perfect v. good

BossFeed Briefing for February 18, 2019. Last Monday was the 100th anniversary of the end of the Seattle General Strike. That same day a YouTube video was posted alleging that Chuck E. Cheese’s recycles uneaten pizza slices into "new" pizzas, which claim the chain has repeatedly denied. Last Thursday, people who dance at strip clubs spoke before a State House committee in support of a bill they helped develop to improve health & safety conditions in their industry. Today is Presidents' Day, which honors both the one who chopped down the cherry tree, and the one who had a bad experience at the theatre. And tomorrow, Instacart officially stops taking workers’ tips; they cut checks for backpay on Friday.

unnamed (3).jpg

Three things to know this week:


People who work on the grocery delivery app Instacart are coming together with other gig workers around three unifying demands they're calling the #PayUp campaign. They are calling for a pay floor of $15 + expenses for every hour with an active job; tips on top of that; and a detailed breakdown of pay to improve transparency.


Food and retail workers spoke before State House and State Senate committees in support of a secure scheduling bill that would provide more balanced and flexible schedules to workers in these industries. The committees must advance the bill by the end of the week to keep it moving forward.  


 The leader of India’s major opposition party has promised that if elected, he would establish a minimum income guarantee. He is the first leader of a major party in any country to make such a pledge.

Two things to ask:


 Wait was that number actually zero? Amazon paid $0 in federal income taxes in 2017, and even claimed a tax rebate of $129 million in 2018. The company's profits increased from $5.6 billion to $11 billion over those same years, during which time they also went to war with the Seattle City Council over a small tax to build housing for homeless people.


 What is the definition of the word “ideal”? Fast Company reports that “in its ideal world, food-delivery service DoorDash would pay its contractors almost nothing”. And they’re almost living the dream — the company uses customer tips to drive own what they pay workers to as little as $1/delivery. 

And one thing that's worth a closer look:


 Analysts at mega investment bank Goldman Sachs have expressed concern that gene therapy research could be too promising to be as profitable as they want it to be. After all, they fret, approaches which might cure disease with a single treatment “offer a very different outlook with regard to recurring revenue versus chronic therapies,” pointing out how a cure for Hepatitis C has reduced the amount of corporate profit that disease creates. You might think they'd be sheepish about putting it quite so directly, but no, they just straight-up call the question: "Is curing patients a sustainable business model?” You kind of have to read it to believe it, and then ask yourself if investment banking is a sustainable approach to living as a human being.


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!