a union election. People who work at the chain recently held a 3-day strike over poverty wages, unpredictable schedules, and other issues.


Two things to ask:


Who is she supposed to represent again? Congressmember Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Spokane is pushing a bill which would allow corporations to opt out of local and state paid leave laws. Under the so-called ”Workflex” bill, national chains would be able to avoid coverage by state and local paid sick days laws like the one passed by the city of Spokane, the new statewide paid sick days law in Washington, and other such laws across the country.

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What if everything they ever say turns out to be wrong? Business lobby groups regularly insist that business needs require them to schedule workers with unstable and unpredictable “on-demand” schedules. But a new study conducted at multiple Gap stores indicates that the opposite may be true: researchers found that stores which provided more stable schedules saw significant gains in productivity, profitability, and retention of top employees.


And one thing that's worth a closer look:


Free speech and workers' rights get can get pretty messy when companies use their own employees as lobbyists, as Alexander Hertel-Fernandez reports in an unsettling summary of an upcoming book. One in four employees report receiving a political message from a manager at work, and that doesn't even include examples like the home improvement chain which encouraged its 40,000 employees to take an at-home civics class which argued against regulations and taxes. There are more explicit efforts, like the numerous companies which distribute voter guides to employees... and then those that border on obscene, like when Murray Energy required employees to attend a rally for Mitt Romney. As the piece concludes, maybe we can learn from how most other countries of the world do workplace politics: give workers the right to free speech, and take away employers’ right to screen workers for their political beliefs.


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!