when the moon hits your eye

BossFeed Briefing for January 21, 2019. Last Monday Alaska Airlines announced they had recently hired their 10,000th employee in Washington, a little more than five years after they initiated a series of lawsuits trying to block a $15 living wage in SeaTac because of the harm they claimed it would do to their business. Last Tuesday, a poll was released which found majority support for establishing a 70% marginal tax rate on income above $10 million. Yesterday there was a total lunar eclipse. Today is MLK Day, first established as a federal holiday in 1986. And next Monday is the official lobby day for the chain restaurant industry in Olympia.

Three things to know this week:


Workers in the videogame industry are talking about forming a union. Over half of game developers report working at least 60 hours a week during crunch periods.

A Spokane man is organizing a candlelight vigil for a Little Caesars inside a Kmart, which is closing after that chain was looted by investors. He says that after working a 15-hour day himself, he relies on Hot-N-Ready pizzas because he doesn’t have time to make his own from scratch.


Nonprofit staff, managers, board members, volunteers, and donors are invited to join us Wednesday for an online conversation about what’s going on with overtime rules. Washington State could act to restore overtime rights to hundreds of thousands of salaried workers in our state, and nonprofits have a key role to play.

Two things to ask:


How much should I tip? Well over a hundred Instacart shoppers have publicly signed on to an open letter asking customers to tip 22¢ up front as a show of support — and so Instacart can’t deduct customers' tips from workers' pay. The company is valued at $7.6 billion.


Remember when everyone thought asking for $15 was being unreasonable? A bill to raise the federal minimum wage to $15/hour has been introduced with 181 House co-sponsors and 31 Senate co-sponsors. Workers in Seattle & SeaTac led the way.

And one thing that's worth a closer look:


It's become weirdly common for corporations to posture about their countercultural attitudes… but sometimes it’s just extraordinary, as in this profile of the DC-based &pizza chain in industry rag Nation’s Restaurant News. The adoring piece argues the owner of this chain is “democratizing” pizza by giving out his phone number and letting any employee just text him if anything comes up. And if you’re not skeptical he’s giving out his actual number to 750 different employees, then you’re definitely also not going to doubt the claim that “about 20 percent of employees have the chain’s ampersand logo tattooed on their body”… and certainly not wonder about whether it's really a good idea to boast about branding employees in the first place. As a topper, note that the entire article about the genius of this flattened-out workplace culture…. does not include a single comment from somebody who works there.


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!