BossFeed Briefing from Working Washington

We are Working Washington

BossFeed Briefing for March 20, 2017.

Last week the Trump Administration proposed a Federal budget which would slash the Department of Labor by 21%, including cuts to job training and health & safety efforts. Wednesday is this year’s annual Starbucks shareholder meeting; last year’s meeting brought attention to the issue of unpredictable and unstable work schedules.

If they could turn back time

latte art baby

Three things to know this week:

upside down face Politics is weird. A recent poll from Fox News of all places finds that the most popular politician in the country is Bernie Sanders, who couldn’t get a major-party Presidential nomination last year. And the most popular organization polled is Planned Parenthood, which could be barred by Congress from receiving Federal reimbursements for providing healthcare to women.

fries Life comes at you fast (food). Early this year the IHOP twitter account briefly offered some harsh commentary on the Clinton campaign, and this past week the official McDonald’s account tweeted and then pinned an anti-Trump post. Meanwhile, workers at a Canadian Wendy’s voted to form a union.

bottle Two months is still not enough. But it’s better than three days, which is how much time off one new father got with his first child before having to return to work. After changing jobs, he got almost two months with his second child, and it had an enormous impact on his entire family.


Two things to ask:

pow  What if what you don’t know can hurt you? The US Department of Labor has stopped publicizing fines against companies which violate safety laws. They also stopped enforcing a policy which mandated timely electronic filing of accident data.  

coffee Are baristas’ babies worth less? That’s what Ohio barista Kristen Picciolo asks in a guest editorial in the Stranger about Starbucks’ new parental leave policy. The policy provides dramatically less parental leave to baristas than it does to corporate executives.


And one thing that’s worth a closer look:

crown “We tell them the turban is a crown.” Sikh immigrant workers first arrived in the US more than a hundred years ago, fleeing British colonial Punjab for jobs in the fields of California and in the lumber mills of the Pacific Northwest. Spend some time with this piece in The Establishment digging in to Sikh workers’ experience of xenophobic violence in the US, including a riot in Bellingham in 1905 and a shooting in Kent in 2017. Then go deeper with a visit to the Sikh Foundation and the Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund.


Read this far?

tophat Consider yourself briefed, boss.

Katie O’Connell, People For the American Way -neil gorsuch, day one



Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch’s hearing began today, and Democrats made clear that they would be asking tough questions. Republicans, for their part, encouraged Gorsuch to avoid giving complete answers, and Senator Ted Cruz, creator of many spectacles, dismissively called the hearing a “spectacle.”

Throughout the week we are going to send you regular hearing updates — because this so-called “spectacle” is critically important for anyone who cares about our rights and the future of the Supreme Court. Just this weekend news broke that Gorsuch actually told a law school class that employers should ask women candidates about their pregnancy plans so that women don’t “milk” their companies for maternity benefits and then leave. This is an appalling position for a potential Supreme Court justice to take, and today Senator Dick Durbin made it clear that he would press Gorsuch for an explanation.

Another worker’s rights case, the case of Alphonse Maddin, came up repeatedly today, for good reason. Watch our video of PFAW’s CiCi Battle talking about the harrowing details, and share it on your social media feeds. This is not a case to be blithely dismissed by Republican senators or groups spending millions to confirm Gorsuch — a real person’s life was put on the line, but Gorsuch preferred to narrowly interpret a law in the corporation’s favor.

CiCi Battle discussing the case

Gorsuch also brushed away his own record of siding against the rights of average Americans by citing his mentor Antonin Scalia’s remark that as a judge “you’re not always going to like the conclusions you reach.” Unfortunately for Gorsuch, his record demonstrates a clear pattern of consistently twisting the law to reach pro-corporate, anti-worker and anti-consumer conclusions.

Watch our video recapping Maddin’s story of corporate negligence and see for yourself why Gorsuch should not be the next Supreme Court justice>>