So, OK, we’re still in a pandemic and a recession right? Because you know how sometimes you’ll look at your bank account and be like, “You know what, I don’t have any money anyway, why not buy these shoes?!” Well it seems like every business is doing exactly that.
Allstate is also doing some emotional shopping, buying insurer National General for $4 billion. And while Walgreens isn’t outright acquiring VillageMD, it is investing $1 billion in the healthcare startup in the hopes of opening up to 700 clinics in its drugstores in the next five years.
Yeah, those stimulus checks really were like winning a plush banana stuffed with newsprint after playing $50 in carnival games.
Aon, meanwhile, must’ve had good luck in the couch cushions, because it’s reversing its 20% pay cut, paying back the money it withheld and adding 5% on top of it.
Is there, like a secret vaccine we don’t know about? Or were all the gifts to businesses just that good? (Kidding, we know it’s the more depressing one.)
At least our not-at-all-benevolent overlords are throwing some crumbs our way. Facebook is planning a DeKalb data center that should be good for “hundreds” of construction jobs and a steady 100 operations jobs once it’s done. Why? Lol new tax incentives that make the project a dream deal for Facebook, a company that brought in $70.7 billion in revenue last year.
We can’t honestly believe this is where we’re at, but United is now the only company behaving logically, announcing plans to potentially lay off 36,000 workers, most of them unionized. We hate it, but we at least kind of understand it? Although laying off up to 45% of actual workers and only 30% of management seems like not the perfect ratio, all things considered.
Despite, well, everything, there are some real signs that workers might come out of this with a few more rights. Chicago enacted a fair workweek law Wednesday that forces employers to provide work schedules in advance, and pay a premium for any last-minute changes. That, plus a bump in the minimum wage to $10 an hour statewide and $14 an hour in Chicago puts us closer to something like livable conditions for the most vulnerable workers. AND, new sexual harassment and discrimination protections give service workers in the hotel and casino industries more avenues to report incidents, while all employers will be required to report harassment and discrimination complaints to the Illinois Department of Human Rights.
That’s especially good, because getting this shit out in the air finally seems to be working. Case in point: Cards Against Humanity is looking to unionize — and management is promising to honor it — after it got caught out being a creepy, garbage place to work.
Jobs, Glorious Jobs
Associate Manager, Social Strategy at Beam Suntory
This is a brand social role, which means you’ll be hands-on with strategy and execution for a portfolio that includes Jim Beam, Maker’s Mark and several sought-after Japanese whiskies. Downside is that you'll also be handling community management and consumer inquiries.
PR Manager at Goose Island/Virtue Cider, Social Media Coordinator at Virtue Cider
Meant to note in the last job that alcohol sales are not in a great place right now, so we’ll leave that here for your consideration/interview question.
Press, Public Affairs & Projects Officer for the British Consulate-General
Lead communications and public diplomacy in Chicago and the Midwest. We definitely don’t have public diplomacy among our LinkedIn Skills, but if you do this is a rare find.
Tool of the Week
The Aspen Institute Digital Anti-Racism Pledge Tracker. Step one: Make sure a company has said something meaningful. Step two: Hold them to it. Because you know there are a lot of companies out there hoping maybe we’ll all just forget. h/t to Hustler Kate for sending this in.
Inspiration of the week
We tend to romanticize this economic history, saying that good factory jobs have been replaced by bad service jobs. But in truth, there is nothing better about banging hubcaps onto cars on a moving assembly line than about serving hamburgers in a fast food restaurant or changing bed linens in a hotel. The difference between these types of jobs is mainly that industrial jobs were frequently unionized and service jobs are not.
—Richard Rothstein in The Color of Law, a book that just takes your high school history lesson on de facto segregation and lights it on fire. There’s an eight-minute video of the basics making the internet rounds, but we highly recommend reading the whole book. Our dude is a Grade-A no-nonsense grump, and the book flatly and mercilessly lays out all the lies we like to tell ourselves about how the American economy works. This particular nugget isn’t even germane to its focus on legal segregation — it’s tossed off in a footnote. A footnote!
We’re not going to try and tell you an inarguable case for reparations is a “fun read,” but we did bark-laugh several times while reading The Color of Law, and got caught shouting out advice to historical actors like we were watching a slasher film. So let’s say it’s an interactive book.
Forward this email to anyone who knows all jobs should be good jobs. We can’t unionize everyone, but if people sign up here, we will constantly remind them that unions are one way to take the power back.