Time to celebrate May Day 🚫

What a treat! To have May Day right in the middle of all of This? Truly a wonderful opportunity to indulge and swap our amateur economist and labor lawyer hats for our amateur historian hat! (It’s a fez, you know how historians love to claim shit that’s not theirs.)

Today is International Workers’ Day everywhere but America. Here, we hide our shameful labor history by punting that holiday to September and making it about the end of summer. You can thank your fellow Chicagoans for that. The Haymarket Riot shook business so bad it had to get together and 1. Hang some innocent men 2. Pretend a holiday never existed. Look, it got people to convert to Christianity, might as well work for capitalism too. 

To celebrate, you don’t need to go into full socialist cosplay like us. You just need to respect the worker strikes that are happening all around the world. Just don’t … do a commerce. Keep your money. Because whew, fuckery loves a bad economy doesn’t it? 

Whole Foods is tracking its workers to find out who’s fraternizing — and potentially planning a union — while Amazon is just attacking the unionizers directly, with a lil bit of racism on top. Love to see Jeff Bezos commit to A/B testing, really crunching the numbers on union busting. 

This is just a reminder that you can visit George Pullman’s grave in Graceland Cemetery. The famous dirtbag/strike-breaker is buried under literal tons of steel and concrete and topped with a giant column so his workers couldn’t desecrate his corpse.

It’s all right though. Technology at its best works for people too. And we’re pretty damn excited about Get Frank, a tool for organizing workers and making collective demands. The Chicago-based team rushed it out early for workers affected by COVID-19. Looks like Redbox founder Logan LaHive is joining us in the socialist cosplay game by getting this app out into the world. 

Plus we have class-action lawyer Jay Edelson suing Chase for allegedly giving dibs on Paycheck Protection Program loans to big corporate clients instead of the small businesses who need them. Wow we are shocked. At least everyone made fun of Potbelly enough to get it to return the $10 million in government assistance it pocketed while “furloughing” most of its employees. Bullying works!

We also have another $250 million in the Illinois small business loan program … and … OK we’re running out of steam on the good news to be quite honest. 

Plenty of businesses are still “furloughing” employees, which is especially rich from the failing companies that you know aren’t hiring people back. ’Sup Gogo and The Chicago Tribune? Boeing is getting in on the fun, cutting 10% off the top while it can still skirt the responsibility for unemployment. What a great look for them. 

Hormel at least has a reason to furlough 150 people at its McCook plant. The plant makes Italian sausages that are mostly sold in arenas, and, well, who knew how quickly we’d miss overpriced concessions?

Other companies are coming up with solutions we can kinda get behind. Electronic medical records company Allscripts did let go 5% of its workers, but also trimmed the CEO’s pay by 40%. Not bad, though we would have thumbed that scale a little harder in the latter direction. Especially given that a healthcare company is experiencing hardships … now.

Insurance giant Aon is going a little more brutal, cutting pay by 20% for most of its employees and 50% for its leadership. The broker calculated a cost-of-living floor for every city to protect the lowest-paid, so roughly a third of employees will keep all of their pay. This honestly sounds like an elegant solution. But until we’ve seen proof that the company is actually struggling — not just worried about things maybe being hard in the future — cool it. Who has 20% of each paycheck left over, especially when family members are out of work?

And then there are the true heroes. El Milagro responded to a worker dying and two others testing positive for COVID-19 by shutting down that facility for two weeks and paying all its employees who would have been working a full 40 hours a week to stay home. Yeah, we were already going to buy the good chips and tortillas for life, but damn!

Jobs, Glorious Jobs
We're hopeful that as PPP Loans Take 2 land with businesses that actually need them, we’ll see some slowdown in layoffs. Meantime, jobs are still happening, if you’re up for it.

Sort your LinkedIn Jobs by most recent to see what’s out there. And if you or someone you know is looking for gig, temp or part-time work, keep an eye on this thread.

Intake Manager, Intake Specialist and Director of Development at The Anti-Cruelty Society
Intake jobs are hero jobs — not easy but critical to helping animals. Development is of course less hands-on but never not important. We hear from a Hustler that the fundraising team is a good group and well-oiled life-saving machine.

Development Director at Connections for Abused Women and Their Children
Lead and evaluate fundraising efforts, with an emphasis on social media solicitations, at the shelter and domestic violence services organization.

Digital Marketing Specialist at McDermott Will & Emery
This big ol’ law firm “is in the early stages of deploying a comprehensive digital marketing program,” so bet you can wow ’em with your technical prowess.

Product Content Manager and Product Content Specialist at Breakthru Beverage Group
Own and operate the alcohol distributor’s product platform. Spend a disproportionate amount of time nagging breweries and distilleries to send images so retailers can use them. 

Inspiration of the week

“When the world gets back to whatever the next normal may be, do you want your life to be the way it was before? 

Over the next few weeks do some reflecting. What are aspects of your lifestyle that you hate, and what are the things you cannot wait to get back?”

—Gail Golden, psychologist, performance coach, Get Hustlin’ reader and first-and-longest client of our real life job, in Fast Company. We’ve benefited from Gail’s work-life wisdom for years, to the point that we should probably be the ones paying her. Now, after years of begging on our part, her book is here and oddly well-timed for quarantine. We would recommend it if we didn’t know and love her, but we recommend it extra because we do. 

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