BossFeed Briefing from Working Washington

We are Working Washington

BossFeed Briefing for January 15, 2018. Last Monday, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos became the wealthiest person ever assessed by the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Last Tuesday, the Equal Pay Opportunity Act was heard in a State House committee, and last Wednesday it was heard in the State Senate. Today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Early this morning a top official in the state Department of Licensing resigned under pressure after it was discovered his agency was sharing information with federal immigration authorities. Saturday is the one year anniversary of Donald Trump’s inauguration as president.

Make you grimace 

Grimace + Trump
Tag line from this 2002 TV ad: “Together Grimace, we could own this town”

Three things to know this week:

facepalm A Subway owner in Seattle, who has already become notorious for his serial bellyaching about workers’ rights,posted a sign blaming the lack of a $5 footlong that day on essentially every step forward for workers since 2010 — while also promising a coupon was on the way. He then claimed that a Subway rep called him to say that life would get very ugly if he failed to take down the sign.

fries A Trump appointee to the National Labor Relations Board is apparently likely to withdraw a court case which could have set a new precedent that McDonald’s is in fact responsible for what happens at McDonald’s locations. A different Trump appointee recently changed the rules so that states may require people to find work in order to receive healthcare through Medicaid.

homes More than a million homes in the United States are currently vacant. Three quarters of those vacant homes are owned by investors.


Two things to ask:

angry face Did they misunderstand the meaning of “no means no”?The Equal Pay Opportunity Act advanced out of the Washington State House Labor Committee last week. While a majority voted yes, three members of the committee said no — putting themselves on the record in opposition to progress on gender equality and pay transparency.

calendar So who forgot to check the PR calendar? On Thursday, Walmart announced plans to maybe raise pay to as much as $11/hour across the country, which apparently they thought sounded pretty high even though it would still leave pay rates in most of the nation below the current Washington State minimum wage. Hours later the company stomped on their own reputation-burnishing effortby announcing the sudden closure of several dozen Sam’s Club stores, displacing hundreds of workers with little notice.


And one thing that’s worth a closer look:

lotus position An increasing number of corporations are launching “mindfulness” programs for executives and employees — at exactly the same time as employment itself grows more precarious. As Laura Marsh traces the history of this development in DissentmagazineMonsanto was among the first to go big on mindfulness when they were struggling with poor morale and a worse corporate reputation during the first big debates over their efforts to genetically engineer seeds to boost use of the company’s herbicides. While of course there’s nothing objectionable about the practice of cultivating a mindful approach to life, it’s curious, Marsh points out, how frequently these mindfulness initiatives are imposed due to a CEO’s personal awakening, and happen right around the same time as a wave of layoffs and belt-tightening. Which raises the question of what it means for a corporation to encourage mental resilience in uncertain times… when that uncertainty was caused by the corporation itself.


Read this far?

tophat Consider yourself briefed, boss.