BossFeed Briefing for July 9, 2018. Last Sunday was the one-year anniversary of Seattle’s secure scheduling law taking effect. Last Wednesday, in honor of the U.S. Declaration of Independence, sales were held, foods were grilled, fireworks were set off, and a woman climbed the Statue of Liberty in support of immigrant rights. Today BossFeed is back after a hiatus, and it's also the deadline for online voter registration ahead of Washington's August 7th primary. And this Wednesday is the eight-year anniversary of the capture of the Barefoot Bandit.
Three things to know this week:
Working Washington’s groundbreaking campaigns were featured in three different national publications in just one week. The Nation spoke to nanny & Working Washington leader Ty Messiah; Slate wrote about the the new model of worker power being advanced by the Seattle Domestic Workers Alliance; andPolitico published a long piece reviewing all of the advances on workers rights that workers in Washington state have won the past several years.
After a group of Microsoft employees published an open letter urging the company to stop doing business with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, CEO Satya Nadella claimed that the company isn’t working directly on separating children from their families, but rather supporting "mail, calendar, messaging and document management workloads." No comment was offered whether said emails, schedules, messages, and documents are related to child separation.
A new report finds that nearly half of renters in the Seattle/Tacoma/Bellevue area with incomes below $75,000 a year are paying more rent than they can afford. And yet self-appointed experts still say that $15/hour is too much to pay people.
Two things to ask:
Can Wall Street get worse? A company called Mariner Finance is in the business of sending unsolicited checks to cash-strapped people, which when deposited become ultra-high-interest, fee-laden loans. Former Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner is a top executive in the company, whose collection tactics include making intentionally embarrassing calls to the friends & relatives of borrowers who fall behind in their payments.
Who’s overworked? The Japanese parliament passed controversial new labor legislation which establishes a cap on allowable overtime hours, but also excludes some higher-paid professionals from work-hour regulations. International data shows that workers in the US average clock significantly more hours per year than workers in Japan, and that workers in Mexico work dramatically more than both.
And one thing that's worth a closer look:
Following up on widely-circulated British reporting on poor working conditions in Amazon’s UK distribution centers, Nina Shapiro of The Seattle Times looked into Amazon facilities closer to home. And indications are that things aren’t great here either: despite being guided by corporate PR flacks on her tour of Amazon’s Kent distribution center, Shapiro made some troubling observations. For example, there was the worker who said she was working sick that day for fear of losing her job, and the other worker who said — to a reporter, in front of management — that the company doesn't let people go to the bathroom for more than four or five minutes without consequences. Completing the picture, the company lists as a key benefit that they offer "20 hours unpaid time off every three months"… and if not getting paid when you’re not working makes a list of perks, you know there’s not much on offer.
Read this far?
Consider yourself briefed, boss.