dirty cheating rats

BossFeed Briefing for October 1, 2018. Last Monday, Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan released a proposed city budget which included increased funding for the Office of Labor Standards. Last Thursday a petition was filed for a potential referendum on King County Council’s recent vote to dedicate public dollars to gussy up Safeco field. Last Friday, the BLS released new research suggesting that about 1.6 million people had worked on an app-based platform in the prior week, though they also determined that they messed up their survey questions. And today is the 151st anniversary of the first publication of Karl Marx’s Das Kapital, and the 110th anniversary of the introduction of the Ford Model T.


Three things to know this week:


Top Facebook exec Joel Kaplan, the company's head of policy, attended Brett Kavanaugh's Senate committee hearing last week as a friend and supporter of the beleaguered Supreme Court nominee. The two know each other from their time working together in the George W. Bush administration.


Fast food workers, airport workers, hospital workers, childcare workers, and others have announced plans to strike for union recognition in several cities this week. While support for unions is at the highest level in four decades, union density has slowly declined to about 10%.

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Boeing pocketed $227 million last year from state tax breaks. They also cut more than 6,000 jobs last year, after reducing employment in Washington by 7,500 jobs in 2016.


Two things to ask:


What would we call it? Big retailers say they are having difficulty filling open positions ahead of the holiday season, and are having limited success with incentives like offering discount shopping days for employees. If only there were some additional form of compensation they could offer for each increment of time someone works...

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 Is it worth it? The average salaried worker reports putting in 49 hours a week, and doesn't get paid a dime extra for all the extra hours over 40 a week. It adds up to more than $4 billion worth of time taken from workers in our state — this year alone.


And one thing that's worth a closer look:


 After workers at Amazon-owned Whole Foods recently announced a desire to unionize the grocery chain, the company released a 45-minute animated anti-union training video. According to the video, which was leaked to Gizmodoif an employee uses the words "living wage," a manager should take it as a sign of "associate disengagement," which is a curiously clinical way to describe the idea of getting paid enough to make the rent. The company also encourages managers to share their opinions about unionization with employees, suggesting that telling employees that "Unions are lying, cheating rats" might be one way to express their perspective. In an official statement to media, Amazon insisted that the leaked video was intended to train managers "to maintain an open and direct dialogue with associates" and all about "how to create career opportunities for employees."


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!