Happy Black History Month. The fight for equality continues, and I’m honored to present another week of Maybe This Shit Is Getting Better After All. I mean, This Week in Worker Conquests.
Lawsuit exposes NFL racism: On Tuesday, coach Brian Flores, who is rumored to be a candidate for the Seahawks’ open defensive coordinator job, filed a class action lawsuit against the NFL, the Miami Dolphins, the Denver Broncos, and the New York Giants, alleging racial discrimination, game-fixing, and more. All those teams deny the relevant allegations, but Flores provides some receipts.
The NFL’s Rooney Rule forces owners to interview at least one racial minority candidate for each job opening. However, Flores provided screenshots of text messages that suggest a white coach had already been hired for a job Flores hadn’t even interviewed for yet.
In the second paragraph of his lawsuit, Flores quotes Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr: “Morals cannot be legislated, but behavior can be regulated. The law cannot make an employer love me, but it can keep him from refusing to hire me because of the color of my skin."
And of course the timing of this case was not lost on some Twitter users.
The Brian Flores lawsuit really getting Black History month started with a bang
— Elie Mystal (@ElieNYC) February 1, 2022
Sincere congratulations to Brian Flores on his courageous stand. I hope he’s on the Seahawks’ sideline next season.
Starbucks workers are piping hot: Starbucks workers continue to lead the labor charge around the country. As of press time, 59 (!) Starbucks stores have filed to form unions in the past two months, including seven (!) this week in the Northwest: Three locations in Eugene, two in Beaverton, one in Portland, and one in Everett at 37th and Broadway. On top of that, three stores have announced publicly but have yet to file. Check out this tracker map on More Perfect Union to see this historic trend for yourself.
Crossroads joins the fight: On Tuesday, workers at the Crossroads Trading Co. location on Capitol Hill filed to unionize. An organizer at the 16-worker Crossroads store tells me by text, “Many workers are students or artists strapped for cash and are forced to live an unpredictable schedule and grab as many extra hours as they can from people calling out sick because we’re not scheduled enough to make ends meet. We're excited to finally have a chance to advocate for ourselves through a union.”
What can we do? “Don’t be shy visiting our store and telling workers you stand with them organizing their union!”
Amazon’s Ls go global: Ladies and gentlemen,
The Weeknd The Gilded Age. As Charles mentioned in Slog PM, this week, The New York Times reported that Jeff Bezos convinced the city of Rotterdam to dismantle one of its historic bridges so that his $500 million superyacht could pass through. However, around 500 local residents are literally gathering to throw eggs at said yacht. Thank these folks for their service. As Rich would say: Eggcellent.
Meanwhile, this week Amazon drivers (who make on average around $17/hour!) spoke to VICE about TikTok users asking drivers to dance while they deliver packages and then posting the videos online. WTF is wrong with some people? Ugh.
Some good news? The Bessemer, Alabama, warehouse re-do election starts today, and this week Bloomberg reports a third Amazon warehouse is unionizing in Staten Island, New York.
More? You don’t have to shop at Amazon. None of us do.
Some hot local do-gooder jobs: Would you like to look at yourself in the mirror without cringing? Then apply to these jobs.
We're looking for a strategic and community focused Outreach Manager to join our team! Be a key leader in growing OLS by creating, driving, and managing the business and community outreach, engagement efforts, and education strategy. https://t.co/TZ0tEJkAmh pic.twitter.com/7Q1eSC985U
— Seattle Office of Labor Standards (@OLS_SEA) January 31, 2022
Join the @WHD_DOL team! Our new investigator positions offer:
Apply now on #usajobs: https://t.co/lp10pQmNQI pic.twitter.com/bxocGwZyru
— WHD_DOL (@WHD_DOL) February 3, 2022
Jayapal fights for musicians: Musicians and comedians continue to leave Spotify over COVID misinformation and egregiously low pay. High-profile acts leaving the streaming service this week include musicians Crosby, Stills, and Nash; Joni Mitchell; India.Arie; and comedian Rob Delaney.
On Wednesday, Seattle Congresswoman Prayamil Jayapal (WA-07) joined the conversation by holding a Congressional hearing on the American Music Fairness Act, which would ensure musicians are fairly compensated for their work.
Seattle is and remains a bedrock of music.
Today in @HouseJudiciary, we held a hearing on the American Music Fairness Act, which would ensure that artists are compensated and local radio is preserved. pic.twitter.com/JwWHK5xdmO
— Rep. Pramila Jayapal (@RepJayapal) February 2, 2022
McDonald’s is bad in new ways: Last week, I relayed the bombshell report that McDonald’s was running a fake pay scam, and the New York Times reported the company made $23 billion in revenue. This week, at least one of the company’s locations is looking to hire more teenagers instead of paying adults what adults need to earn to stay alive in this brutal country. Clown shit!
MLB waves white flag: Yesterday, Major League Baseball requested the immediate help of a Federal mediator in its fight to keep the players WHO PLAY TO WIN THE GAMES from getting too much of the giant pie.
starting in 2022 every MLB team will receive a guaranteed $60.1 million via national TV deals (averaging out the money from the life of those deals). Likely every local tv deal averages >$40m per year. So every single team is getting $100m+ guaranteed before selling a ticket.
— KREG (@cdgoldstein) February 1, 2022
Check your pay stubs: As Jas wrote Monday, Seattle forced the franchise operator of 14 Domino’s locations in the city to pay $2.1 million for multiple violations against 1,330 workers. The owner had the audacity to call it “a learning experience”! Apparently some other Domino’s owners are trying to learn some lessons, as well.
Three other local employers got caught doing some whoopsie-oopsies this week: Traffic Management, Inc. payed out over $250,000 to 244 workers from whom they withheld wages, Hannah wrote that workers at Menchie’s in Washington and Oregon got almost $97,000 back in stolen tips and overtime wages, and late last week Unite Here Local 8 celebrated returning to workers double the amount of wages that the SeaTac Red Lion stole from them. A report from the Economic Policy Institute in December found over $3 billion of stolen wages were recovered from employers from 2017 to 2020. Seriously, check your pay stubs.
And share your salary! Journalist Victoria M. Walker set a great example this week on Twitter by doing what literally all of us can do: Share with our colleagues how much we get paid. It’s legal, it’s helpful, and it’s easy.
And, while you’re at it, send us some tips! Many of these stories come from readers like you. If you’ve got something interesting going on at your workplace or in your industry, send it along.
Enjoy yourselves this weekend. Looks like a good one to get outside and get some fresh air. After all, this land was made for you and me.
One bright sunny morning in the shadow of the steeple
By the relief office I saw my people
As they stood there hungry, I stood there wondering if
God blessed America for me?
(From the original final verse)