Fat Cats

BossFeed Briefing for July 30, 2018. Last Monday, Seattle City Council passed the nation’s strongest Domestic Workers Bill of Rights, and it was signed into law by the mayor on Friday. Last Wednesday, the owners of Seattle’s KIRO-TV announced the station is up for sale, less than a year after the owners of Seattle’s KOMO-TV announced plans to purchase the owners of Seattle's KCPQ-TV. Today the King County Council considers whether to invest in a fancier Safeco Field, or to spend the money on affordable housing instead. And Sunday is the 37th anniversary of Ronald Reagan firing more than 11,000 air traffic controllers to break their strike.


Three things to know this week:


A Minneapolis McDonald’s has agreed to pay workers $20,000 in back wages after an investigation found the restaurant was paying employees less than the local minimum wage. The company says it was “an inadvertent error.”


Alaska Airlines announced higher-than-expected profits of nearly $200 million in the most recent quarter. The company previously spent several years trying to block $15/hour and other labor standards from taking effect at Sea-Tac Airport, claiming that it would hurt their business.


A parasite spread by cats can encourage risk-taking in affected humans, including an increased propensity to start new businesses. The same parasite also alters the behavior of rodents in ways that makes it more likely they will be eaten by cats.


Two things to ask:


What if they did the same with ratings on workers' rights? Yelp recently announced plans to integrate restaurant health inspection data with their crowdsourced restaurant reviews. The company has found that consumers tend to choose restaurants with higher health scores. 

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Could Seattle be leading the way again? Our Domestic Workers Bill of Rights is getting national attention for advancing a new model of worker power: a Domestic Workers Standards Board where employers, workers, and public representatives can come together to set industry standards. Nannies & house cleaners in Seattle are the first workers to win this in the United States.  


And one thing that's worth a closer look:

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As the privately-owned, for-profit Seattle Mariners attempt to extract $180 million in public funds for urgent regional needs like a new brewpub at Safeco Field, a recent report in the Seattle Times shows an even uglier side of the company. As the report details, three high-ranking executives have been accused of sexual harassment, leading to financial settlements with the complainants. The issue literally goes to the top — those cited included someone who was then the team President, someone who was at the time an Executive Vice President, and John Mather, who was then Executive Vice President of Finance and Ballpark operations, and has since been promoted to President & CEO. Meanwhile, the Mariners are saying they won’t renew a long-term lease to stay in Seattle unless they receive tax dollars which could otherwise go to affordable housing.


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!